EU Justice Minister ‘pays tribute’ to Caruana Galizia at bomb site

EU Justice Minister Didier Reynders stopped to “pay tribute” to assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia when he was in Malta earlier this week.

The visit came in between discussions with the government and NGOs on the government’s long-stalled legislation to protect journalists, among other matters.

The so-far botched and inexplicably delayed legislation is meant to be the result of the recommendations of a public inquiry into the journalist’s death.

Reynders paid a visit to the site where Caruana Galizia was murdered by a car bomb near her home in Bidnija on 16 October 2017.

“Journalists play a vital role in society,” the justice commissioner tweeted after his visit to the site, where he was welcomed by the journalist’s son Matthew Caruana Galizia and her sister Corinne Vella.

EU Justice Minister Didier Reynders greeting Daphne Caruana Galizia’s sister Corinne Vella as Matthew Caruana Galizia looks on.

“Any attempts to prevent them from doing their work is a threat to democracy.

“Daphne Caruana Galizia was cowardly murdered for her investigations. During my visit, I paid tribute to her courage and her fight against corruption.”

The comments came after Reynders held meetings with Prime Minister Robert Abela, during which Abela informed Reynders that he “looked forward” to the “game-changing” legislation to protect journalists.

What he perhaps failed to mention is the foot-dragging and aversion to public consultation the legislation has seen, or the fact that it has been almost two years since the public inquiry was concluded and not a single recommendation has been properly implemented.

Commissioner Didier Reynders and Matthew Caruana Galizia at the site where Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated. Photo: Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation/Joanna Demarco

Reynders’ predecessor Věra Jourová had also paid tribute to Caruana Galizia on numerous occasions.

She says she drew her inspiration to work on legislation leading to the drafting of the EU’s new Media Freedom Act to protect the European press from a visit to a memorial service for Daphne Caruana Galizia in Bidnija.

In April 2022, Jourová had presented a proposal for what she called ‘Daphne’s law’, a directive to combat strategic lawsuits against public participation across Europe.

Last October, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier similarly stopped in Valletta during the Arraiolos Group meeting, hosted by the Maltese government, at the memorial to Daphne Caruana Galizia where he paid tribute to the assassinated journalist.

Speaking of the working conditions of journalists around the world, he remarked, “We know that journalists everywhere are under threat and need protection. We must feel obliged to ensure this protection.”

The German President’s comments came just as the topic of journalists’ protection was boiling over in Malta, with the government hastily pushing sensitive legislation dealing with the protection of journalists through parliament without any public consultation to speak of.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Valletta memorial last October.

The legislation was at the time and still is being widely criticised, both domestically and internationally by press freedom NGOs and bodies such as the Council of Europe, as being rushed, severely lacking in public consultation, too weak and as having been watered down excessively from the board’s original recommendations.

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová’s first item of business upon her arrival in Malta for the same Arraiolos Group meeting was also to pay tribute to Caruana Galizia.

Čaputová laid a bouquet at a monument to Caruana Galizia in her hometown of Sliema, where she stressed, “The work of journalists and media freedom is irreplaceable for the functioning of democracy.

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová paying tribute to Caruana Galizia in Sliema last October.

“Even if it is sometimes difficult for us politicians to accept their outputs, the importance of their work goes beyond our interests or comfort.”

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
carmelo borg
1 month ago

Din iz zjara kienet turija ta rispett lejn EROJ MALTİJA. Ma nafx din iz zjara TA TVM NEWS kinux jafu bija ghax ma smajt xejn dwara. İkkoreguni jekk qed nizbalja

1 month ago

Those who attack, try to shut their mouth or kill a journalist are cowards, dictators or have something incriminating to hide . Leave them do their work without threating them. They are workers doing their job in the best manner they know. Your duty is to protect them if you have nothing to hide.

Related Stories

Julian Assange ‘dangerously close’ to extradition after appeal rejected – RSF
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is “dangerously close” to being
Marsalforn road widening: NGOs ‘have not seen promised amended plans’
Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri has not yet shared the

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo