European Parliament’s rule of law report: ‘We shouldn’t lose sight of Malta’

Rapporteur Sophie in’t Veld (Renew Netherlands) had firm words for the European Commission as she expressed concerns about the rule of law in several EU States, including Malta, during a brief press conference on the European Parliament’s report assessing the European Commission’s 2023 Rule of Law Report.

During the press conference held on Wednesday, in’t Veld delivered an overview of the report’s significance, emphasising the importance of upholding the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights within the European Union (EU).

She particularly highlighted the challenges, such as corruption and the rise of extremist parties, underscoring why it is imperative to maintain these values.

In her remarks, in’t Veld expressed concerns about various EU member states, notably Hungary, Greece, Malta, and Poland, where issues like media freedom, discrimination, police violence and corruption were observed.

She highlighted the fragility of the rule of law in some countries while acknowledging positive developments in others like Poland, Slovenia, and Bulgaria.

“I think we can see bigger and smaller concerns in most EU member states, and there are some member states that we are very concerned about”, in‘t Veld said.

She added: “Of course, Hungary and Greece are ones that I’m very concerned about, and Malta is one that I think we should not lose sight of.  Poland may have elected a new government that is firmly committed to the rule of law, but that doesn’t mean that the damage can be easily undone or that everything is fine.”

Criticism was also directed at Hungary, with in’t Veld characterising the country as undemocratic and highlighting concerns over Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s authoritarian tendencies.

She criticised the European Union’s response as too weak, particularly regarding Hungary’s eligibility for EU funds despite ongoing rule of law concerns.

Furthermore, in’t Veld emphasised the Commission’s increasing reliance on national authorities to uphold the rule of law, criticising it as ineffective, especially when dealing with governments like Orbán’s.

She stressed the need for more robust accountability mechanisms within the EU to ensure that every EU citizen benefits from good governance.

In early February, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted in’t Veld’s assessment report on the European Commission’s 2023 Rule of Law report, which assesses developments in Member States across justice, anti-corruption, media freedom, and institutional checks.

In the report, the LIBE Committee praised the Commission’s report as a crucial tool but criticised its diplomatic tone, urging more precise identification of rule of law issues.

Concerns were also raised about corruption levels varying among Member States, calling for stronger anti-corruption efforts and support for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, further urging the European Commission to enforce EU law more assertively through increased infringement procedures.

A draft report demanding systemic issues be addressed will be put to a vote by MEPs on Wednesday evening.

                           

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2 Comments
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Jane
Jane
1 month ago

Embarrassing for Roberta Metsola, EU President and Maltese citizen.

Simon Camilleri
Simon Camilleri
1 month ago

The EU doesn’t care about us. They have left us being raped daily by a corrupt government, judiciary, and law enforcement. We are held hostage by all the votes they have bought and will never lose. The EU continues to give them money which they award to themselves and their friends whilst overloading the infrastructure with the importation of thousands of workers to make them richer. The EU could end our suffering but they don’t. There have been no repercussions for all the daily scandals, the theft and mismanagement of EU funds, or the increasing police state and stifling of the oppressed. The EU should be ashamed and the only thing they should do now is to cut funding to Malta immediately and to remove us from their bloc.

Last edited 1 month ago by Simon Camilleri

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