Members of European Parliament from the Civil Liberties Committee visited Slovakia earlier this week to monitor democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.
Following the murders of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak, the Committee has set up a Rule of Law monitoring group to report on the situation of rule of law in the EU, focussing on corruption and press freedom.
A delegation of the monitoring group visited Slovakia, with the chair Sophie in ‘t Veld saying that the European Parliament has been closely monitoring the situation in Slovakia since the murder of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée in 2018.
“The delegation is encouraged by the progress made in the investigations and prosecution of the murders and the numerous related cases,” she said.
However, with recent incidents involving hate speech, harassment and intimidation towards journalists, there are sincere concerns that journalists and critical voices are still being silenced as they investigate corruption and serious crimes.
The same can be said about Malta, where blogger and critical voice Manuel Delia fleeing the country as he fears for his life.
The European delegation called for judicial reform, the fight against corruption, and the protection of journalists and media freedom.
It said this is a “watershed-moment” for Slovakia. “To restore citizens’ trust in the system and to continue building a modern state with a clean and efficient government and administration, the success of these reforms is crucial.”
Like the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen did in Malta last week, MEPs met with the families of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová. The group also spoke to representatives of non-governmental organisations and journalists, as well as with senior government and state representatives.
This was the European Parliament’s fourth visit to Slovakia following the murder of Ján Kuciak in 2018.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Do you think Malta’s rule of law can be compared to that of Slovakia?