The Finnish Presidency of the European Council has said it will be proposing new measures to analyse and report on rule of law with EU member states.
The Ministers explained that protecting rule of law was essential and the Presidency would be putting forward a rule of law mechanism and annual reporting system to analyse how effective it was.
Their announcement came after the Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola called on the Finnish Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to join in on demanding a public inquiry into the murder of Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The Nationalist Party MEP who is also EPP Coordinator told the Ministers who now hold the European Council Presidency that press freedom was interlinked with the rule of law and democracy.
‘Europe has seen two journalists assassinated with Daphne Caruana Galizia and Jan Kuciak both being brutally killed within months of each other. The Council of Europe has insisted on an independent inquiry that should be launched this month and Member States should join the call to ensure justice too,’ Metsola told a Parliamentary debate on Presidency priorities.
Malta’s Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela announced on July 11th that the country would be following through with a call from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to launch an independent public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s murder.
This was confirmed in a reply to Article 19’s Head of Europe and Central Asia Sarah Clarke during the Defend Media Freedom conference.
PACE had previously issued a report entitled ‘Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination and the rule of law in Malta and beyond: ensuring that the whole truth emerges,’ looking into Caruana Galizia’s murder as well as calling on the Maltese government to launch the inquiry within three months.
Technically, the deadline would be reached by the end of October.
Added to this, Metsola also explained that there was a dire need for measures to ensure the certaintly of search and rescue as well as disembarkation of asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean.
‘This is not a situation that can or should be handled solely by Mediterranean States like Malta, Italy, Greece or Spain. We must do better’