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Postup : 2019/2954(RSP)
Postup v rámci schôdze
Postup dokumentu : B9-0240/2019

Predkladané texty :

B9-0240/2019

Rozpravy :

PV 17/12/2019 - 2
CRE 17/12/2019 - 2

Hlasovanie :

PV 18/12/2019 - 13.8
CRE 18/12/2019 - 13.8

Prijaté texty :

P9_TA(2019)0103

Rozpravy
Utorok, 17. decembra 2019 - Štrasburg Revidované vydanie

2. Právny štát na Malte po najnovších odhaleniach v súvislosti s vraždou Daphne Caruanovej Galiziovej (rozprava)
Videozáznamy z vystúpení
PV
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre a declaração da Comissão sobre o Estado de direito em Malta, após as recentes revelações sobre o homicídio de Daphne Caruana Galizia (2019/2954(RSP)).

Relembro a todos que é possível solicitar os cartões para os procedimentos “catch the eye” e “cartão azul”, quer através do registo tradicional, quer através do sistema eletrónico. Eu, como é prática habitual, não considerei o cartão azul na primeira ronda de intervenções dos grupos políticos, mas para as intervenções seguintes está aberto o procedimento de cartão azul.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I would first like to thank you for putting the situation of the rule of law in Malta on today’s agenda. It is essential that all EU institutions contribute, within their respective roles, to upholding the rule of law in the EU. In this regard, the recent visit of Parliament’s delegation to Malta and today’s debate are of great importance.

As President von der Leyen made clear, she is concerned by recent developments in Malta. The Commission has been following the developments in Malta very closely. The Commission condemns the assassination of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Her murder was an attack on the free media and is of grave concern to Europe as a whole.

Media freedom is the foundation of our free and democratic society. Journalists must feel safe to work in Europe. If not, democracy as we know it will be under threat. It is not the Commission’s role to comment on ongoing national investigations, but we have said very clearly, many times, that we expect a thorough and independent investigation, free from any political interference. I repeated this message directly to the Maltese ministers I spoke to recently.

Europol is in Malta and has supported the investigations in Malta as a top-priority case, with experts on the spot and from Europol headquarters. The support activities are ongoing and will continue. It is crucial that all those responsible are brought to justice as soon as possible. The people of Malta – and first and foremost, the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia – demand truth and justice, and we stand with them. I also made this very clear during my visit to Malta in June 2018.

Our role – the role of the Commission – is to address more structural and systemic issues, in particular in the area of the judiciary and the fight against corruption and money laundering, and we have done just that. The Commission has already been clear on the issue. There are a number of structural reforms that Malta is undertaking or needs to undertake. This was clearly stated in the European Semester country-specific recommendations, which were adopted by the Council on 9 July 2019.

The Commission also brought infringement procedures regarding the incomplete transposition of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and adopted an opinion on measures to be taken by the Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor following the adoption of a finding of breach of Union law by the European Banking Authority.

And we are not the only ones on whose advice Malta can rely. In its opinion of December 2018, the Venice Commission and, in its evaluation report on Malta in April 2019, the Group of States Against Corruption of the Council of Europe also raised a number of concerns in line with those of the Commission.

The Commission is in regular contact with the Maltese authorities and will continue working with the authorities to accelerate these reforms. I will, in particular, highlight the following priorities for urgent action. One of the top priorities for Malta is to strengthen the independence of the judiciary, in particular the safeguards for judicial appointments and dismissals, and to establish a separate and fully-independent prosecution service. There is also a need to strengthen efforts to detect and prosecute corruption and the enforcement of the anti-money laundering framework.

I am aware that the Maltese authorities have, on several occasions, expressed their intention to proceed with the necessary reforms in the areas of concern I have mentioned, but there is still a lack of significant progress. The latest developments show that no further time should be lost. The Commission has underlined that any reform must comply with EU law and European standards relating to the rule of law. We have strongly encouraged Malta to properly consult the Venice Commission.

As regards the prosecution services, Malta adopted the State Advocate Act in July 2019 and appointed its first State Advocate. However, concerns remain as regards, among others, the lack of checks and balances in the appointment procedure of the Attorney General, which, in practice, is still under the power of the Prime Minister. The Commission expects the Maltese authorities to implement in full the recommendations of the Venice Commission and to follow up on the findings and recommendations of the European Commission.

We are in contact with the authorities. Commissioner Reynders and I both talked with Justice Minister Bonnici last week, and we will continue to insist on the need to accelerate the reforms. Just yesterday, Commissioner Reynders sent a letter to the Maltese authorities outlining the concerns and need for speedier reforming.

Let me emphasise that the rule-of-law issues are European issues. The EU is built on mutual trust among its Members, and each European citizen deserves justice. This is why we will continue to closely follow the situation. We stand ready to work with the Maltese authorities on all these aspects and to provide support where necessary.

More generally, we will soon put in place a new rule-of-law mechanism covering all Member States, including Malta, to improve prevention, dialogue and monitoring. This will cover judicial independence, as well as anti-corruption and aspects of media pluralism relevant to the rule of law. Honourable Members, I can assure you that the Commission will not hesitate to take measures as necessary.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, Daphne Caruana believed that there was no place for injustice, abuse of power and impunity in Malta. She believed that no one was above the law, not an ordinary citizen, not the wealthiest and the powerful, not even the Prime Minister. She fought until the end for what she believed was right. Those who planned her assassination may have silenced her voice, but they inspired thousands of people to speak out, and thousands can’t be silenced.

Something is wrong when those who promised to serve the people use the institutions against the people. Something is wrong when a democratic government is under suspicion of covering up the assassination of a journalist. Something is wrong when the freedom of expression is not freedom anymore, but a deadly risk. The Union cannot afford a country in economic ruin. How can we afford a government in moral ruin?

From here I call on you directly, Prime Minister Muscat: the eyes of all journalists across Europe are on you. I call on you directly: every day that you remain in office is a shame for democracy and an offence to the memory of Daphne Caruana. I call on you directly: every day you are in power is a slap in the face of thousands of Maltese people asking for justice and truth. Prime Minister Muscat, if your office – the office of the Prime Minister – has been involved in a murder, what else do we still not know? You must step down, Prime Minister Muscat. This is not about you anymore: it’s about Malta.

In this dark moment of the history of Malta, the European Parliament and the EPP stand together with the Maltese people. You are not alone. Truth will be revealed. Justice will be done.

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! In Malta geht es immer noch um die Ermittlungen zur Ermordung von Daphne Caruana Galizia, die ermordet wurde aufgrund ihrer Ermittlungen. Dieser Mord hat uns alle tief erschüttert und es darf keinen Zweifel geben, dass die Täter und die Hintermänner strafrechtlich konsequent verfolgt werden müssen.

Zugleich geht es um Korruption und damit auch um die Lage der Rechtsstaatlichkeit insgesamt. Nicht zuletzt die Stellungnahme der Venedig-Kommission hat deutlich gemacht, dass die seit der Unabhängigkeit Maltas bestehende Verfassung, Gesetze, Verfahren für die Benennung von Personen in öffentlichen Behörden, überarbeitet werden müssen, um Gewaltenteilung und Unabhängigkeit der Justiz sicherzustellen.

Eine schwierige Aufgabe in einem Land mit etwa einer halben Million Einwohnern, wo enge Verbindungen zwischen Amtsträgern fast unvermeidlich sind. Die Entwicklungen der letzten Jahre haben in Teilen der Bevölkerung ein tiefes Misstrauen entstehen lassen. Eine besondere Herausforderung auch für die Ermittlungen, insbesondere für die richtige Balance zwischen Information der Öffentlichkeit einerseits und Vertraulichkeit der Ermittlungen andererseits.

Dennoch gibt es erste Erfolge: Täter wurden verhaftet, ein vermutlicher Mittelsmann sowie der oder zumindest einer der Hintermänner des Mordes ermittelt. Dabei waren und sind die Unterstützung maltesischer Behörden durch Europol, FBI und niederländische Behörden willkommen und hilfreich. Auch bei der Reform der Verfassung und des Justizsystems gibt es jetzt erste positive Entwicklungen unter Einbindung von Regierung, Opposition und Zivilbevölkerung und möglichst begleitet nicht nur durch die Venedig-Kommission, sondern natürlich auch durch unsere Europäische Kommission.

Wie geht es weiter? Die Ermittlungen rund um den Mord und insbesondere den Zusammenhang mit Korruption, Verkauf von Staatsbürgerschaften sind noch lange nicht abgeschlossen und müssen weiter intensiv fortgesetzt werden. Denn derzeit ist Malta für viele ein Symbol für Korruption, und es sollte unsere gemeinsame Verantwortung sein, das zu ändern, das sollte es mitten in Europa nicht geben.

Die Ermittlungen müssen weitergehen, sachlich im Ton, konsequent im Handeln und immer unter Beachtung aller Regeln und Rechte der Rechtsstaatlichkeit. In Ergänzung zu den weitergehenden Ermittlungen und Verfahren in Malta sollten wir die Erfahrungen aber auch nutzen, um präventiv den Verkauf von Staatsbürgerschaften – auch in anderen Mitgliedstaaten – kritisch zu überprüfen.

Natürlich brauchen wir endlich den Startschuss für den EU-weiten Rechtsstaatsmechanismus für alle Staaten und schließlich, letzter Satz: Vertrauen in Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Grundrechte neu stärken – das muss unser gemeinsames Ziel sein.

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, I thank the Commissioner. We are here today not just to condemn a murder, but to discuss the response of the EU institutions. And in that context I note that once again the Council is absent, and that is significant – they’re not taking responsibility for any of this.

We visited Malta two weeks ago and what we saw has not reassured us; it has basically fanned our concerns. I’m also deeply concerned about the lack of urgency that I sense in the Council in particular, and to a lesser degree in the Commission. I welcome that this Commission is at least taking steps – in contrast to the previous Commission that was completely silent – but we have to realise that we are dealing here with hard-nosed criminals who are literally ready to kill. They’re not going to be terribly impressed by a bureaucratic response, or by the Venice Commission, or by infringement procedures. They are criminals: that’s what we’re dealing with. And what is more worrying are the connections between those criminals and politics, all the way up to the Office of the Prime Minister. That is what we are talking about and this is part of the fabric that is the European Union.

Now the question is, at the end of this will we be able to look ourselves in the eye? Will we be able to look into the eyes of the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia and say that we have done everything in our power – everything? Yes, Ms Sippel, within the limits of the rule of law, but the presumption of innocence should never become the pretence of innocence.

First of all there is the immediate term, and that is to safeguard the integrity of the murder investigation. I note here that, although it is not our task to call for the resignation of the Prime Minister – that is the duty of the Maltese parliament and it should not be absolved of its responsibility – I do think that we should point out here that his continued presence in the Office of Prime Minister is cause for grave concern, because if there is a risk – real or perceived – of meddling with the investigation, basically we are eroding trust in the investigation, trust in the authorities and trust in the rule of law. Therefore, I would like to really urge the European Commission to immediately start the dialogue in the framework of the rule of law, and I’m glad that the Commission sent a letter yesterday.

The Council should be deeply ashamed of itself – the government leaders who are sitting at the table with the Prime Minister of Malta refusing to even discuss what is going on. It is deeply shameful. They should take responsibility for the integrity of the European Union.

Of course, in the longer term, there is the rule of law reforms, the constitutional reforms, banning corruption, money laundering, ending the sale of passports and all the rest of it, but, in conclusion, we have to recognise that this is not a technocratic issue, nor is it just a legal issue: this is an issue of taking political responsibility for the health of the democratic rule of law in the European Union as a whole, because if we don’t – and don’t now – this disease will spread. So let’s act now.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir waren mit einer Gruppe von Abgeordneten vor zwei Wochen auf Malta und was wir da gesehen haben, sind Fortschritte bei der Ermittlung des Mordes, aber gleichzeitig ein alarmierender Stillstand bei der Aufklärung und Verfolgung von Geldwäsche, von Korruption, bis in höchste Kreise.

Wir können uns innerhalb der Europäischen Union eine Kultur des Stillstands bei der Verfolgung von Korruption und Geldwäsche nicht leisten. Das schwächste Glied in der Union ist immer unser gemeinsames Problem. Deshalb ist es zentral, dass jetzt die Europäische Kommission alle rechtsstaatlichen Mittel einsetzt, um diese Verhältnisse zu verändern, die wir nicht nur – aber in besonderer Konzentration – auf Malta sehen.

Ich warne vor einem: Wir sollten uns nicht blenden lassen von den Festnahmen und den Fortschritten im Mordfall Caruana Galizia. Was wir auf Malta sehen, ist eine lange Liste von hochrangigen Korruptionsvorwürfen, bis hoch an den Dienstsitz des Präsidenten, im Bereich Korruption und Geldwäsche. Wir sehen dort keine konsequenten Ermittlungen und schon gar keine entsprechenden Verhaftungen und Verurteilungen.

Deshalb ist jetzt die Kommission gefragt, ernsthaft die Maßnahmen ins Werk zu setzen, die wir juristisch haben: Die Europäische Union ist eine Rechtsgemeinschaft und muss sich bei der Veränderung von Verhältnissen in Mitgliedstaaten auch selbst ans Recht halten. Aber wir können viel mehr tun, als die alte Kommission getan hat. Die alte Kommission hat im Wesentlichen, trotz zweier wichtiger Entschließungen des Europäischen Parlaments, die Hände in den Schoß gelegt und nur wenig getan.

Was hindert Sie daran, gegen alle Staaten, die Pässe verkaufen, im Rahmen von Artikel 43 ein Vertragsverletzungsverfahren zu eröffnen wegen der Verweigerung der loyalen Zusammenarbeit zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten?

Was hindert Sie daran, dafür zu sorgen, wenn in einem Mitgliedstaat wie Malta öffentliche Beschaffungssysteme regelmäßig zu Korruption benutzt werden, entsprechende Vertragsverletzungsverfahren wegen der Verletzung der Beschaffungsregeln in Europa einzuleiten?

Was hindert Sie daran, im Bereich Korruption dafür zu sorgen, dass der Planungsrechtsbereich in Malta, der übrigens auch die Umwelt zerstört, dass dort endlich gegen Korruption vorgegangen wird?

Was hindert Sie daran, im Bereich der Anti-Geldwäsche-Politik nicht nur zu einzelnen Spezialfragen Vertragsverletzungsverfahren zu eröffnen, sondern wegen der systematischen Nichtanwendung des Rechts?

Das heißt also, wir haben eine lange Liste von möglichen Vertragsverletzungsverfahren, auch im Bereich der Verletzung der Gewaltenteilung, wo die jetzige maltesische Regierung die Empfehlungen der Venedig-Kommission nicht ernsthaft umsetzt. Also leiten Sie Vertragsverletzungsverfahren ein und sorgen Sie dafür, dass die ersten Schritte im Rahmen des Rechtsstaatsverfahrens eingeleitet werden, in dem systematisch die Rechtsstaatsprobleme in Malta angegangen werden.

Also es liegt mit an Ihnen, EU-Kommission, dass wir gemeinsam dazu beitragen können, dass sich die Verhältnisse in Malta und anderswo verändern.

 
  
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  Marco Dreosto, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il mio primo pensiero va a Daphne Caruana Galizia e ai suoi familiari. Come ha detto giustamente il Commissario: nessun giornalista può morire per avere fatto bene il proprio lavoro.

Daphne Caruana stava indagando sulla corruzione a Malta, paese che ha visto un preoccupante aumento dell'illegalità nell'ultimo periodo. Brevemente, vorrei ricordare quanto riportato dalla stampa.

Lo scandalo dei visti di Schengen, che sarebbero stati venduti anche a cittadini libici, tra cui anche potenziali jihadisti per poter circolare poi liberamente in Europa. Lo scandalo dei cosiddetti passaporti d'oro, venduti sembrerebbe a 650 000 euro, e report di Europol che denunciava come nell'isola si riciclassero soldi provenienti evidentemente da fatti illeciti, per non dimenticare, poi, tutte le amnesie maltesi in tema di immigrazione.

In questi casi, tutte le critiche venivano rivolte contro l'Italia e contro l'allora ministro Matteo Salvini. Ma quante volte Malta non si è adoperata, ripeto, non si è adoperata nel salvataggio in mare dei migranti, che venivano trasportati verso l'Italia poi dalle ONG?

Vogliamo ricordare come tra i grandi supporter del primo ministro maltese vi siano molti governi socialisti europei, incluso anche l'ex governo di un signore che si chiama Matteo Renzi, italiano. Ricordiamo come proprio Matteo Renzi twittava il suo supporto e diceva: l'uomo che ha risolto la vicenda dei migranti è un premier, ma non è Conte, tifa Milan, ma non è Salvini, si chiama Joseph Muscat ed è il premier di Malta.

Non a caso Salvini lo attacca perché Muscat è un leader, non come lui. Utilizzando un eufemismo potremmo dire che l'ex premier avrebbe potuto fare meglio a pensare bene prima di esprimere queste riflessioni, visti i gravi fatti di cronaca che sono successi poi nell'isola.

Ma voglio ricordare anche come un altro uomo della sinistra italiana, l'ex sottosegretario agli Affari europei, Sandro Gozi, candidato con En Marche alle scorse elezioni europee – e che forse poi siederà tra poco tra questi banchi nel gruppo Renew – e già consulente dell'Eliseo per le questioni europee, fosse proprio consulente anche del governo maltese, sembra che si sia dimesso nell'ottobre del 2019.

Vedo, allora, cari colleghi, molta ipocrisia tra i banchi di quest'Aula, dove non si è mai persa l'occasione di criticare, ad esempio, l'Italia, Matteo Salvini, ma anche gli amici ungheresi per voler bloccare l'immigrazione clandestina, per voler difendere le radici cristiane dell'Europa per schierarsi contro un'Unione europea delle banche e della democrazia. Forse, prima di criticare qualcun altro, alcuni gruppi avrebbero fatto meglio a verificare la situazione dentro la propria famiglia politica, così da evitare pessime figure.

Auspico, infine, cari colleghi, che lo spirito dell'Avvento possa portare in tutti una maggiore coerenza, una maggiore serenità e soprattutto una maggiore giustizia. Auguri a tutti per un santo e sereno Natale.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, a free press keeps us free. It shines a light on the darkest and most corrupt corners of our societies. It holds politicians, governments, but also businesses, accountable. It keeps the eyes of our citizens wide open.

From where I come from, I had never imagined that modern—day Europe, the continent of enlightenment, would become the home to corruption, to press intimidation and to the assassination of journalists; that serious concerns about a criminal investigation, the independence of a criminal investigation, or serious concerns about the independence of government action would weave itself around the roots of our democracies.

If Europe is to speak with authority and credibility on governance, on freedom and on the fundamental rights, then Europe must become the best it can be. If we are to win back the trust, and retain this trust, of our citizens, then we need to keep ourselves to the highest standards.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a mother and a wife who will not be going home on Christmas Eve to hug her sons or smile to her husband because she did her job as a journalist. And this family of hers cannot mourn because there is no justice yet. Not only must there be justice for Daphne and her family but also justice for our press for the sake of our democracy. We need to look into the mirror, and there face what we might become if we do not make that justice happen.

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, a terrible crime has been committed in Malta, and the responsible for the crime must be brought to justice and the political responsible must also resign. So Mr Muscat, with his chief of staff being allegedly involved in the crime, must go right now, because we are afraid he’s going to put obstacles in the investigation up to the moment when he wants to leave in January.

For once, we agree with the EPP that Mr Muscat must go, but I hope, dear colleagues, that you will display the same straight courage and you will be as adamant as that when we will speak about Mr Orbán and the violations of rule of law, not only about Malta anyway. Because in Malta, a crime has been committed, but this is not the only place that crimes are committed. It is not the only place that there is corruption. It is not the only place there is a fiscal paradise. No, please let me finish. I hope you will display the same straight and adamant character when we will talk about violations of the rule of law in Hungary and other countries where governments of yours are in place.

So, there is a problem in different countries. Malta is not the only fiscal paradise in the European Union; there are a lot of them. It is not the only country that is giving golden visas and golden passports. No, there are other countries. There are other countries that, at the same time, are denying the refugees and immigrants visas while the rich people from everywhere can have a visa and a passport. That’s the same. That’s against the values of the European Union.

Malta is the symptom, not the cause. Something is rotten in the Kingdom of the European Union, and we have to correct it.

 
  
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  John David Edward Tennant (NI). – Mr President, in Malta you may well be right to say that the independence of the judiciary needs to be protected. You may well be right that the outgoing Prime Minister should in fact be outgoing right now, rather than next year. Our hearts should, must, and do go out to the family of Daphne Galizia, and Maltese internal democratic processes need to stop governments from covering up. But be careful. History teaches us that whenever the European Union sits in judgment over its Member States, it almost invariably makes things worse. Just in the last few years the EU has messed up its response to Catalonia, Poland, Hungary, and of course my own country, the United Kingdom. Funny isn’t it? When a Member State shows self-determination, whether rightly or wrongly, the EU applies pressure and interference. When an EU27 interferes in an EU1, it rarely ends well. Merry Christmas!

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Mr President, we should not have to be debating this today. Malta should not have to spend the run—up to Christmas on the streets and Daphne Caruana Galizia should still be writing. But we have been forced to stand up to face down a criminal network that has seized control and chipped away at the pillars of our republic, protected by a Prime Minister who refuses to resign immediately.

And this is not hyperbole. For years, our Prime Minister and his paid envoys have conducted a taxpayer-funded disinformation campaign of vitriol, targeting anyone and everyone who dared to stand up to them. They tried to intimidate, threaten and silence by calling rallies to denounce us as traitors, but we knew then what the world knows now and we refused to give in.

Now we want the world to know that we are not all cut from the same cloth as Joseph Muscat and the criminals that he empowers because, when the world looks at Malta, they should see our face, a people standing up. They should see people like Michael and Rose, Peter and Matthew, Andrew and Paul, Daphne’s family whose search for justice sparked a light that even the darkest of forces could not extinguish.

We are closer to justice than ever before but we are not there yet. Muscat is still trying to cling to power for at least another 30 days of chaos – interfering, influencing and contaminating the investigation. He must resign immediately if my country stands any chance of moving forward.

This must be a catalyst for change. We need a new rule of law mechanism that looks at the situation in every Member State, and we needed it yesterday. People fighting corruption, abuse of power and criminality should never be faced with shrugs of shoulders, inaction or excuses that protect political allies. We need the whole truth, we demand justice, we must have accountability, and then we need a massive programme of reforms because, after Joseph Muscat, nothing can ever be the same again.

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Mr President, the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia was an act of terror that rocked my country, and as I have insisted before, I will insist again today: justice must be done and seen to be done.

Since day one, the Maltese authorities sought the assistance of international specialists, including the FBI and Europol, and tangible results were achieved. Action has to be taken against whoever is responsible, whoever those persons may be. Malta is currently experiencing unprecedented circumstances that shook the whole society, and we want these realities to be addressed in a constructive manner.

Several recommendations have been made. Some of the judicial changes proposed have already been carried out. Others, including recommendations by the Venice Commission and Country Specific Recommendations, are in the process of being carried out, and they will continue to be carried out.

As the Maltese S&D delegation, we are committed to ensure that the reforms our country has started to implement will continue at a speedier pace so that there are no doubts cast on the impartiality of our institutions. We want to make sure that checks and balances will be ingrained at all levels.

We are confident that the process under the oversight of the President of Malta to propose constitutional reforms will yield results. In the meantime, all alleged cases of corruption must be thoroughly investigated. No one is above the law, and the fact that time-barring on cases of political corruption was removed should ensure a judicial process in all cases, whenever they happened. Currently there are five ongoing magisterial inquiries on cases of alleged corruption, and yes, we want these inquiries to be concluded as soon as possible, for the benefit of all.

Malta is currently going through a period of political transition until a new Prime Minister is appointed, and it would be counterproductive if this Parliament rushes into prejudgments that can also prejudice the ongoing investigations.

I’m here to speak up for a country that showed that it listens; a country that is open to the recommendations made; a country that implements; and yes, to respond to those who find it convenient to harm Malta and its people at this hour.

One final comment to the European Commission. Ms Jourová referred to this, but I urge you to propose, as quickly as possible, a rule-of-law mechanism made up of independent experts that monitors all the Member States in an objective and fair manner. It is what we really need, because conclusions that are not objective do not help anyone.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Javier Zarzalejos (PPE), blue-card question. – I’m afraid that things are not as described by my colleague from the S&D, because reports continue coming that supporters of the Socialist Party in Malta are intimidating and deriding civil society activists and family members of Daphne Caruana Galizia. One Socialist minister has actually said that activists are acting in a provoking manner. Is this to you an acceptable statement from a minister within your political family?

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D), blue-card answer. – Mr President, I have always been in favour of protests that are peaceful and non-violent. I think this is something that this House agrees on. A lot of protests have been going on and I do not find myself comfortable condemning any protests that are peaceful. Not so ever. There were also citizens in the office of the Prime Minister. I think that goes to show that protests are being carried out and that they are being carried out with all due respect to the process.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, delegácia Európskeho parlamentu naozaj priniesla z Malty hrozivú správu o stave právneho štátu a väzbách medzi oligarchiou, súdnym systémom a najvyššou politikou. A to je presne ten korupčný systém, ktorý umožnil vraždu Daphne Caruana Galizia a roky bránil jej vyšetrovaniu. Podobne ako na Slovenku tento korupčný systém umožnil vraždu Jána Kuciaka a jeho snúbenice.

A naozaj je dnes nepochopiteľné, že napriek všetkému, čo vieme o situácii na Malte, sa Európska rada nedokáže rozhýbať a ani len vyvolať politickú diskusiu s premiérom Muscatom, nehovoriac už o nejakom jasnom politickom postoji.

A vlády a ich lídri v Európskej rade si musia uvedomiť, že Európska únia neprežije, ak sa jej hodnoty nezačnú brať vážne, ak oni sami jej hodnoty nezačnú brať vážne, lebo bez vzájomnej dôvery, že štáty a ich lídri dodržujú princípy demokracie, právneho štátu a ľudských práv, nebude fungovať ani jednotný trh, ani kohézna politika, ani voľný pohyb. A hodnoty naozaj v tomto zmysle nie sú luxus, ale sú základom aj praktického fungovania Európskej únie.

A preto je najvyšší čas, aby sa ich monitorovanie stalo neoddeliteľnou a pevnou súčasťou európskeho projektu, na ktorom musia spolupracovať všetky inštitúcie, nielen Parlament, nielen Komisia, ale predovšetkým samotné členské štáty. A preto potrebujeme nastaviť spoločné kritériá, ktoré budú platiť pre všetkých rovnako, nie ako náhrada článku 7 alebo iných mechanizmov, ale ako ich doplnenie. Aby už v žiadnej členskej krajine nemohol vzniknúť korupčný systém, ktorý umožní vraždu novinára.

 
  
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  Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, il y a deux ans, une femme courageuse et déterminée, Daphné Caruana Galizia, journaliste d’investigation, était assassinée pour avoir révélé des affaires de corruption au cœur de l’État maltais. Elle ne visait aucun parti politique plutôt qu’un autre; elle n’était pas animée par des convictions partisanes; elle n’avait pas d’intérêt personnel; elle cherchait juste à dévoiler l’ampleur d’un système généralisé de corruption dans une île moins peuplée que certaines villes françaises, où presque chacun peut profiter du système.

Aujourd’hui, ce qu’elle avait découvert et ces liens entre politique, gouvernement et corruption apparaissent au grand jour et, pire, son meurtre semble avoir été couvert au plus haut niveau du pouvoir.

Cela nous concerne, Commission, Parlement et Conseil, non seulement parce que l’état de droit est un fondement de notre démocratie européenne – nous le rappelons régulièrement dans le cas de la Hongrie, de la Pologne et d’autres États qui s’affranchissent des règles du droit – mais aussi parce que cette situation explosive à Malte a pu se développer du fait des lacunes de l’Union européenne sur le plan des règles de lutte contre les paradis fiscaux.

Malte n’est pas le seul paradis fiscal de l’Union européenne; il ne devrait pas être possible, dans l’Union européenne, d’acheter une citoyenneté à prix d’or. Nous ne pouvons pas nous contenter de le réprouver en disant «certes, c’est immoral, mais c’est légal». Non, cela ne doit plus être légal, et si nous n’y pouvons rien parce que cela relève de la compétence des États, nous devrions tout au moins réfléchir à découpler citoyenneté nationale et citoyenneté européenne dans ces cas spécifiques d’achats de passeports.

Une culture entière, à Malte, s’est construite sur l’argent facile, l’accueil d’oligarques, le blanchiment d’argent caché, et cela semble avoir pourri les institutions à la base. Les risques systémiques sont aujourd’hui immenses.

Quelle que soit la couleur politique du gouvernement, nous n’avons pas, ici, au niveau européen, à distribuer bons points et mauvais points entre les différentes forces politiques. Nous devons remettre en cause le processus global des passeports dorés. Nous devons aussi réaffirmer la nécessité de l’état de droit dans notre démocratie européenne, et c’est le second enseignement de cette histoire tragique.

La Commission propose de créer un mécanisme d’état de droit qui comporterait, notamment, un rapport annuel sur l’état de droit dans chaque État membre. Ceci est une étape indispensable, parce que l’état de droit deviendrait enfin une priorité pour l’Union européenne.

Aujourd’hui, au niveau du Conseil, au niveau de la Commission et depuis une décennie, ce sont les règles budgétaires et les contrôles monétaires qui sont les seules vraies exigences que nous avons à l’égard des États membres. Il est temps que l’état de droit soit aussi important à nos yeux que les ajustements structurels des États membres. Nous attendons donc du Conseil et de la Commission le même courage sur cette question et la même détermination que les journalistes d’investigation et les défenseurs des droits de l’homme, partout en Europe.

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière (ID). – Monsieur le Président, nous avons tous été choqués par le meurtre de Daphne Caruana, tuée le 16 octobre 2017 dans l’explosion de sa voiture. Elle avait signé de très nombreux articles, très justes, dénonçant la corruption endémique dans son pays.

Aujourd’hui, l’étau s’est resserré autour du premier ministre socialiste, Joseph Muscat, et de la voyoucratie qui l’entoure – car c’est bien une voyoucratie qui l’entoure. Soupçonné de protéger son plan dans l’affaire du meurtre de cette journaliste, le premier ministre a, dimanche, annoncé sa démission, qui ne sera cependant effective qu’en janvier.

Il est avéré qu’il a interféré dans l’enquête. Et pourtant, nous entendons peu les condamnations des socialistes dans cet hémicycle. Ils devraient dénoncer plus fort cette atteinte aux droits de l’homme. Quant aux socialistes français, éternels donneurs de leçons, quasi silence radio. Le groupe S&D s’accommode bien facilement de la présence en son sein du parti travailliste maltais si corrompu. C’est ce gouvernement, cette majorité, ce parti qui font commerce de passeports, choisissant une immigration de milliardaires douteux ou quasiment d’essence terroriste.

Mais ce n’est pas l’article 7, instrument illégitime d’essence fédéraliste, qui permettra une résolution de cette crise. C’est le peuple dans la rue. C’est au peuple maltais de choisir son destin. Que cette majorité ne profite pas d’une crise grave et réelle pour faire avancer un projet fédéraliste rejeté par les peuples, comme l’a rappelé le vote britannique de jeudi dernier.

Le premier ministre maltais a démissionné; tout son gouvernement doit le faire, poussé par le peuple. Et de nouvelles élections libres, sans tutelle de l’Union européenne, doivent être organisées à Malte.

 
  
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  Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, keď hovoríme o Malte musíme hovoriť aj o Slovensku, koľko stojí vražda novinára. Na Malte 150 tisíc, na Slovensku 70 tisíc EUR. Vraždy Daphne Galizie a Jána Kuciaka odhalili len to, pred čím si tu neustále zatvárate oči. A to je to, že právny štát v týchto krajinách, členských štátoch Európskej únie, rozobrali mafiánske vlády doslova na súčiastky. Zatiaľ čo Brusel vysiela delegácie a píše uznesenia, skorumpovaní politici v týchto krajinách využívajú čas na dezinformačné kampane. Obviňujú Sorosa, obviňujú mimovládky a v ľuďoch vyvolávajú pocit, že pravda už nemá žiadnu cenu. Na Slovensku presadili len nedávno socialisti spolu s fašistami 50 dňové volebné moratórium a predseda Európskeho výboru tam už celkom otvorene propaguje komunizmus.

Malta a Slovensku majú jedno spoločné: vládnu v nich strany, ktoré patria do európskej rodiny socialistov. Brusel musí prestať alibisticky chrániť mafiánske vlády vo svojich vlastných štátoch, vo svojich vlastných členských štátoch. Sme to dlžní všetkým slušným občanom Únie, ktorým skorumpovaní politici ukradli ich vlastný štát.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, alguns membros deste Parlamento tiveram a oportunidade de conhecer Daphne Caruana Galizia antes de ela ter sido assassinada, quando trabalhávamos numa comissão de inquérito parlamentar onde foram revelados formulários de abertura de contas em paraísos fiscais por parte do Chefe de Gabinete do Primeiro-Ministro, por parte do ministro agora demissionário.

Daphne Caruana Galizia colaborou com este Parlamento e cooperou com uma das comissões parlamentares e quando ela foi assassinada foi uma parte do Estado de direito em Malta que foi assassinado também. Na verdade, o que temos em Malta é uma porta aberta para a corrupção, seja por via dos paraísos fiscais, seja por via dos vistos Gold. E, como acabei de referir, o facto de não termos a proteção necessária para o jornalismo de investigação é uma garantia de que a democracia não funciona. Temos um batalhão de jornalistas que procuram proteger a democracia. Precisamos ter um batalhão de governantes que defendam o jornalismo de investigação e que defendam os jornalistas.

A presença destes membros no Governo até há cerca de duas semanas, a presença ainda de Muscat no governo, não nos dá nenhuma garantia de que haja uma investigação imparcial em relação ao assassinato de Daphne Caruana Galizia. E, nesse sentido, devemos apelar. Não no sentido da interferência, mas no sentido do respeito e da proteção do Estado de direito. Que o Sr. Muscat se retire. E, caros Colegas e caras Colegas, devemos dar-nos ao respeito. Não é uma corrida para o fundo. Não é saber quem tem o pior caso, se é Malta, se é a Hungria, se é a Polónia, se é a Eslováquia. É o Estado de direito que está a ser enterrado na União Europeia e isso, sim, deveria preocupar-nos, isso sim, devia juntar-nos para defender a democracia.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, due anni fa, subito dopo l'uccisione di Daphne Caruana Galizia, abbiamo tenuto un dibattito qui in Parlamento europeo. Ricordo che sia il Parlamento, per voce dell'allora presidente Tajani, sia la Commissione europea, per voce del vicepresidente Timmermans, si impegnarono a fare massima chiarezza su quello che era accaduto.

Io ricordo che nel mio intervento parlai del metodo mafioso utilizzato per uccidere Daphne Caruana Galizia, perché era un segnale molto chiaro che nessuno doveva mai più ficcare il naso in quel tipo di interessi. Ora, dopo due anni, a che punto siamo arrivati? È stato arrestato un imprenditore, sono state arrestate altre persone, è chiaro il coinvolgimento del governo, però non si capisce a che titolo i vari Muscat, Mizzi, i vari altri esponenti siano concretamente coinvolti.

Quello che ancora non è chiaro sono anche le cause che hanno portato, di che cosa parlava Daphne Caruana Galizia, parlava di riciclaggio, parlava di corruzione, parlava di interessi sporchi, ma parlava anche di progetti in cui ci sono finanziamenti della Commissione europea, di progetti energetici, di elettrodotti, di gasdotti, di progetti che sono ancora finanziati dalla Commissione europea, tramite il CEF e tramite appunto la lista di progetti di interesse comune.

Ecco, ancora noi dobbiamo cercare di fare chiarezza. Ci sono dei giornalisti che sono stati trattenuti qualche settimana fa dal governo, anche se temporaneamente. Ancora mi sembra che non ci sia troppa voglia e quindi spero che dopo questa discussione si possa davvero insistere e riportare lo Stato di diritto in uno Stato dell'Unione europea.

 
  
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  Antonio Tajani (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Joseph Muscat e il suo governo devono dimettersi subito dopo il voto di quest'Aula.

Il voto della nostra risoluzione sarà una sorta di sfiducia europea per il suo operato e per l'operato del suo governo. Ma Muscat deve dimettersi anche per rendere più agevole l'azione della polizia e della magistratura, perché si scopra fin dove erano arrivati i complici e i mandanti e gli assassini di Daphne Caruana Galizia, per scoprire se nel palazzo del governo c'erano i mandanti di questo orribile omicidio.

Secondo motivo: deve dimettersi per restituire dignità ad un paese che non può essere considerato il luogo dove si fanno traffici illeciti, dove si vendono i passaporti ai magnati russi, dove si ricicla il denaro sporco. Malta non è questo. Malta è un paese che tutti quanti amiamo e ha bisogno di vedersi restituita la sua dignità dalle dimissioni del primo ministro.

E poi le sue dimissioni devono anche squarciare un velo su complicità in affari più o meno leciti con paesi della nostra Unione europea, con governi della nostra Unione europea, con compagni di partito, ex primi ministri.

E l'Unione europea deve fare di più di quanto ha fatto fino ad oggi. Ricordo la difesa anche in quest'Aula di Muscat. Lo scontro che ebbi con la Commissione europea su questa vicenda. Bene ha fatto il Commissario a mandare una lettera e chiedere che si ripristini lo Stato di diritto a Malta e che si agisca in maniera corretta.

Bene, noi vogliamo che si faccia chiarezza, che tutti i paesi vengano trattati nella stessa maniera, perché a Malta è stata assassinata una giornalista. Non c'è soltanto una violazione normale dello Stato di diritto, c'è qualcosa di ancora più grave, gli assassini si nascondevano con complicità nel palazzo del governo. Ecco perché servono le dimissioni. Ecco perché soltanto, Signor Presidente, restituendo dignità a Malta, facendo giustizia, renderemo non vano il sacrificio di Daphne Caruana Galizia.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, vicepresidenta Jourová, Comisario Reynders, hace ya más de dos años que la entera Unión Europea acusó conmocionada el conocimiento de un asesinato brutal, alevoso y mafioso de una periodista de investigación en Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Hemos rendido tributo a su memoria en este Parlamento Europeo en numerosas ocasiones, pero la historia no ha terminado. En la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior, que tengo el honor de presidir, escuchamos el testimonio de sus tres hijos —Andrew, Paul y Matthew— y les ofrecimos nuestro compromiso, en primer lugar, para que se haga justicia.

Justice must be done. We’ve got to see that justice is done.

Y eso significa confiar en que las investigaciones policiales que han implicado al FBI, a Europol y a Interpol lleven a término completamente el esclarecimiento de todas las responsabilidades caiga quien caiga, y que, por supuesto, el Poder Judicial haga su trabajo en Malta. Pero hay más: hay que subrayar el mensaje europeo —en Malta y en toda la Unión Europea— de la lucha contra la corrupción para acabar con la venta de pasaportes de oro, que abren el acceso a la libre circulación de mafiosos. En el conjunto de la Unión Europea, en Malta y en todas partes, hay que acabar con el blanqueo de dinero procedente de negocios ilícitos, y con la colusión entre poder político y dinero, especialmente en un país que resulta ser un territorio muy acotado, el país más pequeño de la Unión Europea, con la población más reducida de toda la Unión Europea.

Pero, sobre todo, tenemos que asegurar que, por fin, vamos a establecer un mecanismo de Estado de Derecho —rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy—, que hemos pedido una y otra vez en la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior.

Apoyamos las misiones que la Comisión de Libertades Civiles, Justicia y Asuntos de Interior ha desplegado en Malta; la última, con urgencia, recientísimamente, hace apenas una semana. Y todas sus conclusiones las hacemos nuestras, pero el mecanismo del Estado de Derecho tiene que asegurar que todos los Estados de la Unión se someten regularmente, de manera periódica, de manera estable, de manera segura, sin críticas de sesgo político, al cumplimiento de los parámetros y valores fundacionales del Estado de Derecho en la Unión Europea, de la independencia de la justicia en la Unión Europea. Y también tenemos que garantizar que el acceso a los fondos y a los presupuestos de la Unión Europea está supeditado estrictamente al cumplimiento de las reglas del Estado de Derecho.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 171, apartado 8, del Reglamento interno)).

 
  
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  Manfred Weber (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kollege! Ich glaube, wir alle teilen im Haus – und es wurde durch die sozialdemokratischen Redner mehrfach zum Ausdruck gebracht –, dass die Dienste ermitteln müssen, dass wir Vertrauen in die Behörden haben, dass sie ermitteln müssen.

Und dass es keine Vorverurteilung durch uns als europäische Institutionen geben darf, ja. Aber die politische Bewertung wurde ja bereits vorgenommen. Der Premierminister hat freiwillig seinen Rücktritt eingereicht. Die politische Bewertung ist bereits vorgenommen. Deswegen kann ich nicht verstehen, warum die sozialdemokratische Fraktion nach wie vor an Muscat festhält.

Ich bin der Meinung, dass Muscat jetzt den Weg freimachen muss, klarzustellen, dass die Behörden unabhängig ermitteln dürfen. Deswegen ist die einzige Forderung, die jetzt noch im Raum steht, dass er nicht noch 30 Tage im Amt bleibt, sondern dass er jetzt sofort seinen Rücktritt einreicht.

Das wäre die Frage an die Sozialdemokraten: Warum sind Sie nicht bereit, diese Forderung mit zu unterstützen?

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Señor Weber, todos los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea que estilan la democracia parlamentaria tienen sus mecanismos para la depuración de responsabilidades, y corresponde a Malta depurar las responsabilidades de su primer ministro, pero es que además se ha hecho ya, y el primer ministro ha ofrecido su dimisión. Pero, además de eso, hay que asegurar que el mecanismo del Estado de Derecho —rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy— es cumplido por todos los Estados miembros y que se cumplen estrictamente parámetros de exigencia de lucha contra la corrupción que acaben con la colusión entre poder político y dinero, en Malta y en todas partes.

El primer ministro va a dimitir, ha ofrecido su dimisión, lo ha dicho con claridad; y solo puedo decir que, en este caso, las responsabilidades políticas se han ventilado al máximo nivel. Dije «caiga quien caiga». ¿Puede caer en Malta algo más alto que el cargo del primer ministro? Se lo ha cobrado este caso, pero las lecciones que hay que depurar van mucho más allá: lucha contra la corrupción y cumplimiento del Estado de Derecho, en Malta y en todas partes.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Havia outros pedidos de cartão azul, mas como é prática, e para a gestão do tempo, vamos aceitar apenas um cartão azul por intervenção.

 
  
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  Ramona Strugariu (Renew). – Mr President, two years have passed since Daphne died. It has been too long and it has been too much. When this happened, 751 letters should have left this House to go to the Prime Minister’s office in Malta with one single question: who ordered Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and why? None of those ministers at the European Council should have shaken Muscat’s stained hands. Every single hour which passes with Muscat still in office, after everything that has happened, means defiance to the Maltese people and lack of respect towards the European values. Every single day which passes without us having European legislation to protect investigative journalists and to properly finance their projects and to protect them means a lost day. If we have a mission in this House, then this mission is to defend the rule of law, to defend justice and to stand up for those who actually fight for justice and finding the truth.

Poplu Malti, aħna magħkom. Ġustizzja għal Daphne.

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galicia was a brutal attack on the freedom of media and the rule of law that she herself sought to protect. The fact that political figures seemingly enjoyed impunity in this case for a long time shows how dysfunctional the system of criminal justice and the rule of law in Malta has become. The murder and the lack of follow-up therefore exposed the deep crisis of the rule of law in a broadened sense and thus a serious problem with Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Yet over the past few years, the European Commission and the European Council refused to take any measures against the Maltese Government, and even now the Council remains silent.

Let us be very clear: the case of Daphne is not just a concern for national authorities. If all persons responsible for this crime are not brought to justice and if the complicity at the highest level and systematic corruption is not fundamentally solved, our shared system of fundamental values is failing. So it’s high time for the EU to speak up and send a clear message to all journalists in Europe. We will protect the much-needed checks and balances within each society, including the work of journalists and the freedom of media. We will make sure that this murder will not silence actors who want and who need to speak up.

So my question to the Commission is: what will be the concrete steps of the new Commission towards the Maltese Government to ensure a due and independent process in this case? And will it make sure that, if Malta fails to correct its rule-of-law weaknesses and reform its judicial and institutional system, it will intervene? And isn’t it time that Member States became more vocal in addressing rule-of-law violations, not only in political dialogues but also by using the legal means they have at their disposal, such as state actions brought before the Court of Justice?

 
  
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  Isabella Tovaglieri (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il barbaro assassinio della giornalista Daphne Caruana Galizia ha fatto emergere a livello internazionale il sistema di illegalità e di corruzione presente nelle istituzioni di uno Stato membro dell'Unione europea.

Uno Stato non certamente guidato da una maggioranza conservatrice, spesso additata di essere autoritaria e liberticida, bensì da un premier laburista, che dopo le prime scottanti inchieste della giornalista Daphne si è dimesso e ha convocato nuove elezioni per farsi rieleggere e conservare, non certamente il bene pubblico, bensì la corruzione ed il malaffare. Quel premier, infine, si è dimesso, ma non certamente perché spinto dalla propria coscienza, bensì dall'incredibile ondata di proteste popolari e dalle inchieste giornalistiche anche di prestigiose testate internazionali, che hanno proseguito il lavoro della collega.

Quasi ogni giorno, oggi, il popolo maltese scende in piazza e per la prima volta nella propria storia, lo fa senza bandiere di partito, ma solo ed esclusivamente per chiedere che il premier lasci immediatamente la carica prima ancora del 18 gennaio come annunciato, ma soprattutto per chiedere che la politica cambi e che le istituzioni vengano drasticamente riformate.

Ebbene, noi dobbiamo essere al loro fianco. Per troppo tempo, l'Unione europea, infatti, non ha alzato sufficientemente la voce contro un paese in cui sono stati deliberatamente violati i principi fondamentali su cui si basa la civiltà occidentale, la libertà, la democrazia e il rispetto delle leggi.

Finalmente, pochi giorni fa, una delegazione di questo Parlamento è stata a Malta e ha riscontrato un grave pericolo per lo Stato di diritto. Sono stati constatati non soltanto gravi limiti alla libertà di stampa, un principio base su cui si fonda la democrazia di ogni Stato, ma anche il rischio per l'autonomia e l'indipendenza della magistratura e, soprattutto, violazioni di normative europee e internazionali in materia di riciclaggio.

Non è infatti un mistero che oggi basta un semplice click del computer e in meno di tre giorni si può costituire una società a Malta, con ingenti vantaggi fiscali. Non a caso a Malta, ci sono più di 70 000 società offshore, non certamente tutte illegittime, ma che troppo spesso vengono utilizzate per eludere ed evadere le leggi fiscali.

L'Europa ha garantito il libero flusso di denaro tra gli Stati membri, ma deve ancora adeguare il flusso di informazioni tra le polizie, soprattutto per quanto riguarda gli illeciti finanziari e tributari. Non a caso, molti dei reati denunciati da Daphne avevano una dimensione europea e coinvolgevano diversi Stati membri.

Ebbene questa situazione in Europa non può essere più tollerata. Dal canto suo il Parlamento europeo si sta adoperando per introdurre un meccanismo di controllo dello Stato di diritto nei propri paesi membri, ma è indispensabile che anche la Commissione intervenga con giusti provvedimenti e, se necessario, anche con le dovute sanzioni.

 
  
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  Dace Melbārde (ECR). – Priekšsēdētāj! Ceru, ka Dafnes slepkava saņems pelnīto sodu, un ceru, ka Malta nodrošinās neatkarīgu izmeklēšanu un tiesvedību, lai žurnālistes atklātajos noziedzīgajos darījumos vainīgie tiktu saukti pie atbildības.

Maltas žurnālistes nonāvēšana liek mums domāt un rīkoties, lai pilnveidotu tiesisko regulējumu, stiprinātu atbalstu medijiem, lai žurnālisti Eiropā var droši un neatkarīgi darīt savu darbu. Eiropas Komisijai ir jānāk ar priekšlikumiem ne tikai naudas atmazgāšanas un korupcijas novēršanai, bet arī ar priekšlikumiem, kas novērš stratēģiskās tiesvedības pret žurnālistiem.

Tāpat mums ir jāsniedz juridisks atbalsts žurnālistiem, kuri savas profesionālās darbības dēļ cieš no fiziskiem uzbrukumiem, nepamatotām tiesvedībām un izmeklēšanām, nomelnošanas kampaņām un aizskārumiem internetā, un diemžēl Malta nav vienīgais gadījums šajā ziņā.

Žurnālistu fiziskai drošībai Eiropā ir jābūt pašsaprotamai, taču tāpat svarīgi ir panākt žurnālistu sociālo nodrošinātību. Tāpēc jāstiprina pasākumi kvalitatīvas žurnālistikas un mediju atbalstam.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, el caso de Daphne Caruana es la cara visible de una problemática que tiene varias caras. No solo podríamos estar ante un asesinato de Estado, sino que, sobre todo, su muerte buscaba encubrir un sistema de evasión y elusión fiscal por parte de las grandes corporaciones. Daphne investigaba el entramado de los llamados «papeles de Panamá», en el que estaba implicado no solo el Gobierno de Malta, sino también multimillonarios y multinacionales de toda Europa.

Lo que Daphne revelaba no era un problema maltés, sino también un entramado de abuso e impunidad del poder corporativo con la connivencia de los poderes públicos. Un problema que desborda las fronteras de Malta y que nos obliga también a poner el foco en el conjunto de la Unión Europea. Lo que denunciaba Daphne Caruana en los «papeles de Panamá» y su asesinato siguen sin resolverse.

Este Parlamento no puede mirar solo el caso concreto de Daphne y Malta. Hay que abordar también lo que la propia Daphne Caruana denunciaba en sus investigaciones. Que se haga justicia para Daphne y para su familia amenazada pasa por hacer justicia también contra un Estado al servicio del poder corporativo y de su impunidad. Urge tomar medidas en defensa de las y los informadores para que no volvamos a tener otro caso Daphne Caruana. Hay muchas Daphne Caruana en Europa. Urge protegerlas. Urge no volver a tener un asesinato de estas características.

 
  
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  Vladimír Bilčík (PPE). – Mr President, this Parliament took political leadership last year to protect journalists after the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in Slovakia. That was an extremely important step, and let me tell you, justice in Slovakia hasn’t yet been done. This is why it’s so important that everybody in this House exerts pressure for political change in Malta, because only with that political change can we create space – real space – for justice to be done. That’s why it is essential and that’s why we are here today, to be the leader of political change.

But our voice is not enough. We need the Member States and we need the Commission to support the people of Malta, who deserve to know the truth. And that is going to take time, but the first step is political change. Prime Minister Muscat has said he will resign. Well, he should go now. He should resign now. This is the key message, and this is a message we are sending from this Parliament right here and right now.

In addition to that, of course, we do need major changes in the way we discuss the rule of law in this House and in the European Union. We need a comprehensive mechanism that prevents events such as the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and we need to work on it right now. We need to protect journalists and we need preventive measures. We can’t discuss crisis management after the murders happen, and that’s why we need the answers from the Commission, but also from the Member States, right now.

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Sur President, jien kburi li jien Malti. Kburi b'pajjiżi u mhu ser naċċetta qatt illi minħabba l-allegat għaġir tal-ftit, pajjiżi kollu, Malta sħiħa, tiġi ttimbrata daqslikieku kienet xi stat mafjuż.

Mill-ewwel ġurnata wara dan id-delitt, il-Gvern ta l-għodda kollha lill-awtoritajiet u l-istituzzjonijiet tagħna sabiex ikollhom ir-riżorsi biex dan l-assassinju jiġi riżolt. Il-Pulizija – assistita mill-Europol, assistita mill-FBI – għamlet investigazzjoni b'reqqa kbira. U llum għandna l-allegati qattiela u l-allegat mandant illi qegħdin jaffaċċjaw il-ġustizzja. Is-serjetà li ħadmet biha l-Pulizija ġiet ikkonfermata wkoll mill-kap tad-delegazzjoni tal-Parlament Ewropew illi ġimgħatejn ilu kienet f'pajjiżna.

Aktar minn hekk, il-qrati qed jagħmlu xogħolhom b'libertà assoluta abbażi tal-prinċipju fundamentali tas-separazzjoni tal-poteri u tas-saltna tad-dritt. Dawn huma kollha sinjali ċari li l-istituzzjonijiet tagħna qed jaħdmu u mhu qed iħarsu lejn wiċċ ħadd sabiex fl-aħħar mill-aħħar il-ġustizzja ssir u dan il-każ jiġi riżolt.

Għalhekk nemmen, li din ir-riżoluzzjoni li għandna quddiemna hija waħda inġusta ħafna mas-sitwazzjoni preżenti f'pajjiżi. Nirrikonoxxu li l-ebda sistema mhi perfetta, l-ebda pajjiż m'huwa perfett. U għaliex jiena Malti u għaliex inħobb lil pajjiżi, nifhem u nemmen bis-sħiħ illi għandna xi ntejbu wkoll. Imma l-Gvern għamel u qed jagħmel ħafna xogħol sabiex jiġu attwati u implimentati r-rakkomandazzjonijiet kemm tal-Kummissjoni Venezja kif ukoll tal-Kunsill Ewropew. Sal-ġimgħa li għaddiet stess, waħda mir-rakkomandazzjonijiet ewlenin rigward il-poteri tal-Avukat Ġenerali ġiet implimentata b'mod sħiħ.

Il-ġustizzja nipproteġuha billi nsaħħu l-istituzzjonijiet u nħalluhom jaħdmu fil-libertà. Dan hu dak illi għamilna, dan hu dak illi ħa nkomplu nagħmlu.

(Il-kelliem aċċetta li jwieġeb mistoqsija "karta blu" (Artikolu 171(8) tar-Regoli ta' Proċedura))

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE), ερώτηση με γαλάζια κάρτα. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, επειδή εμείς, στο Ευρωπαϊκό Λαϊκό Κόμμα, είμαστε πραγματικά Ευρωπαίοι και θέλουμε μια ισχυρή Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, υπερασπιζόμαστε το κράτος δικαίου ανεξαρτήτως χρώματος και ιδεολογίας και δεν κάνουμε διακρίσεις για κανέναν. Είμαστε υπερήφανοι ως Ευρωπαίοι και είμαστε υπερήφανοι για τις χώρες μέλη μας. Αυτή τη στιγμή δεν εγκαλούνται και δεν κατηγορούνται η Μάλτα και ο μαλτέζικος λαός. Αυτή τη στιγμή εγκαλείται, διότι εκθέτει τη χώρα και τον περήφανο μαλτέζικο λαό, η κυβέρνησή του. Πόσο άνετα νιώθετε και πόσο υπερήφανος νιώθετε όταν προκύπτει, από τα δικαστικά στοιχεία, ότι ακόμα και ο επικεφαλής του προσωπικού γραφείου του πρωθυπουργού εμπλέκεται στην υπόθεση και συνεχίζει να παραμένει ελεύθερος; Όπως άλλωστε παραμένει στη θέση του ακλόνητος και ο πρωθυπουργός της χώρας που, δύο χρόνια μετά, δεν κατόρθωσε να εξιχνιάσει, αφού δεν έχουν προχωρήσει οι έρευνες, για αυτήν τη στυγερή δολοφονία που κηλιδώνει όχι μόνον τη Μάλτα αλλά και την ίδια την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση;

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D), tweġiba karta blu. – Jiena kburi b'pajjiżi, kollega dejjem u kullimkien. Niskanta li llum il-Grupp PPE uża enerġija kbira f'dan id-dibattitu. F'dibattiti oħrajn fejn pereżempju jkun hemm dibattiti fuq l-istat tas-saltna tad-dritt fl-Ungerija, il-ħeġġa li turu dik il-ġurnata tkun ħafna u ħafna inqas, qalbkom taħraqkom ħafna u ħafna inqas.

Jiena kburi għal raġuni waħda: kburi għar-raġuni li l-istituzzjonijiet f'pajjiżna qegħdin jaħdmu u mhu qed iħarsu lejn wiċċ ħadd sabiex fl-aħħar mill-aħħar dak illi jixtieq kull Malti, dak illi jixtieq kull wieħed minna jseħħ – illi naraw dan il-każ illi xxokkja lil kulħadd fl-aħħar mill-aħħar jingħalaq billi ssir ġustizzja li ma tħares lejn wiċċ ħadd. Dak li qed isir bħalissa. U għalhekk, nerġa' ngħidlek, iva għalhekk kburi b'pajjiżi!

 
  
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  Anna Júlia Donáth (Renew). – Elnök úr! Daphne Caruana Galizianak azért kellett meghalnia, nehogy leleplezze, hogy Máltán a korrupció és a hatalmi összefonódás olyan mértéket öltött, amely a kormányzat legmagasabb szintjeit is eléri már. Halálával azonban mégis indirekt módon sikerült elindítania valamit, rávilágítani egy rendszerszintű problémára, illetve arra, hogy ez immár tényleg a politikai kormányzás legmagasabb szintjeit is érinti. Mára világossá vált, hogy a kormányzat legmagasabb szintjéről avatkoztak be a Galizia-gyilkosságnak nyomozásába, valamint abba is, hogy a máltai bűnüldöző hatóságok nem működtek megfelelően a korrupcióval és a pénzmosással kapcsolatos ügyekben. Ez nagyon komoly jogállamisági problémákat vet fel.

Üdvözlöm, hogy Reynders biztos úr levélben fordult a máltai kormányzathoz az igazságügyi reform felgyorsítása érdekében, mindazonáltal arra kérném a Bizottságot, hogy ezt a reformfolyamatot végig kövesse figyelemmel, és emelje fel a hangját minden egyes rendszerszintű kérdés és hiba kapcsán, legyen bátrabb és egyértelműbb, mint elődjei voltak. Illetve azt szeretném kérni, magyar és európai állampolgárként is, hogy ne engedhessük meg azt, hogy bármelyik tagállam kormánya kénye-kedve szerint értelmezhesse a jogállamisági kérdéseket. Ez közös európai érdekünk, hogy mindannyian odafigyelünk ezekre, legyen szó akár Magyarországról, akár Lengyelországról, akár Máltáról, ez nem tagállami belső magánügy, ez közös európai ügyünk.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE). – Herr talman! Försvar av journalisters möjligheter att granska oss politiker och andra makthavare ska vara en del av vårt DNA. Just därför är det en skam att Maltas regering har agerat otillräckligt efter mordet på Daphne Caruana Galizia. Och det är ytterligare en skam att politiker och politiska grupper härinne, som säger sig vara demokrater, kohandlar med sin vilja att ställa de ansvariga till svars.

Att ni tappat bort er moraliska kompass i jakten på egen vinning är i sanning en skam. Inte bara eftersom Malta är en medlemsstat, men också därför att varje enskild politiker, i varje enskild församling, som undergräver rättsstaten, samtidigt undergräver demokratin och förtroendet mellan oss politiker och medborgarna, vilket är själva kärnan i ett demokratiskt samhälle.

 
  
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  Jordan Bardella (ID). – Monsieur le Président, le plus haut sommet de l’État maltais est mouillé, depuis deux ans maintenant, dans une affaire de corruption et d’assassinat d’une journaliste lanceuse d’alerte, Daphne Caruana Galizia. Une affaire qui a révélé les liens étroits entre pouvoir et organisations mafieuses, mais aussi la faillite totale du système judiciaire d’un État membre.

Alors que l’Union européenne et la Commission sont habituellement si promptes à réagir et à sanctionner des États lorsqu’ils rechignent à appliquer leurs politiques – qui leur sont imposées – et lorsqu’ils refusent de se soumettre à vos diktats, leur réaction a tant tardé dans ce scandale... Panama Papers, évasion fiscale, blanchiment d’argent, passeports de complaisance: les défaillances ne manquent pas à Malte, et ne sauraient se résumer à cette seule affaire sordide et extrêmement grave.

Pendant que vous focalisez votre attention sur les gouvernements dits populistes, démocratiquement élus, vous fermez les yeux sur les pratiques mafieuses de certains dirigeants d’États membres et ne réagissez que lorsque la pression populaire et médiatique vous y oblige.

Cette affaire devrait vous inciter à la prudence concernant les procédures d’intégration, au sein de l’Union, de nouveaux États où corruption, trafics en tout genre et mafia font notoirement partie du décor.

Elle devrait également vous inciter à réfléchir à une meilleure protection des lanceurs d’alerte. Edward Snowden ou Julian Assange ont pu se rendre compte de la lâcheté de certains gouvernements et des institutions européennes en la matière.

Nous demeurons les défenseurs de la souveraineté des États. Le peuple maltais, qui a montré son courage depuis plusieurs mois dans les rues du pays, est le seul légitime pour balayer démocratiquement ceux qui, au pouvoir, continuent de s’adonner à de telles pratiques.

 
  
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  Peter Lundgren (ECR). – Herr talman! Fallet med den maltesiska journalisten Daphne Caruana Galizia, redan 2017, har ju visat sig vara en politisk soppa som når ända upp till premiärministern Joseph Muscat. Man har dragit ut på undersökningen och sett tiden an, men slutligen står det ju klart att detta har kopplingar ända upp på premiärministernivå. EU är ju tyvärr då en tandlös tiger utan klor och kraft, men åtminstone kan vi ledamöter visa vårt stöd och kräva rättvisa för Galizia, hennes familj och inte minst demokratin.

Jag kommer själv från ett land med en svårt vänstervriden journalistkår. Men vi får ju aldrig någonsin acceptera att journalister mördas när de gör sitt arbete som just undersökande journalister. Därför vill jag säga till Malta och kanske speciellt premiärminister Muscat: Ta ert ansvar nu och låt Daphne Galizia och hennes familj få rättvisa.

 
  
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  Anne-Sophie Pelletier (GUE/NGL). – Monsieur le Président, tout d’abord je voudrais féliciter nos collègues de l’extrême droite, qui sont de vrais Tartuffes de la liberté de la presse et qui aujourd’hui nous donnent de belles leçons. «Sans la corruption, Daphne serait encore en vie»: ce sont les mots du mari de la journaliste assassinée, Daphne Caruana.

Nous sommes tous d’accord ici pour dire qu’il faut faire toute la lumière sur cette affaire. Mais au-delà de l’atteinte aux droits fondamentaux de la presse indépendante, c’est à sa famille que je voudrais penser, qui attend des réponses. La responsabilité de cet assassinat, nous la partageons tous, chers collègues. Notre renoncement collectif face à la corruption a aussi tué Daphne.

Faut-il qu’il y ait encore des journalistes qui meurent pour que nous en parlions ici? Qui se souvient qu’un très proche conseiller politique du premier ministre Édouard Philippe, également conseiller politique maltais, a démissionné pour protéger Édouard Philippe? Il sera d’ailleurs bientôt député européen. Qui se souvient que Malte est dirigée par un gouvernement d’un parti soi-disant socialiste, membre du PSE, et dont des députés siègent dans cet hémicycle?

Combien de temps allons-nous donner des leçons à rebours, au lieu de prendre des mesures urgentes pour endiguer la corruption qui menace et la démocratie, et la presse libre et indépendante, et la vie des lanceurs d’alerte? Je vous le demande, chers collègues: combien de temps devrons-nous accepter que des journalistes meurent pour mettre en lumière les défaillances de nos gouvernants?

 
  
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  David Casa (PPE). – Sur President, nibda billi nitlob skuża, skuża għall-mod kif aġixxa u għadu qed jaġixxi l-Gvern Malti. Onestament, qatt ma emmint illi nista' nasal biex nistħi mill-Gvern ta' pajjiżi daqskemm qed nistħi llum. Nistħi mill-klikka ta' kriminali li ħadu l-Gvern Malti f'idejhom. Nistħi mill-istituzzjonijiet ta' pajjiżi li m'għamlux xogħolhom. Nistħi li qatlu lil Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Però, il-Gvern Malti mhuwiex Malta. Dawn il-ftit kriminali ma jirrappreżentawx lill-poplu Malti u Għawdxi. Il-poplu Malti u Għawdxi ta' veru qiegħed fit-toroq jipprotesta f'pajjiżi. Poplu reżiljenti, poplu b'saħħtu, poplu li huwa kuraġġuż. Dawn huma l-vera Maltin ta' pajjiżi. U filwaqt li l-Gvern Malti jġiegħlni nistħi, il-poplu Malti lili jagħmilni kburi. Kburi li aħna ma nħallux lil min ikasbarna. Kburi li aħna nagħrfu li fost l-aqwa ġurnalisti li kien hawn f'dan il-kontinent, Daphne hija waħda minnhom. Daphne hija l-vera Maltija.

Issa però, irridu azzjoni fuq livell Ewropew. Daqshekk kliem vojt, sentenzi vagi, u wegħdiet ta' monitoring. Azzjoni issa mill-Kunsill li huma assenti llum u mill-Kummissjoni biex taqdu dmirkom. Qumu minn hemm u pproteġu lill-poplu Malti u Għawdxi. Aċċertaw illi l-istituzzjonijiet tagħna jkunu fuq in-naħa taċ-ċittadini. Il-poplu Malti u Għawdxi għandu d-dritt għal dan kollu. Jien kburi li flimkien ma' Roberta (Metsola) ninsabu mal-poplu Malti u Għawdxi. Kburi li jien parti minn din il-familja hawnhekk illi dejjem, dejjem f'dawn is-sentejn kienet favur il-poplu Malti u Għawdxi!

 
  
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  Evin Incir (S&D). – Herr talman! Demokrati, rättsstat och fundamentala rättigheter är principer som aldrig någonsin och någonstans får kompromissas. I en tid då vi ser alltfler länder åsidosätta våra gemensamma värderingar så måste reaktionen vara än hårdare tryck på medlemsländerna att omedelbart få till en kursändring och respektera dem igen. Inget annat är acceptabelt. Vi måste få till ett system där länder ej kan agera utan konsekvenser. Mord, våld och hot mot journalister är ett avskyvärt sätt att tysta oliktänkande och förhindra granskning. Det hör inte hemma i Europa eller någon annanstans i världen.

Utredningen av mordet på Daphne Caruana Galizia är därför av högsta vikt och måste därför få fortsätta i totalt oberoende tills dess mördarna och alla andra ansvariga avslöjas och har fått sina straff. Det är en fråga om grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter. Det är en fråga om rättsstatsprincipen. Den hjälp som har kommit från Europol och nederländska polismyndigheter har varit av vikt för de framsteg som nåtts hittills, och den måste få fortsätta. För att återupprätta allmänhetens förtroende krävs avgörande förändringar på Malta.

Min egen och min politiska grupps grundinställning är glasklar: Grundläggande rättigheter och rättsstatens principer ska gälla i hela Europa, i alla medlemsstater. Malta har på detta område tidigare fått kritik från Europarådets Venedigkommission, som är ett rådgivande organ bestående av oberoende experter på konstitutionell och internationell rätt. I december 2018 antogs ett yttrande som pekade ut brister och kom med förslag på förändringar. Jag förväntar mig att den som tar över som premiärminister i landet snart fortsätter implementeringen av de nödvändiga reformerna.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Fabienne Keller (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire Didier Reynders, Madame la Commissaire Vera Jourova, l’assassinat de la journaliste d’investigation et blogueuse maltaise, Daphne Caruana Galizia, le 16 octobre 2017 à La Valette, tout près de son domicile, a choqué toute l’Europe. Les citoyens maltais se sont levés pour protester contre cet acte odieux. Certains collègues maltais nous le rappellent, ils défilent encore aujourd’hui par milliers pour demander justice.

Deux ans après, avec le soutien d’Europol, l’enquête a mené à des révélations, le mois dernier, sur l’implication des plus hautes sphères de l’État maltais, et en particulier du premier ministre, Joseph Muscat, dans l’assassinat de Daphne Caruana Galizia. Elle enquêtait, rappelons-le, sur des affaires de corruption d’ampleur à Malte.

Malte est un pays de l’Union européenne à part entière et ces infractions menacent l’intégrité de tout notre espace, comme l’ont rappelé mes collègues, Sophie in’t Veld et Anna Donáth à l’instant. Alors j’aurais pour vous deux questions.

Voici la première: le Parlement suit de près l’avancée de cette enquête sur la journaliste Daphne Caruana Galizia sur la situation de l’État de droit. Nous ne pouvons pas en dire autant du Conseil, le siège vide du Conseil, ce matin, en témoigne. Allez-vous demander au Conseil d’engager un tel débat?

La deuxième question est la suivante: la commission de Venise, du Conseil de l’Europe voisin, a déjà formulé des recommandations pour engager des réformes institutionnelles en profondeur à Malte, assurer la liberté de la presse, l’indépendance de la justice et la lutte contre la corruption. Quel soutien entendez-vous apporter au Conseil de l’Europe, à la commission de Venise, pour avancer avec Malte et adopter ces réformes?

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered for doing her job as a journalist. She was killed for exposing gross corruption in Malta, and I would like to start by paying tribute to the dignified way in which Daphne’s family have continued their campaign for justice. We should honour them by rooting out corruption and ensuring that we act, as EU Member States, to uphold European values.

The findings of the Parliament’s mission to Malta raise concerns about the progress of Daphne’s murder investigation, and our MEPs also found that other investigations into possible money laundering and corruption had either not started or are not being conducted vigorously enough.

There are questions to be answered over the independence of the Maltese judiciary and allegations of corruption that extend to the highest levels of government. We cannot allow an EU Member State to operate like a mafia state.

I’ve worked a lot on Latin America and witnessed the way that the corrupting influence of dirty money can undermine the rule of law and lead to impunity from justice. We’ve also failed in this Parliament to deal with money laundering and tax evasion adequately, and that’s something we really need to take seriously, because it can corrupt a democracy, undermine people’s confidence in democracy and, ultimately, undermine European institutions themselves.

Daphne Caruana Galizia stood for the highest and finest European values. To honour her memory we must take all necessary action to uphold the rule of law in Malta.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, borba protiv korupcije i organiziranog kriminala puno je više od deklarativnog zalaganja za transparentnost i bolju zakonsku regulaciju, čemu često svjedočimo u parlamentarnom životu.

I sama sam kao zastupnica u Hrvatskom saboru povela borbu protiv narkomafije na svom otoku, pa sam na svojoj koži osjetila sve opasnosti koje čovjeku i njegovoj obitelji prijete kada se tako izloži. Mnogi su u borbi za javni interes žrtvovali ono najvrjednije; svoje zdravlje, svoj život. Njima smo vječni dužnici i moramo uložiti maksimalne napore u borbi protiv kriminala kako njihova žrtva ne bi bila uzaludna.

Malteška novinarka, Daphne Galizia, stavila je interese malteškog društva i države ispred svog vlastitog. Platila je zbog toga najveću cijenu i bilo bi doista sramotno da okolnosti njezina ubojstva ostanu nerazrješene.

Apeliram na malteške vlasti i europske institucije da učine sve kako bi ovaj slučaj bio što skorije riješen, a svi uključeni u atentat privedeni pravdi.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, according to the Council of Europe’s Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, more than half of the cases of abuses against media professionals are committed by state actors. Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated on 16 October 2017, and two years later, every aspect of the case is susceptible to political interference from the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Union must use all tools at its disposal to guarantee media freedom and the protection of journalists in its Member States. We need investigative journalism to learn about structural rule-of-law issues like the high-level corruption cases that Daphne was reporting. If the Union does not give due consideration to the calls of the Maltese citizens, the lack of public confidence will be transferred to the EU itself. And those tools and procedures at the disposal of the Commission to ensure full compliance with Union law must be deployed not only in Malta but also in the Member States, to respect human rights in the case of refugees who die in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the fundamental rights to political participation and the exercise of the right to decide of the peoples of Europe.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Javier Zarzalejos (PPE), pregunta de tarjeta azul. – Un miembro de su grupo acaba de decir que en Europa hay muchas Daphnes Caruanas. Yo tengo aquí la relación de atentados de la banda terrorista ETA contra medios de comunicación y periodistas, incluidos cuatro asesinatos y un asesinato frustrado. Usted no ha condenado ninguno de ellos, y no solamente no los ha condenado, sino que los ha justificado y los ha apoyado. Tiene la oportunidad de decir hoy aquí, antes de hablar de libertad de expresión, como está haciendo usted, si usted condena todos los crímenes de ETA, incluidos, por supuesto, aquellos que han sido dirigidos contra periodistas y medios de comunicación.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Mire, señor Zarzalejos, la muerte de cualquier ciudadano, no solamente de la Unión Europea, sino de este mundo y, especialmente, profesionales de los medios de comunicación, está profundamente fuera de lugar y, desde luego, siempre tendrá la consideración y la conmiseración de este parlamentario, como supongo la del resto de miembros de esta de esta Cámara. Quisiera decirle que su intervención es totalmente de parte. Usted también ha sido parte de estrategias que han cerrado medios de comunicación y que han actuado directamente contra la libertad de expresión desde instancias como el Gobierno español y en absoluto no le permito ni le otorgo ningún … (la presidenta retira la palabra al orador).

 
  
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  Andrzej Halicki (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Kiedy czytam te dokumenty z Malty, jestem w szoku. Kolega Bilčík przypomniał Słowację, ale ja mam inne skojarzenia – skojarzenia jak najgorsze. Jestem Polakiem i przypominam sobie zabitych dziennikarzy, działaczy społecznych czy księży, którzy nie pasowali władzy, zabitych przez tak zwanych nieznanych sprawców. Władza, która tuszuje polityczne morderstwa, nie może mieć akceptacji wśród demokratycznych rządów. Nie może mieć partnerów, nie może mieć akceptacji w tej Izbie ani jednego dnia. Taka władza musi odejść. Zresztą żadna władza, która stawia siebie ponad prawem, nie może być akceptowana w demokratycznej wspólnocie, jaką jesteśmy.

Rezolucja, którą przyjmiemy jutro, mam nadzieję, otworzy nowy rozdział: wolne wybory, rząd zaufania społecznego i wtedy reformy, które dotyczą systemu sprawiedliwości. W tej Izbie, mam nadzieję, bez żadnych kalkulacji politycznych, jednogłośnie musimy jutro opowiedzieć się razem ze społeczeństwem maltańskim w pełnej solidarności. Jesteśmy to winni społeczeństwu maltańskiemu, bo demokracja i wolność w tej Izbie musi być gwarantowana właśnie przez takie rezolucje, jak ta jutrzejsza.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, regulile trebuie să fie aceleași pentru toți, mai ales când vorbim despre justiție, despre stat de drept și mai ales când vorbim despre viața oamenilor. Eu sunt uimit și îngrijorat că la doi ani de la acest deces tragic încă nu s-a întâmplat nimic și tocmai de aceea cred că avem nevoie de aceleași reguli.

Atunci când vorbim despre viața oamenilor, când vorbim despre state, despre statul de drept, lucrurile trebuie să fie respectate. Iar dacă vorbim despre MCV, despre mecanismele acelea de cooperare și verificare, despre ceea ce se întâmplă în diverse state europene, același Mecanism ar trebui să funcționeze pentru fiecare stat, iar cei care sunt supuși evaluării să beneficieze de aceeași prezumție de nevinovăție, în așa fel încât lucrurile să fie puse în practică.

Remarc pași importanți făcuți în Malta în ceea ce privește soluționarea acestei cauze și faptul că sunt deschiși unei colaborări europene. Așa că, doamnă președintă, stimați parlamentari, haideți să facem ca regulile să fie aceleași pentru toți și fiecare stat european, fiecare cetățean european să fie tratat la fel.

 
  
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  Antony Hook (Renew). – Madam President, Daphne Caruana Galizia had a family and friends who mourn her and who must feel a pain that no one should ever have to experience. Some may say that this murder, in which it is alleged there was state collusion, is a matter for Malta only. They are wrong. The rule of law is vital for the freedom of every person. A threat to freedom in one place is a threat to freedom in every place. No country is immune to corruption, whether financial, violent or interference in criminal investigations. Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating money laundering, tax evasion and other evils. Her murder was barbaric and futile because others will surely take up the challenge of exposing wrongdoing and there should be EU law to protect journalism.

It is clear that the mission from the European Parliament has taken the quest for truth forward. This should not be the last time the Parliament take such action. The EU is a set of promises, including a promise to the people of Europe that the rule of law will be upheld. It does not matter which Member State. It does not matter which political family politicians may come from. The only things that matter are truth and impartial justice.

 
  
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  Daniel Freund (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Je länger die Untersuchung in Malta andauert, desto mehr wird das Ausmaß der Rechtsstaatskrise in Malta klar: Geldwäsche, Steuerflucht, Verkauf der Staatsbürgerschaft an Oligarchen, Korruption bis hinein ins Büro des Premierministers, ein Mangel an Gewaltenteilung.

Ich habe letzte Woche noch mit dem Sohn von Daphne in Brüssel gesprochen, der noch mal sehr eindrücklich und sehr emotional die Situation geschildert hat, dass eine kleine korrupte Elite Malta übernommen hat. Die EU darf eine solche Situation nicht dulden, denn es gibt keine Demokratie, es gibt keine Pressefreiheit in der Europäischen Union, wenn Recherchen zu Korruption mit dem Tod enden.

Die Korrupten nutzen die Freiheit des Geldflusses, Reisefreiheit und die Schutzmechanismen des Rechtstaats für sich aus. Aber wir müssen dafür sorgen, dass die EU, dass Justiz, dass Polizei besser zusammenarbeitet als die Korrupten. Dass wir besser koordinieren, dass Verbrechen auch europäisch bekämpft wird und dass wir uns die effektiven Werkzeuge geben, mit solchen Situationen umzugehen. Wir brauchen dringend einen Rechtsstaatsmechanismus für die EU.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Madam President, 26 months ago the voice of Daphne Caruana Galizia was silenced: a brave and fearless voice dedicated to fighting corruption and to standing up for human rights – for our rights – and her assassination is a blow to us all. It strikes at the heart of our society. And therefore we must fight for justice for Daphne. The murderers, but also everybody else involved – the middlemen, the masterminds, those providing political cover – must be identified and prosecuted.

Impunity must end in Malta. But how can we expect justice when there is no rule of law? How can we trust in an independent investigation as long as the Prime Minister continues to cling to power? Can we really expect the same people that have been obstructing justice for the past 26 months, the same people that have been demolishing the memorials that were erected in honour of Daphne’s memory – can we really expect these people now suddenly to lead the charge in seeking justice that the family of Daphne so deserves? How naive are we exactly supposed to be? The Venice Commission already concluded over a year ago that the wide powers of the Prime Minister create a serious risk for the rule of law, and we see that risk now in Malta day after day after day. And every minute longer this Prime Minister stays in the centre of power is a minute where justice can escape for us. Therefore, dear colleagues, let me finish with the only word in Maltese that I know. ‘Prime Minister Muscat: barra!’ (‘Get out!’)

 
  
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  Josianne Cutajar (S&D). – Sinjura President, jien Maltija u napprezza s-serjetà tar-rivelazzjonijiet tal-aħħar ġimgħat u xxukkjata bħall-kumplament tal-pajjiż. Aħna l-Maltin impenjati li ssir ġustizzja ma' kull min kien involut. Ma jkunx ġust imma li l-għaġir ħażin ta' individwi jintuża biex jitfa' dell fuq l-Istat Malti kollu.

Nispera li l-għan hu li nsaħħu l-valuri li jagħmluna Ewropej. Mhux li nieħdu pożizzjoni mgħaġġla għal skopijiet partiġġjani meta l-investigazzjonijiet għadhom miftuħa. Hija riżoluzzjoni prematura biex tkun ta' min joqgħod fuqha. Niftakru li qegħdin f'dan l-istadju, għax kif ikkonfermat id-delegazzjoni tal-Kumitat LIBE stess, il-Pulizija Maltija wettqet xogħol serju flimkien ma' entitajiet bħall-Europol.

Malta waqfet, fehmet u ddeċidiet. Beda proċess biex insaħħu l-istituzzjonijiet u mhux se nieqfu qabel ikollna r-riforma kostituzzjonali li hemm bżonn. Hekk qegħdin, b'mod sistematiku, inqawwu d-demokrazija f'Malta u mhux bil-kontra. B'responsabbiltà insostni li f'dan iż-żmien ta' tibdil, azzjoni fuq Malta la se tagħmel ġid u lanqas se tkun ġusta mal-poplu Malti u Għawdxi.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans (Renew). – Voorzitter, ik vind het verbijsterend dat we dit debat moeten voeren. Onderzoeksjournaliste, blogster en moeder van drie, Daphne Caruana Galicia, is lafhartig vermoord, gewoon omdat ze haar werk deed. Misschien wel omdat ze haar werk te goed deed. We weten inmiddels dat corruptie en georganiseerde misdaad in Malta zeer dicht verweven zijn met de hoogste politieke kringen. En Malta maakt deel uit van Europa, dus wat Malta raakt, raakt ook de rest van Europa. Ik denk dat jullie het allemaal met me eens zijn als ik zeg dat Europa recht heeft op integere politici en journalisten die onafhankelijk hun werk kunnen doen zonder daarbij te worden geïntimideerd of met de dood te worden bedreigd. Europa heeft behoefte aan onafhankelijke rechtspraak. Ik vraag jullie daarom met klem snel en heftig te reageren en de dialoog met Malta aan te gaan – liever vandaag dan morgen.

 
  
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  Ελισσάβετ Βόζεμπεργκ-Βρυωνίδη (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, μετά τη σύλληψη στενού συνεργάτη του πρωθυπουργού Muscat και τις αποκαλύψεις περί ανάμειξης αξιωματούχων στη δολοφονία της δημοσιογράφου Daphne Caruana Galizia, οι πολίτες ζητούν επίμονα την παραίτηση της κυβέρνησης και του πρωθυπουργού. Οι συνάδελφοι ευρωβουλευτές που επισκέφτηκαν τη Μάλτα εξέφρασαν έντονη ανησυχία για τις εξελίξεις, ενώ οι Ευρωπαίοι ηγέτες καλούνται εδώ και τώρα να πάρουν θέση. Παρά τις κλιμακούμενες αντιδράσεις και την εμφανή δυσαρμονία κυβέρνησης και κοινωνίας, ο πρωθυπουργός Muscat αρνείται να παραιτηθεί τώρα. Γιατί δεν το κάνει; Έχουν άδικο όσοι θεωρούν ότι κατευθύνει πολιτικές παρεμβάσεις στο έργο της δικαιοσύνης; Συνάδελφοι, όταν κυβερνητικοί αξιωματούχοι κατηγορούνται για συγκάλυψη αποτρόπαιων εγκλημάτων, μαφιόζικη εκτέλεση αγωνίστριας δημοσιογράφου και εκτεταμένη διαφθορά, τα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα έχουν δεχθεί καίριο πλήγμα. Η άρνηση παραίτησης του πρωθυπουργού Muscat, που ερμηνεύεται ως προσπάθεια παρεμπόδισης της ομαλής λειτουργίας των θεσμών, είναι μείζον θέμα και μας αφορά όλους. Η αλληλεγγύη που οφείλουμε σε κάθε κράτος μέλος, τώρα, προβάλλει πιο αναγκαία από ποτέ, διότι το κράτος δικαίου, που στη Μάλτα, σήμερα, κλονίζεται καθημερινά, αποτελεί για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση τον ακρογωνιαίο λίθο των αξιών μας. Γι' αυτό είναι χρέος μας να σταθούμε δυναμικά, έμπρακτα, στο πλευρό του μαλτέζικου λαού και να στηρίξουμε τον αγώνα τους για την αποκατάσταση της δημοκρατικής νομιμότητας.

 
  
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  Elena Yoncheva (S&D). – Madam President, as a former investigative journalist, I cannot explain how much this discussion means to me, and I won’t try to hide my emotions. What happened in Malta is a huge tragedy and we need to ensure that justice will be served and Daphne Galizia won’t be forgotten. But, at the same time, we need to realise that many journalists in Europe are threatened and intimidated by people in power. In Bulgaria, for example, the index of media freedom is the lowest in the EU. Media pluralism is almost absent. Corruption at all levels is spreading.

I think it’s time to stop playing political games and start acting. We cannot pretend that what happened in Malta is an isolated national problem. There are similar symptoms in many Member States. We need to go much further than just condemning the situation in a resolution. We need a European mechanism that will allow us to identify the shortcomings in the system before we witness the next tragedy. I urge the Commission not to hide behind soft measures. We need comprehensive solutions and concrete proposals, and we need them now.

 
  
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  Caroline Voaden (Renew). – Madam President, firstly might I congratulate our parliamentary delegation to Malta for ensuring that the corruption, scheming and impunity in that country is held under a spotlight. These things that undermine our democracies and the legitimacy of our political systems flourish in darkness. All involved have done well to shine a light on Malta. Parliament has done well to force the Council and the Commission to take note, but we must ensure that the Council and the Commission take firm action to guarantee the integrity of Malta and of all our democracies. As a former journalist myself, when I look at the situation for independent journalism across Member States, I shiver. Daphne Caruana Galizia is murdered, the Maltese Government has questions to answer and the S&D conveniently forget their voices. The EPP ignores and tacitly complies in the silencing of the Hungarian press and earlier this year in my own country, Lyra Mckee, a young LGBT journalist, was murdered in Northern Ireland. These are just a few examples of the situation across the continent.

Colleagues, I urge all of you to apply the utmost passion in holding the Maltese Government to account, but do not stop there. Ensure that no journalist, no political or civil society activist dies in vain. I urge all of you to forget political convenience, forget the difficulties of taking action against a Member State and deliver strong, efficient legislation that delivers for all European citizens.

 
  
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  Karoline Edtstadler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Mord verjährt nicht, jeder Mord ist ein Mord zu viel, und jeder Mord hinterlässt Angehörige und Freunde nicht nur mit ihrer Trauer alleine, sondern vor allem mit dem Wunsch nach voller Aufklärung. Als ehemalige Strafrichterin habe ich das mehrfach hautnah erlebt. Aber es gibt Morde, die haben eine weit darüber hinausgehende Bedeutung. Der kaltblütige Mord an der maltesischen Investigativjournalistin ist ein Angriff auf die Pressefreiheit. Er ist ein Angriff auf unsere Werte in unserem geeinten Europa. Das Leben einer Frau wird ausgelöscht, weil sie nicht müde wird, gegen Korruption und für Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu kämpfen. Das Leben einer Frau muss enden, weil sie mundtot gemacht und für immer zum Schweigen gebracht wird, und die Drahtzieher sitzen in dem unmittelbaren Umfeld des Premierministers. Und jetzt frage ich Sie, geschätzte Kolleginnen und Kollegen: Welchen Grund könnte es haben, nicht den sofortigen Rücktritt des Premierministers zu fordern?

Was hält die S&D davon ab, auch hier im Plenum des Europäischen Parlaments mit aller Vehemenz dafür einzutreten und sich nicht in Lippenbekenntnissen zu ergehen. Der Mord muss aufgeklärt werden und in all seinen Facetten auch in der Öffentlichkeit dargestellt werden. Das steht außer Zweifel. Das Festhalten aber der Fraktion der S&D an Muscat als Premierminister, ob für einen oder 30 weitere Tage, ist völlig unwürdig für unsere Werte in der Europäischen Union. Stellen wir uns vor, das wäre in einem anderen Staat außerhalb der Europäischen Union passiert! Was würden wir hier für Reden im Europäischen Parlament hören, gerade aus den Reihen der S&D. Ich verlange daher sofortige Konsequenzen, den Rücktritt von Premierminister Muscat, damit Malta wieder frei ist, die Reformen anzugehen, die notwendig sind, die Rechtsstaatlichkeit und eine unabhängige Justiz herzustellen.

 
  
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  Katarina Barley (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Heute hat die Organisation Reporter ohne Grenzen ihre Jahresbilanz 2019 gezogen.

In diesem Jahr sind weltweit 49 Journalistinnen und Journalisten im Zusammenhang mit ihrem Beruf getötet worden, 57 Medienschaffende wurden entführt, 389 Medienschaffende wurden letztes Jahr wegen ihrer Arbeit inhaftiert. Ein Großteil dieser Journalistinnen und Journalisten hat mit Freiheit oder sogar Leben bezahlt, weil sie bei ihrer Arbeit den Mächtigen auf die Füße getreten sind, weil sie Missstände aufgedeckt haben, weil sie Macht bedroht haben. So auch Daphne Caruana Galizia. Die Ermordung von Daphne Caruana Galizia hat sich im Oktober zum zweiten Mal gejährt. Als Journalistin hat sie ihren Einsatz für die Wahrheit mit dem Leben bezahlt. Unsere Solidarität ist bei ihr und bei ihrer Familie. Wir sind ihnen schuldig, zu handeln.

Daphne Galizias Kampf für Transparenz und gegen Korruption war nicht umsonst. Ihr muss auch persönlich Gerechtigkeit widerfahren.

Das gilt in dreierlei Hinsicht. Erstens: wir werden unseren Teil dazu beitragen, dass alle Schuldigen und Mitschuldigen an ihrem Tod und den Verbrechen, die sie aufdecken wollte, zur Verantwortung gezogen werden. Die ganze Wahrheit muss ans Licht.

Zweitens: Wir müssen dafür sorgen, dass Journalistinnen und Journalisten ihrer Arbeit gefahrlos nachgehen können. Eine freie Presse, die auch den Mächtigen eine Bedrohung sein kann, ist elementar für unsere Gesellschaft und einen funktionierenden Rechtsstaat in allen Mitgliedstaaten der EU und weltweit.

Wir müssen das Übel an der Wurzel bekämpfen. Wir müssen das bekämpfen, weswegen Daphne Caruana Galizia investigativ tätig war. Wir dürfen nicht zusehen, wenn die Werte des Rechtsstaates mit Füßen getreten werden. Wir müssen aufstehen und handeln, um Korruption zu bekämpfen, um Geldwäsche zu bekämpfen, um die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz und die unabhängige Strafverfolgung zu schützen. Wir müssen die Vergabe von den sogenannten golden visas and passports, die es in 17 Mitgliedstaaten der Europäischen Union gibt, unter die Lupe nehmen und ihnen Regeln auferlegen.

Wir müssen auch eine freie und selbstbewusste Zivilgesellschaft stärken, die die Stimme erheben kann, wenn es zu fundamentalen Problemen kommt. Wir brauchen einen frühzeitigen Mechanismus, um solche Verhältnisse, wie wir sie jetzt in Malta gesehen haben, viel früher zu bekämpfen. Wir brauchen den Mechanismus für Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Demokratie und Grundrechte. Das sind wir Daphne Caruana Galizia schuldig.

 
  
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  Radka Maxová (Renew). – Paní předsedající, novináři vykonávají profesi, která má za cíl hájit demokracii a svobodu, měli bychom usilovat o to samé. Pravdivé informace a transparentní počínání by měly být naprostou samozřejmostí. Přesto jsme konfrontováni s kauzami, kdy investigativní novináři přijdou za nevyjasněných okolností o život.

Přesně takový je případ maltské novinářky Daphne Galiziové. Je to již několik let, kdy tato dáma přišla o život, a její příbuzní a přátelé, ale i kolegové dál žijí v nejistotě, co se vlastně stalo.

Je správné, že jsme ke konci roku zařadili na pořad jednání právě tento bod. K vraždám novinářů nesmíme mlčet. Závěry šetření jsou prozatím nejasné, ale my jako Evropský parlament bychom měli vydat jasný signál, že chceme, aby vražda byla vysvětlena a aby za ni zodpovídal kdokoli, kdo ji má na svědomí, byť by snad měl zastávat vysoko postavené funkce. Před zákonem jsme si všichni rovni.

Dámy a pánové, pocházím z České republiky a v naší sousední zemi, na Slovensku, byl také zavražděn novinář, Ján Kuciak, jak o tom hovořili mí kolegové ze Slovenska.

Já bych chtěla, aby zde zaznělo i jeho jméno, protože oba případy kopírují naprosto stejnou linku. Velmi bych si přála, aby oba případy byly řádně prošetřeny, nejen proto, aby jejich rodiny našly klid, ale abychom vyslali jasný signál – pravdu smíme říkat, pravdu smíme psát a nikomu z nás kvůli tomu nebude hrozit žádné nebezpečí, natož ztráta života.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Madam President, first I would like to say that today, in having this debate, we pay tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia because she was – she is – a martyr for freedom in the European Union. Then I must say that I am ashamed because the Commission is too shy, the Council is too silent and some colleagues, especially from the S&D Group, do not have the courage to say what they would say if a journalist in Russia was murdered, or a journalist in Turkey who was murdered. If a journalist were to be persecuted in China, the S&D would have here a debate with all the courageous. And then, when we are in the European Union, in our smallest country, you don’t have the courage to say that this is a shame and this is against the rule of law.

If Mr Muscat is so democratic and so attached to the rule of law, why doesn’t he resign? He could do a service to democracy, to transparency and to a clean and serious investigation, but he doesn’t do it. He would serve the European Union, not only the Maltese people, if he resigned immediately, and that is the claim that I hope that the S&D can do now. If you have courage, please say to Joseph Muscat, ‘resign, and save the honour of the Maltese people and the honour of the European Union’.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Madam President, that Malta faces serious problems of governance is clear. They arose in the context of the horrendous murder of journalist Ms Caruana Galizia and also beyond. The murder has been duly investigated in past years and disclose the big result. There have been fatal failures of judgment even at the top level. The political price for them is being paid. The situation in Malta now is one of transition, both at the political level and that of the criminal investigation. What is needed is a dispassionate review of the situation, leading to reforms that will ensure no future repetition of past mistakes. True, the criminal investigation arrived at sensational findings, even more sensational allegations have been made on that basis. We have heard them being repeated during this debate, mostly for political jockeying. This runs contrary to the interests of the Maltese people whose commitment to European values is secure. When considering how European values are being respected, we must follow objective criteria applied, to all, by an institution that all can trust. The resolution on which we shall vote tomorrow combines findings, allegations, one sided interpretations in a statement that paints black everything Maltese. It also blacks out the economic, social and cultural progress achieved in Malta during the past years, which is not fair. Soon in Malta there will be a new Prime Minister, heading a new government. They will be committed to a new beginning on governance issues to correct the radical failures of the past, on meting out justice and punishment to all those responsible for the Caruana Galizia assassination, on ensuring a better separation of powers and governance, on combating corruption, on promoting transparency in government affairs. These objectives will be given total priority.

Such commitments will be carried out in all good faith by the Malta Government – that we guarantee.

The current transition should be given a chance to develop. Making premature judgments about it is not the right way. There has to be a right way for the Assembly to consider the affairs of Malta, one that will be applied equally to other Member States like Hungary or Poland. No matter how well intentioned, the direction in which this debate has been driven is not the right way. Not the right way for Malta, neither is it the right way for Europe, we need a better way.

 
  
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  Moritz Körner (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin! Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wer Journalisten ermordet, tötet die Demokratie. Denn ohne Pressefreiheit ist jede Freiheit nichts. Und deswegen ist der Mord an Daphne Caruana Galizia so dramatisch, weil er eben die Pressefreiheit und den Rechtsstaat, nicht nur in Malta, sondern in ganz Europa infrage stellt. Deswegen möchte ich mich bei unseren Kollegen des Europäischen Parlaments bedanken und insbesondere unter Leitung von Sophie In ’t Veld für ihre Untersuchung vor Ort. Und ich möchte mich ganz glasklar ihrer Forderung anschließen, dass der Premierminister endlich zurücktreten muss, damit die Ermittlungen dort nicht weiter gefährdet werden. Herr Muscat, treten Sie zurück! Und liebe S&D: Schließen Sie sich dieser Forderung endlich an. Ich kann diese Argumentation überhaupt nicht nachvollziehen, die hier gerade von meinem Vorredner beschworen wird, dass es ja eh bald eine neue Regierung geben wird. Ja, dann kann er doch auch jetzt schon zurücktreten und sicherstellen, dass die Ermittlungen nicht weiter gefährdet werden. Das wäre konsequent, das hier auch endlich anständig zu fordern in diesem Europäischen Parlament.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Situation zeigt aber auch, dass wir jetzt hier immer wieder an unterschiedlichen Stellen über die Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Europa diskutieren, und das ist nicht eine geographische Frage von Ost oder West, das ist eine Frage von Europa. Wir müssen in ganz Europa die Grundwerte schützen, wir müssen in ganz Europa die Pressefreiheit schützen, wir müssen in ganz Europa den Rechtsstaat schützen und wir müssen vor allem Journalisten schützen, und deswegen muss dieser Mord endlich restlos aufgeklärt und die Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta endlich wiederhergestellt werden.

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Der Mord an Daphne Caruana Galizia war ein Auftragsmord. Es gibt in Malta offenbar tief sitzende Strukturen von Geldwäsche und Korruption, deren Verstrickungen bis in die höchsten Kreise der sozialistischen Regierung reichen und deren Drahtzieher nicht vor mörderischer Gewalt zurückschrecken.

Zwei Minister der Regierung sind bereits zurückgetreten und – wie erwähnt – der Premierminister hat seinen Rücktritt angekündigt. Ich frage: Worauf wartet denn der Premierminister? Muscat muss sofort zurücktreten und damit klar signalisieren, dass er den strafrechtlichen Ermittlungen nicht mehr im Wege steht. Nur wenn er sofort zurücktritt kann der Verdacht ausgeräumt werden, dass Mitglieder der Regierung selbst in die Strukturen der organisierten Kriminalität verwickelt sind und der gebotenen Aufklärung im Wege stehen.

Die Europäische Union steht für Rechtsstaatlichkeit, und Rechtsstaatlichkeit ist ein hohes Gut. Es darf keinen Zweifel geben, wofür Europa steht. Über die Grenzen aller politischen Lager hinweg müssen diese skandalösen Vorkommnisse verurteilt werden, und der Schutz der Rechtsstaatlichkeit muss vor jedes politische Interesse gestellt werden.

Ich wende mich damit auch an unsere Kollegen der S&D und der Linken. Es ist endlich an der Zeit, taktische Zurückhaltung zurückzulegen und klar Stellung zu beziehen. Liebe Frau Sippel, liebe Frau Barley, ich habe Ihnen zugehört: kein einziges Wort, kein einziges Wort zu Ihrem Parteifreund, zu Herrn Muscat. Kein einziges Wort, dass Sie auch der Auffassung sind, dass hier sofort gehandelt werden muss.

Ich finde das eine sehr unglaubwürdige Politik und wäre sehr dankbar, wenn Sie sich heute vielleicht noch mal klar auch zu den Vorwürfen, die im Raume stehen – und Mord ist Mord –, äußern würden.

 
  
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  Peter Pollák (PPE). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, brutálne vraždy novinárov na Malte a na Slovensku odhalili, ako ďaleko môže zájsť korupcia a mafia na najvyššie poschodia v politike, prokuratúre, na súdoch, a ako bezmocne sa na to prizerajú európske inštitúcie. Ohavné vraždy novinárov Daphne Galizie a Jána Kuciaka a jeho snúbenice nám ukazujú, aká je Európa slabá.

Úlohou Európskej únie, nášho Európskeho spoločenstva, je nastavovať zrkadlo aj vlastným. Aj tým, ktorí sú súčasťou nášho spoločenstva. Problémy s korupciou sú v mnohých krajinách. Na Malte a na Slovensku už dávno pred vraždou novinárov mali inštitúcie nastaviť zrkadlo vládam, ktoré tam vládli. Toto zrkadlo nenastavili. Aj kvôli ľahostajnosti mnohých inštitúcií zomreli dvaja nevinní ľudia.

Vyzývam všetky európske inštitúcie, aby urýchlene vyvinuli v prípade Malty čo najväčší tlak na to, aby vyšetrovanie prípadu na Malte prebiehalo bez akéhokoľvek vplyvu politikov, sudcov a prokurátorov. Z tohto dôvodu je nutné, aby všetci vrátane premiéra Malty, ktorí môžu byť v tejto vražde namočení, zo svojich postov odišli.

Zároveň nech je prípad Malty a Slovenska poučením pre Európsku úniu, že ak má indície a vedomosti o korupcii či mafiánskych praktikách, nesmie byť slabá a musí pristúpiť k tvrdým opatreniam.

U nás doma na Slovensku, ale aj na Malte zašla korupcia a mafia tak ďaleko, že nielen, že kradli, ale aj vraždili. Právo a spravodlivosť musíme vrátiť ľuďom. Štát pratí ľudom a nie mafii.

 
  
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  Balázs Hidvéghi (PPE). – Madam President, first of all, a word of respect for Daphne Caruana Galizia, for her sacrifice and her work. This is a cornerstone of democracy. Obviously we stand up for her and what she represented.

But what we see here today is really the hypocrisy of the left, and especially of the S&D Group, and I think this is outrageous. Instead of being clear about it and instead of calling on the Maltese Prime Minister to step down, they are wishy—washy about it. There is a lack of clarity and a lack of clear will to act on their side. This hypocrisy actually undermines anything, and especially credibility, when they talk about the rule of law elsewhere. They are busy now talking about Hungary and Poland. Well, I have to say it’s outrageous and ridiculous even mentioning in one sentence what happened in Malta and any political debate that we may have about things in Poland and in Hungary. We have to be very clear about it. We have to stand up clearly for these basic values.

Where is the S&D faction? They even tried to take this item off the plenary session agenda this week. Why? Where is the strength you show regarding these issues at other times? Where is your readiness to talk about these issues? You need to be standing up for values without any double standards, and with the same standard for everybody. So I’m looking for that commitment from the S&D Group.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D), mistoqsija karta blu. – Jekk hawn naħseb xi ħadd illi qiegħed f'kontradizzjoni kbira huwa politiku mill-Ungerija mill-partit tal-Fidesz illi qed jipprova jattakka u juża l-argument tas-saltna tad-dritt. Id-differenza bejn Malta u l-Ungerija hija waħda: aħna qed nagħmlu l-emendi abbażi [dak] li qed jgħaddulna min-naħa tal-Kunsill Ewropew u tal-Kummissjoni Venezja – emendi ta' sistemi li ilhom in place mis-snin sittin, minn meta ħadna l-Indipendenza. Il-gvern tal-partit tiegħek qed jibdel il-liġijiet sabiex jimmina d-demokrazija ta' pajjiżek, is-saltna tad-dritt ta' pajjiżek illum.

Aħna qed nagħmlu bil-kontra, dik hija d-differenza tagħkom. Aħna qed mmexxu 'l quddiem emendi sabiex insaħħu s-saltna tad-dritt, il-partit tiegħek qed imexxi 'l quddiem emendi sabiex ikasbar u jnaqqas is-saltna tad-dritt f'pajjiżek.

 
  
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  Balázs Hidvéghi (PPE), blue-card answer. – Thank you very much. Well, very simply, it is just that this Prime Minister Muscat needs to go. He needs to go right away. There is a murder. Let me just repeat that. There is a murder of a journalist in Malta and there are links to the Prime Minister’s office.

I mean he should just simply resign. You should have new elections and asked the people of Malta to act.

In Hungary, we may have a political debate, we may have a debate with the Commission at times – very well, that’s what Europe is about, political debate. It doesn’t even compare to what’s happened in Malta. This is outrageous and, again, the hypocrisy of the left is just outstanding in this matter.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ralf Seekatz (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! „Mordkomplott im Vorzimmer des Regierungschefs“ titelte die Neue Züricher Zeitung am 8.12. Wir wissen, was damit gemeint ist, und es hat eine ganz andere Qualität, wie mein Vorredner aus Ungarn es schon gesagt hat. Die Freiheit der europäischen Bürgerinnen und Bürger zu verteidigen ist die vornehmste Pflicht dieses Hauses, und zwar unabhängig von der Frage, welcher Couleur die Regierung gerade angehört. Dieses Zitat stammt vom damaligen Fraktionsvorsitzenden der S&D-Fraktion, Bullmann, im September 2018. Da hat die S&D sich noch eingeklinkt in die Diskussion, jetzt klinken sie sich aus.

Die Ereignisse in Malta sind erschütternd. Wir sollen und wir müssen jetzt alles dafür tun, damit endlich eine ordentliche Rechtsstaatlichkeit vorgesehen wird. Ich sage bewusst nicht, dass wir zu Rechtsstaatlichkeit zurückkehren, weil da sind wir in Malta noch lange nicht, da gibt es noch einiges zu tun. Jetzt muss es eine rigorose Aufklärung geben. Um eine vollständige Aufklärung zu ermöglichen, muss aber natürlich Muscat direkt zurücktreten, damit nicht noch weitere Beweismittel und andere Dinge verschwinden. Aber eins schockiert mich hier ganz besonders, und das ist die Verhaltensweise der S&D. Es ist sehr, sehr bedenklich. Außer allgemeinen Phrasen und Floskeln haben wir hier von Ihnen in der Diskussion nichts gehört, aber auch wirklich überhaupt nichts, und das ist beschämend für so eine große Volkspartei, wie jene, der die S&D angehört, meine Damen und Herren. Ich rufe die Sozialdemokraten auf: Distanzieren Sie sich endlich und eindeutig von ihrem Parteifreund Muscat!

 
  
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  François-Xavier Bellamy (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, une journaliste a été assassinée, Daphne Caruana Galizia. Nous devons d’abord dire, et je crois que nous devrions dire de manière unanime, ici, notre soutien à ses proches, à sa famille, à tous ceux qui la pleurent aujourd’hui.

Elle est morte pour avoir dit la vérité. Nous sommes tous concernés, l’Union européenne n’est pas une organisation internationale comme une autre. Nous avons en commun un héritage, des principes, l’attachement à la liberté de conscience et à la recherche de la vérité. Et lorsque nous parlons d’état de droit, chers collègues, au terme de ce débat, nous n’avons pas le droit à l’indignation sélective, nous n’avons pas le droit aux «deux poids, deux mesures».

Monsieur, chers collègues, comment osez-vous donner encore des leçons alors que vous n’avez pas été capables de dire ce qui est pourtant essentiel: le premier ministre maltais doit démissionner maintenant. Car dans cet intervalle de temps, il peut détruire des preuves, il peut freiner une enquête, nous le savons aujourd’hui. Nous devons tous nous sentir concernés par ce qui est en train de se jouer ici, c’est l’avenir de la liberté, l’avenir de la liberté de la presse.

La Commission et le Conseil ont leur rôle à jouer pour que l’état de droit soit effectivement garanti. Chacun de nos collègues devrait pouvoir parler clair sur un sujet comme celui-ci et je voudrais poser la question également à nos collègues du groupe Renew. Il y a, parmi les futurs députés français qui doivent être élus ici après le Brexit, un homme qui a travaillé pour M. Muscat et qui a dû démissionner de son poste en France, auprès du premier ministre français. M. Sandro Gozi peut-il vraiment incarner aujourd’hui l’idéal d’une renaissance de l’Europe? Pour ma part, dans le contexte que nous connaissons, je suis presque sûr du contraire.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Λουκάς Φούρλας (PPE). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, ως μάχιμος δημοσιογράφος επί 23 χρόνια, τρομάζω και ανατριχιάζω στην ιδέα ότι μία συνάδελφος δολοφονήθηκε επειδή έκανε τη δουλειά της. Τρομάζω ακόμη περισσότερο διότι υπάρχουν υπόνοιες ότι σε αυτή τη δολοφονία εμπλέκονται υψηλά ιστάμενοι κρατικοί αξιωματούχοι, και μάλιστα στο πιο ψηλό επίπεδο. Θέλω να δηλώσω, με όλη τη δύναμη της ψυχής μου, ότι στηρίζω τις προσπάθειες των φίλων Μαλτέζων για να λάμψει η αλήθεια και να δικαιωθεί ο άδικος χαμός της συναδέλφου μου Daphne Galizia. Η διαφθορά πρέπει να παταχθεί και οι ένοχοι θα πρέπει να παραιτηθούν άμεσα και να πληρώσουν, όσο ψηλά κι αν βρίσκονται. Στεκόμαστε δίπλα σε όσους αγωνίζονται κατά της διαφθοράς, για να λάμψει η αλήθεια. Σήμερα είμαστε όλοι Μαλτέζοι.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, corruption, obfuscation, interference, lack of transparency, intimidation. All these things seem to have been in play at the highest level in Malta regarding the murder of the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, but I want to draw attention to the unacceptable behaviour of the management of the state-appointed Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture, who not only regularly dismantled the public memorialisation of Daphne, but also censored artists invited to the festival. This included a British theatre company who were offered an open-ended residency in the programme and invited to make work responding to their experiences. When it seemed their performance would include references to Daphne, they were asked to change their script.

Artistic censorship is totally unacceptable in our European Union and questions must be asked of the Commission officials regarding monitoring of the use of citizens’ money in a culture of state repression. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank PEN International for their work on this issue. Also the theatre artists Rebecca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole, who are now telling the story of how they were censored by the Maltese authorities, winning an Edinburgh Fringe Festival award in the process.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Paní předsedající, vražda novinářky Daphne Caruanové Galiziové: Jak dlouho trvalo, než se skutečně našel vrah, než se našel viník? A to ještě dodnes není prokázáno. Já bych tady poukázala na paralelu se Slovenskem. Také na Slovensku musel zemřít novinář proto, aby se lidé vzepřeli korupci na nejvyšších místech.

Myslíte si, že kdyby neodešel premiér Fico a ministr vnitra, že by dnes na Slovensku bylo odhaleno skutečné pozadí té vraždy? Nebylo! A proto je jasné, že lid na Maltě, proto je jasné, že i my zde v Evropském parlamentu voláme po odstoupení maltského premiéra. Chcete-li, aby toto vražda byla objasněna se všemi důsledky a se vším pozadím, aby pravda vyšla najevo, nemůže justici, policii i tisk ovládat vláda, která je napojena na tuto vraždu. Proto žádáme odstoupení premiéra.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, myslím si naozaj, že všetci sa zhodneme, že je veľmi zlá správa pre demokraciu, ak dôjde k vražde novinára, to je jedno kde. Ja si myslím, že všetky naše štáty Európskej únie spája, že máme problémy do istej miery, niektorí viac, niektorí menej s korupciou. Máme niekedy aj problémy s prejavom, slobodným prejavom médií a podobne. Tu treba ale povedať, že musíme my byť nápomocní ako európske inštitúcie, aby mohlo vyšetrovanie naozaj pokračovať objektívne, nestranne a nezávisle od akéhokoľvek politického tlaku. Počujeme tu výzvy na odstúpenie maltského premiéra. Ako bolo povedané, na Slovensku odstúpil slovenský premiér a nemyslím si, že to bolo práve to najdôležitejšie v tomto procese. Najdôležitejšie je naozaj zabezpečiť, aby vyšetrovanie a aby všetky naozaj orgány, ktoré sú činné v trestnom konaní, mohli konať slobodne, nezávisle od politickej moci. A to je najdôležitejšie aj na Slovensku, to už prinieslo ovocie v smere v tom, že už bolo obvinených niekoľko ľudí, dokonca ja tí, ktorí si túto vraždu novinára na Slovensku, Jána Kuciaka, objednali. Treba povedať naozaj, že my ako inštitúcie musíme byť nestranné a musíme sa snažiť neovplyvňovať politický boj a zneužívanie takejto témy na vnútropolitické boje a v tomto prípade napríklad aj načasovať misie aj výboru LIBE v tom čase, keď nejde o politický boj tesne pred voľbami.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, doamnă comisară, stimați colegi, viața oamenilor, indiferent că este jurnalist sau este orice altă profesie, trebuie să fie sigură în Uniunea Europeană. Nu cred că există vreun coleg în hemiciclu care nu condamnă uciderea jurnalistei. Am fost acolo, în Malta, într-o delegație și am putut să văd tragedia și mormântul acestei jurnaliste.

Dar să ne gândim, doamnă comisară, facem noi ce trebuie aici? Am politizat viața unui om în preajma Sărbătorilor de Crăciun. Eu cred că trebuie să găsim măsuri, să mergem la cauză. Dacă nu ar fi fost acele situații pe care jurnalista le investiga, ar fi ajuns să fie ucisă? Avem noi măsuri specifice pentru toate statele membre să eliminăm spălarea de bani, corupția, pentru ca să nu mai punem jurnaliștii într-o situație critică ─ pentru că în toate statele există jurnaliști care sunt sigur amenințați, unii chiar omorâți, cum am avut aici și alte cazuri din Slovacia?

Eu cred, dragi colegi și stimată doamnă comisară, că noi nu ne putem amesteca în lucrurile pe care parlamentele naționale trebuie să le decidă. Guvernele nu le schimbă Parlamentul European, le schimbă parlamentele naționale. Nu facem greșeala să ne amestecăm în acest lucru, însă solicităm Comisiei, eu solicit Comisiei să găsim mecanisme la nivel de Uniune Europeană, mecanisme prin care să evităm punerea jurnaliștilor într-o situație asemănătoare cu cea a Daphnei. Regret și transmit sincere condoleanțe familiei.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Didier Reynders, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I want first of all to thank you all for this debate and also for your support for an independent investigation after the murder of the journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Justice needs to be done. The new Commission is very clear on such a need. In the two first weeks in office, the President of the Commission has sent a clear message to the Maltese authorities. We did the same in different phone calls from Vice—President Věra Jourová and myself to the Minister of Justice, Owen Bonnici, and I have sent a letter to the Minister of Justice yesterday.

More than that, Europol is at the disposal of the Maltese authorities to take part in the investigations and we have seen some progress in the investigation due to the presence also of Europol and we will continue to follow the progress in the investigations. We need to do that, not only for Daphne Caruana Galizia, for her family, but to defend our values in the European Union.

I want to say that the protection of journalists, because I have heard many questions about that, is first of all, of course, a competence of the Member States. But the Commission must also take some initiatives to support the media pluralism and to support also independent journalists that work in all the Member States. And we will continue to do that and maybe will enhance our capacities to do that.

Then we need to control a correct implementation of justice reforms after the Country—Specific Recommendations adopted by the Council of 9 July 2019. In my letter, I have insisted on the independence of judiciary with safeguards for judicial appointments and dismissals with a real separate prosecutor’s office. The Commission will present an evaluation on the process reform and propose concrete actions. The Commission has a toolbox to address rule of law concerns and we are ready to make use of it.

I recall that the Commission introduced infringement proceedings against Malta for non—transposition of the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive, with success. As the situation evolves we will consider which instruments are appropriate, including a possible application of the rule of law framework if it’s needed. And, of course, about all those reforms we encourage the Maltese authorities to consult the Venice Commission on all draft legislation.

Third, about the Investor Citizenship Scheme, in the Supranational Risk Assessment, published in July 2019, the Commission highlighted that citizenship investment programmes and investor residence schemes – also known as golden passport and golden visas – entailed significant money laundering threats. The January 2019 Commission Report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union highlights that these schemes inherently raise money laundering concerns.

Awarding citizenship is a prerogative of the Member States, however, Member States must when exerting their powers in the sphere of nationality, have due regard to European Union law. European Union citizenship brings together rights to all Member States providing solidarity. Together, Member States create the conditions for enjoying EU citizenship. This common achievement should not be exploited by individual Member States’ risky investor schemes. We evaluate if a legislation is needed to find against the abuse of golden passport and if we must introduce infringement proceedings.

To conclude, we need to enhance the culture of the rule of law in all the Member States in the European Union and if we want to speak about the rule of law outside the European Union, it’s necessary to deliver, to do the job at home. It’s the reason why the Commission will organise and will set up a new mechanism with an annual report on the rule of law in all the Member States without any discrimination. It will be the occasion of a real political debate in the Council and also in the Parliament. We have such a process about the budgetary situation of all the Member States. It’s time to have the same political debate about our values, about the values of the European Union.

That doesn’t mean the abandon of all the other tools at our disposal. We will continue to introduce infringement proceedings, to organise dialogue on the rule of law, to push through the Article 7 procedures. And so, of course, it’s an important moment today in this debate because we follow very closely the investigations about the murder of a journalist, but I want also to thank you for your support, because we have a lot of things to do together to protect the rule of law, to defend our values.

 
  
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  President. – I have received one motion for a resolution tabled in accordance with Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 18 December 2019.

Can I just say that as we conclude our debate on the murder of the journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, let us salute the courage of her family, even though their hearts are broken.

(The sitting was suspended at 11.35)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL’ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
Posledná úprava: 20. februára 2020Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia