- independent and thorough investigation needed, with full involvement of Europol
- better EU and national rules to ensure safety of journalists
- more efficient oversight of how EU funds are spent
Europol should be fully involved in investigating the murders of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée and the EU should better protect its journalists and whistle-blowers.
This was the main message of the debate held on Wednesday in the aftermath of the murders of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
MEPs called for an independent, international and thorough investigation that would bring the perpetrators to justice and insisted on better rules at both national and EU level to ensure the safety of journalists, bloggers and whistle-blowers.
Plenary also discussed Mr Kuciak’s revelations in his last article, published posthumously, about the alleged misuse of EU funds in Slovakia and potential links between organised crime groups and Slovak politicians. MEPs called for an in-depth investigation into these allegations, involving also OLAF (the EU anti-fraud office), and urged the EU Commission to start publishing the annual EU anti-corruption report again.
Individual statements made by the first round of speakers:
- Monika PANAYOTOVA, Deputy Minister, representing the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council
- Julian KING, EU Commissioner for the Security Union
- Political group speakers Ivan ŠTEFANEC (EPP, SK), Claude MORAES (S&D, UK), Branislav ŠKRIPEK (ECR, SK), Sophia IN ’T VELD (ALDE, NL), Benedek JÁVOR (Greens/EFA, HU), Kateřina KONEČNÁ (GUE/NGL, CZ), Marco VALLI (EFDD, IT), Dominique BILDE (ENF, FR)
The debate was based on the findings of a six-strong ad hoc delegation of MEPs who visited Slovakia on 8 - 9 March to look into the situation on the ground. It will be wound up by a resolution, to be voted on during the 16 - 19 April plenary session in Strasbourg.
Parliament honoured the memory of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová with a minute’s silence at its plenary session on 28 February. Its President Antonio Tajani strongly condemned the murders, stressing that freedom of press must be ensured and calling on the Slovak authorities to uncover the truth.
Debate: Wednesday, 14 March
Vote on a resolution: 16-19 April plenary session
Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by a debate and a resolution