Malta, EC concerned about the judiciary and media independence

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Commission is alarmed about the worsening situation concerning the judiciary and the media independence in Malta.
In its annual Rule of Law report, the Commission urged the Maltese government to enhance the efforts to improve the efficiency of justice and to reduce the length of proceedings. In its report, it was said that despite increased resources allocated to investigative and prosecution entities, the investigation of high-level corruption cases remains lengthy. “Results in terms of final judgments are still lacking,” the commission declared.
The European Commission also called for the strengthening of the Permanent Commission against Corruption, which was subject to a reform in 2020, but has limited resources and no tangible results were made.
The commission also urged Malta to address the need for involvement of the judiciary in the procedure for appointment of the Chief Justice, as proposed by the Venice Commission.
In its annual report on Malta, the European Commission noted that “while an independent review of the applicable legislation related to the media in Malta is underway, journalists and citizens at large continue to face obstacles when requesting access to information held by public authorities.”
The report also called on Maltàs government to introducee legislative and other safeguards to improve the working environment of journalists, including on access to official documents.
It added that the independence and governance of public service media are a cause for concern. The commission called on Malta to “strengthen the rules and mechanisms to enhance the independent governance and editorial independence of public service media taking into account European standards on public service media.
Meanwhile, the Maltese Justice Ministry said that the government will analyse the recommendations made by the commission, adding that work on some of them is already underway and legislation will be proposed.
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Source: medNews