Swedish Liberal MEP Cecilia Wikström has called on the EU to increase pressure on the Maltese government to guarantee the rule of law, including a police and judicial system independent of the authorities.

In an article in Swedish daily newspaper Sydsvenskan, Wikström called on the EU to establish a mechanism that monitors and ensure that EU member states respect human rights. She argued for all countries to be systematically reviewed.

However, murders of journalists in Malta, Slovakia and Bulgaria highlight manifest human rights failures in these countries, particularly the State’s duty to protect journalists.

“Impunity must never be accepted. The murders of journalists must be properly investigated and the perpetrators put on trial. At the same time, all EU member states must start taking intimidation and violence against journalists seriously and ensure that those who need police protection get it without delay.

“It is time for politicians operating in the EU to intensify efforts to ensure that journalists can live in safety and perform their jobs that are so vital to maintaining a democratic society”.