Frans Timmermans (left) at a PL event in May

The European Commission is “currently studying in detail” a report adopted by the Committee for Justice and Human Rights of the Council of Europe that recommended that EU institutions act on the breakdown of rule of law in Malta if Maltese authorities continue to fail to do so.

The report, authored by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, was presented to the First Vice President of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans by the author himself on the sidelines of a meeting Commissioner Timmermans had Monday with a delegation from the Committee of European Affairs of the Dutch Parliament.

European Commission sources confirmed the Commission has been made aware of the report adding that “we have been following developments in Malta closely”.

The Commission sources speaking on the record to this website reiterated that “the Commission has been clear in saying that it expects an independent and thorough investigation of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder and urges the responsible authorities to continue the ongoing investigation up and until all those persons responsible for this crime have been found and justice is served”.

The report adopted by the Council of Europe supports the call by the assassinated journalist’s surviving family for an independent public enquiry. “The investigation must be hierarchically, institutionally and practically independent of anyone who may have an interest in its outcome”.

The report dismisses the Attorney General’s objections to opening the independent inquiry recalling that the ongoing “investigations are proceeding at a glacial pace.”

The report says that it “can fully understand why the Caruana Galizia family has no confidence in the ability of the Maltese authorities to investigate the murder effectively.” The report “agrees that there is now a clear need for an independent inquiry”.