Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), rapporteur on the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta, today responded to developments in the process of institutional reform in Malta.
“When I visited Malta in February, I was encouraged to hear from the government that an extensive package of reform proposals was almost ready for publication and would be presented to the Venice Commission for its opinion,” recalled Mr Omtzigt.
“I have still not seen any text, but I have heard serious concerns about how the proposals were developed,” he continued. “My earlier report noted the scepticism of many in Malta, who feared that the reform process would be ‘handled behind closed doors between the leadership of the governing and opposition parties’. I concluded that this would be wrong, yet it is exactly what seems to be happening.”
“For the Venice Commission, it was very important that reforms be adopted ‘as the result of a process of wide consultation in society.’ The Assembly recommended that reforms should be ‘designed and implemented… through an open, widely inclusive and transparent process’. How the reform proposals are prepared, and whether they meet the clear requirements of the Venice Commission opinion, will affect not only their legitimacy and acceptance by the general public – it will also be a defining test for the international credibility of the Abela administration,” concluded Mr Omtzigt.