Malta: Implementation of Public Inquiry recommendations must meet international standards


14 January 2022

No Comments

Malta: Implementation of Public Inquiry recommendations must meet international standards

14 January 2022

Our organisations note the announcement by Prime Minister Abela of the appointment of a Committee of Experts to implement the recommendations of the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The recommendations include the recognition in law of journalism as the fourth pillar of democracy, and the need to create an enabling environment for independent journalism and measures to address impunity, corruption and the abuse of power. 


In our meetings and communications with Prime Minister Abela, our organisations emphasised the need for the full independence of the Commission of Experts, to ensure that the terms of reference of the Commission meet international standards and that the composition of the Commission reflects the expertise in role of press in a democracy needed to effectively undertake the full scope of responsibilities. We have been concerned by a lack of transparent consultation with civil society and key stakeholders in this process to date. We urge the Prime Minister to engage in meaningful and transparent consultation going forward, in particular through publishing proposed legislation relating to media freedom.


In our meeting in Valletta in October 2021 concerning the implementation of the Public Inquiry recommendations, we sought assurances from Prime Minister Abela to not amplify a policy of media regulation, to ensure the passage of comprehensive legislation tackling Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs), to improve access to information, to engage in continuous transparent consultation and dialogue with civil society and journalists’ organisations and contribute to changing the culture of how journalists are treated in Malta – including ensuring better protections for journalists to be able to do their jobs safely. We now expect the process led by the Committee of Experts to fulfil these assurances.


Our organisations will closely monitor the work, process and outcomes of the Committee of Experts which should be undertaken free of government influence and in the framework of Malta’s international human rights obligations, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, the recommendations of the Council of Europe, in particular its Recommendation CM/Rec(2016)4 on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors, and the European Commission’s Recommendation on the protection, safety and empowerment of journalists.


While our offer of technical assistance to the Prime Minister has to date not been taken up, we continue to stand ready to assist the process.

Signed by:


Association of European Journalists (AEJ)

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)


Index on Censorship

International Press Institute (IPI)

PEN International 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Read news by categories:

Related news


Czech Republic: MFRR pushes for reforms to strengthen independence of public broadcaster

Representatives from IPI and ECPMF travelled to Prague on 15 June to meet with officials from the Ministry of Culture and push for the development of reforms which strengthen the independence of the country’s public broadcaster.


Spain: Fine against photographer underscores urgent need for reform of Gag Law

Partners of the MFRR today express serious concern over the recent €1,000 fine issued to Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Javier Bauluz under Spain’s controversial “Gag Law”.


Kauffrau/Kaufmann für Büromanagement (w/m/d) – Teilzeit (20Stunden/Woche)


“You can’t write anything without considering the war, because the war changed everything” – Interview with Ukrainian journalist Maria Grynevych

Maria Grynevych is a Ukrainian journalist and Chief Editor of the news agency Socportal. She has been displaced since the start of the war in Ukraine. Maria is currently participating in ECPMF’s Journalist-in-Residence programme in Leipzig.


Vice President of the European Commission Věra Jourová visits ECPMF

On 01 June, Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission visited the ECPMF office as part of a visit to Leipzig to discuss media freedom, pluralism, and the safety of journalists; in particular in the context of Russia's war in Ukraine.

Press release

Feindbild Journalist 6 – Hatred on the Doorstep

ECPMF, as part of the MFRR, has published the English translation of the 2021 iteration of “Feindbild”, an annual study into politically-motivated violence against journalists in Germany.