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The General Affairs Council acknowledges Malta’s reforms

Reference Number: PR220466, Press Release Issue Date: Apr 12, 2022
Malta registered progress on rule of law reforms that were implemented in these last years. This was reflected in the discussion on the European Commission Annual Rule of Law Report for 2021, held during the General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg. Both the member states and the European Commission noted Malta’s improvements and encouraged for more steps in this direction. The meeting also discussed the rule of law report of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, and Hungary as part of the regular Rule of Law dialogue in which all Member States participate.

In his intervention, Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Minister Ian Borg recalled that between 2020 and 2021, Malta carried out unprecedented judicial and institutional reforms, some of which were based on recommendations of the Venice Commission. In their feedback, the European Commission and Partners acknowledged the reforms Malta has undertaken in these last years

Minister Borg outlined some of the reforms, such as the new process of judicial and other senior officials’ appointments, the  work on the National Digital  Justice Strategy,  , the  efforts to strengthen the institutional framework capacity in the fight against corruption and anti-money laundering ; and investments in the Police Force, amongst others.  He recalled that some of the constitutional reforms had been left untouched since Malta gained its independence in 1964. 

Minister Ian Borg also spoke about the reforms in the media sector, including the role of the Committee of Experts on media. He referred to some of the amendments that were submitted to the said Committee for consultation and augured that work will continue once the new Parliament starts its work.   

Minister Borg acknowledged that while a lot of work had been done, further reforms are needed moving forward. He stated that “The Maltese Government is committed to keep implementing reforms, and I look forward to coming back to update you on further   progress of these   efforts , including the Digital Justice National Strategy, the strengthening of the specialised tribunals as well as  the progress on the transfer of prosecutorial responsibilities for serious crimes ”, continued Minister Borg. 

Minister Borg concluded that the current Maltese government was given a strong mandate and underlined its commitment to continuing on the path of implementing reforms that would bring change. 

The General Affairs Council of today also adopted legislation to ensure the continued supply of medicines for Malta, Ireland, and Cyprus, providing a three-year derogation. These EU Member States will be able to continue to source  medicines from the UK market.