What should the EU do about Malta?
The opposition in Malta has been protesting for days against Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's delayed resignation. The European Parliament is now also pondering action over the Maltese government's involvement in the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia after a delegation that visited the island voiced doubts about Muscat's credibility. Commentators call for a tougher response from the EU.
Europe must break its silence
The EU should support the Maltese protesters, Le Monde urges:
“The EU isn't just a single market, it's a framework of states that are bound together by shared values and principles that have emerged over the course of a long and often tragic history. The freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law are key values. ... It's of the greatest relevance that the EU should protect its police officers, prosecutors and journalists, and that the investigation into the murder of Caruana Galizia should be brought to a successful conclusion. The European leaders must break their silence and condemn corruption and impunity wherever they find it.”
Test case for the EU's integration capacity
It isn't just Malta that has a problem with democratic and legal deficits, The Guardian comments:
“Brussels has still never solved how to integrate certain 'small states' in the wider European project - Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta. They exist either as secretive finance hubs or homes of reactionary forms of rule - or, in Malta's case, a bit of both. The island now stands as a test case for whether the EU can ever successfully incorporate such a state - one that, until recently, had a robust working class - or whether these countries are bound to remain the problem children of the continent forever.”