Rule of law in Slovakia, Bulgaria: MEPs to meet with government, NGOs and media

(Source: European Parliament)

  • EP delegation visit Slovakia on 21-22 September, Bulgaria on 23-24 September
  • Exchange of views with civil society, journalists, the families of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová and top government officials and state authorities in both countries

Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will travel to Slovakia and Bulgaria to assess respect for the rule of law there, as part of their ongoing monitoring of the situation across the EU

The delegation will include the following MEPs:

You may contact the Chair of the delegation Sophie IN ‘T VELD through her policy advisor Christian KROEKEL: christian.kroekel@europarl.europa.eu as well as the other members of the delegation directly (find their contact details clicking on their names).

Slovakia: protection of journalists and justice reform

In Bratislava, MEPs will meet with the families of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, as well as with civil society representatives, including NGOs and journalists. They also plan to meet the Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger and several ministers, the National Council Committee on Culture and Media, judges of the Supreme Court and high level law-enforcement officials. During their visit, MEPs are likely to discuss the ongoing judicial inquiry into the murder of Kuciak and Kušnírová, the reform of Slovakia’s justice system, the protection of journalists and whistleblowers, and media freedom.

press conference will take place on Wednesday 22 September (+/- 16.30) at the European Parliament’s office in Bratislava.

Media enquiries in relation to the EP delegation to Slovakia should be directed to Parliament’s press officer in Bratislava Jan JAKUBOV : jan.jakubov@europarl.europa.eu

Bulgaria: media freedom and fight against corruption

In their first visit to Bulgaria, Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will meet with various civil society organisations, as well as top state and government officials, including the President, the Prime Minister (TBC) and several ministers (TBC), the Ombudsman and the Chief Public Prosecutor. MEPs are expected to raise with them issues related to the rule of law, including media freedom and the fight against corruption.

press conference will take place on Friday 24 September (+/- 14.30) at the European Parliament’s office in Sofia.

Media enquiries in relation to the EP delegation to Bulgaria should be directed to the Parliament’s press officers in Sofia Biliana TZARNORETCHKA: biliana.tzarnoretchka@europarl.europa.eu and Kalina VARBANOVA kalina.varbanova@europarl.europa.eu

Background

The Civil Liberties Committee’s Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group builds on the work of a previous group, set up in June 2018 in the aftermath of the murders of the Maltese blogger and journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, and of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. With a mandate running to 31 December 2021, the Group focuses its work on threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, as well as the fight against corruption within the EU, across all Member States.

The European Parliament sent several delegations to Slovakia following the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová in 2018. A first delegation, organised jointly by the Civil Liberties and Budgetary Control committees, visited Slovakia in March 2018. A visit of the Civil Liberties Committee followed in September, as part of a delegation which also covered Malta, and in December 2018, MEPs from the Committee on Budgetary Control travelled to the country.

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