Prime Minister Robert Abela told foreign dignitaries that addressing doubts over Malta’s rule of law topped his to-do list.  

Addressing an annual gathering of ambassadors, Dr Abela said that 2019 had been an important year for Malta. 

But while “economic growth, job creation, and a progressive social agenda” had been at the forefront of the government’s work, the past year had also had its controversies.  

“Of course, we had our challenges and these are at the top of my government’s agenda,” he added.  

Dr Abela told the dignitaries at the Auberge de Castille that he had tasked Justice and Governance Minister Edward Zammit Lewis to work on this straight away.  

On Thursday the government launched a Cabinet Committee on Governance to propose changes to Maltese law in line with recommendations made by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).

Meanwhile, Dr Abela said that on the world stage, Malta will now be represented by Foreign and EU Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo. 

When it came to international affairs, Dr Abela said the deteriorating situation in Libya was a growing concern.

Malta, he said, would continue to lobby for a durable and effective cease fire and arms embargo for the Libyan conflict. 

Opposition leader also meets dignitaries 

In a similar event at Nationalist Party headquarters, Opposition leader Adrian Delia said that last October Parliament had declared a climate emergency, calling on the government to take new measures to help combat climate change.

This was of paramount importance now more than ever, he said.  

Dr Delia also weighed in on the migration situation in the Mediterranean, saying that Malta should not be expected to deal with the crisis alone.