Sunday, October 2

The European Commission will ask the PP in Madrid to sit down to negotiate with the Government the renewal of the Judiciary

The Judicial Council of the Judiciary has been in office for almost four years. The body emanates from an absolute majority of the PP on December 20, 2011. And, 11 years later, its members are still in office, when their mandate has already expired more than 1,000 days ago, due to the PP’s refusal to negotiate its renewal. .

The vice president of the European Commission Vera Jourová wrote a letter two weeks ago to Carlos Lesmes, president of the CGPJ, in which she demanded the immediate renewal of the governing body of the judges. In her letter, she denounced that the Judiciary is “hostage” to the blockade.

Now, the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, will travel to Spain on September 29 and 30 to address this issue with the Government, the opposition, associations of judges and people involved in a situation that the European Commission includes year after year in its report on the Rule of law.

“I am going to meet with the government, with the opposition, with Parliament, with associations of judges or lawyers, civil society groups or universities,” Reynders explained this Tuesday upon arrival at the General Affairs Council in Brussels, which brings together the ministers of European Affairs: “In the debate on the justice section of the report on Spain, the General Council of the Judiciary is decisive. And we would like to see the appointments made and the reform implemented very quickly. Hence the interest in discussing both with the majority and with the opposition, in order to achieve the objective of the reform”.

Reynders explains that “two years have passed since I made the first contacts. In fact, the situation is not new. What we are trying to do is to organize a discussion, a dialogue between the political forces. Because the renewal of the CGPJ, like the designation of certain constitutional bodies, requires majorities such that collaboration between the main political groups in the country is necessary. And this is where we have a double role to play: the first is to clarify what the expectations are, with the report on the rule of law and its recommendations, expectations that are linked to European standards such as the Council of Europe, of which Spain is member, in the line that the majority of the members of the CGPJ are judges elected by their peers, elected by other judges, without interference from politics, neither the government nor Parliament”.

“Other than that,” Reynders continues, “what we can also do is obviously have a dialogue. It’s not just asking for a discussion, but trying to bring people together. And that is something that I have done before, but that I will also try to do during this visit.”

Of course, the European commissioner insists on separating the situation in Spain from that experienced in countries such as Hungary and Poland, subject to procedures for their assaults on the rule of law: “We must clearly distinguish the situation we have in other Member States where there has been a regression and a deterioration of the situation. In such cases, of course, other formulas can be used, such as infringement procedures. This is what we have done with the disciplinary system of judges in Poland, for example. In the case of Spain, as in the case of other countries, what we are trying to do is improve an existing situation, so it is not the same at all. We will do our best to try to implement it through dialogue. And, I repeat, the difference is very clear. When we start infringement procedures it is because there is a problem with a new law that violates European law or leads to the deterioration of the situation. That is not the case. The objective is to bring together both the political formations of the majority and the opposition, the Government of course the Parliament, to appoint the new members, but also to initiate a reform quickly”.

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