The Justice Commissioner intends to force a dialogue between the Government and the PP on the renewal of the CGPJ

The European Commissioner for Justice, the Belgian Liberal Didier Reyndersplans to take advantage of his visit to Madrid on September 29 and 30 to try to force a dialogue between the Government of Pedro Sanchez and the People’s Party. Its declared objective is to act as a kind of intermediary in order to urgently renew the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and immediately proceed with a reform of the system of electing its members.

The Community Executive has just to admonish Spain again for the persistent blockage in the renewal of the governing body of the judges, which is about to turn 4 years old. “A prolonged blockade that affects the proper functioning of essential State institutions such as the judiciary is detrimental to the rule of law in that State and therefore to the State as a whole”, the vice president of the Commission has written, Vera Jourovain a letter addressed to the president of the CGPJ, Carlos Lesmes.

“The proper functioning of all State institutions, which is the sole interest of the Commission, should not be part of the political debate, much less become a hostage of that debate. All the actors, when they play a constitutional role, they must do so in a spirit of mutual loyalty and sincere cooperationand have only the best interests of the State and its citizens in mind,” says Jourová.

[La Comisión Europea expresa su apoyo a Lesmes e insta a PSOE y PP a elegir el CGPJ “con urgencia”]

This spirit of mutual loyalty and sincere cooperation between the Government and the PP is what Reynders wants to promote during his visit to Spain. In Madrid, the Commissioner for Justice plans to meet with the ministers Felix Bolanos Y Pilar Llopas well as with representatives of the opposition and judicial associations and with Lesmes himself.

“In the CGPJ we want the appointments to be carried out and also a reform very quickly. I will speak to both the majority and the opposition in order to achieve this goal of reform“, Reynders explained in statements to a group of journalists.

What we are trying to do is organize a discussion, a dialogue between the political forces, because the reform of the CGPJ, as well as the appointment of those responsible in the constitutional bodies, require such majorities that collaboration between the main political groups in the country is necessary,” insists the Commissioner for Justice.

In this sense, the role of the European Commission is twofold. In the first place, define the parameters that the reform of the CGPJ must have to adjust to European standards and that are included in the report on the situation of the rule of law in Spain published last July. “It is the idea that the majority of the members of the Council are judges elected by their peers, by other judges, without the interference of politicians, either the Government or the ParliamentReynders points out.

At the same time, the Community Executive intends to act as a mediator to unblock the negotiations between the Government and the PP. “What we can do is obviously intervene in the dialogue. Not only ask for a discussion but act to bring it closer (postures)and it is what I have already done in the past and I am going to try to do on this visit”, announces the Commissioner for Justice.

Will the European Commission sanction Spain if the renewal of the CGPJ is not immediately unblocked? At the moment, Reynders does not plan to launch any infringement procedure or activate Article 7 of the Treaty due to systemic risks to the rule of law in Spain. “We do not contemplate any step other than the recommendations contained in our report and the attempt to promote a dialogue between the political forces“, he pointed out.

“We must distinguish the situation that we have in other Member States (referring to Poland and Hungary), where we have seen a regression, the approval of regulations that in our eyes represent a step backwards, a deterioration of the situation. In these cases we can use other formulas, such as infringement procedures, as we have done with the disciplinary regime of judges in Poland”, argues the Commissioner for Justice.

“In the case of Spain, as in other countries, what we are trying to do is improve an existing situation, so it is not the same. We are not criticizing legislation that has just been approved and is going in the wrong direction. We are simply saying that regulations that have existed for a long time are not in accordance with European standards. Added to this is a second problem, which is the need to appoint the members (of the CGPJ) and, if possible, do so respecting European principles, properly associating the judges,” Reynders pointed out.

Spain is not the only country with problems with its Judicial Power Council. In Luxembourg The Constitution has just been revised to change the composition of the governing body of the judges. And also Italy It has reformed it as part of the milestones required in its recovery plan, and will elect its members this month, according to the Justice Commissioner.

“If the situation lasts a long time, if we find that the situation does not improve, obviously we will have to reflect on other mechanisms,” Reynders warns, however, about the case of Spain.

The Commissioner for Justice will also take advantage of his visit to Madrid to request information on research on the use of software Pegasus espionage. “In the logic of the rule of law, when national security tools are used, what we want to verify is that it is done in a proportionate, necessary and legal way. Often, respect for legality goes through the authorization of a judge We know that there are ongoing investigations and that some steps have been taken in Spain. I’m going to ask them to explain to me what exactly the situation is now,” he said.

Source: Elespanol

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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