In four months, Spain will hold the next presidency of the European Union and, practically at the same time, the European Commission will publish its new report on the state of the rule of law in the member states, in which it warned last year. The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), which is heading for a five-year blockade, must be renewed. This is as part of a short visit to Brussels by the Minister of the Presidency, Felix Bolanos, where he met with the Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, and the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders. , with whom he talked about the blockade of the Spanish court.
Following the appointment, the European Commission reiterated its call for Spain to overhaul its judiciary – on which EU government sources expect progress before Pedro Sánchez takes over the EU presidency in July – and immediately push for reforms to replace the electoral system. . The sequence of these demands was one of the objects of the blockade conflict given that the PP, first with Pablo Casado and then with Alberto Núñez Feijo, was hiding behind the Community government to try to change the system before reaching an agreement on renewal. A governing body with rules in place for more than three decades. Although the current leader of the opposition refused the previous condition in the previous negotiations, he has now taken it again.
“Our position on this matter is well known,” said Christian Wiegand, a spokesman for judicial affairs. There are important procedures to prioritize the renewal of the Council and then immediately start the process of reforming the renewal system.” This, he recalled, is what the latest report on the rule of law in Spain says in recommendations published last summer. Brussels wants the model changed so that at least 50% of the CGPJ are directly elected by judges.
In the PSOE, they argue that in the current system members of the judicial career already participate, as they pre-select possible candidates for positions that the law leaves to the courts. and, from these names, the Congress and Senate shall elect members by a three-fifths majority. However, the PP defends the request of the European Commission, on the one hand, to block the renewal of the current system and, on the other hand, to fight for a system that will benefit the conservatives who represent the majority in the judicial career.
“Our position is clear and we are ready to support the dialogue. But, of course, a solution should be found in Spain,” Wiegand said. The PP maneuvered in Brussels to maintain a blockade of the judicial system several months ago on the eve of the visit of Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders to Spain. Already then, Reynders set the Spanish presidency as a reference date for the renewal of the CGPJ: “It would be very good if at the beginning of his presidency he showed that it was possible to implement the various recommendations.” “It will be a good example,” he added.
The Ministry of the Presidency announced the meeting in a statement, in which it ensures that Bolaños presented Reinder with the agreement reached with the PP last October and that Feijo unilaterally violated it. The press release states that this pact was made “in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission itself”. The document included a clause to avoid a revolving door between politics and the judiciary by establishing non-return for a period of two years. Appointment as a Supreme Court magistrate also required 20 years of “active service in a judicial career.”
Bolaños “showed his desire for the Popular Party to sign the already negotiated agreement to renew this body, which is in line with the Spanish Constitution and the European Commission’s recommendation and desire to urgently renew the CGPJ,” the government said in a statement. .
“The minister emphasized the stages related to the recommendations made in the previous report of the commission, such as the approval of the law on transparency and integrity in the activities of interest groups or the draft law on procedural efficiency measures of the Public Justice Service. ” – the statement said. However, the report caught Spain’s ear because of the connection between the government and the state attorney general – which the executive does not intend to change – or because of the law on official secrets, which was presented in the first round in the council. Ministers in August, but it is still in Moncloa’s drawer .
Source: El Diario