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Friday, April 19, 2024

Jourová’s Visit A Direct Interference In Our Country’s Justice System; Von Der Leyen Has Already Been Informed

By: Andrej Žitnik (Nova24tv)

On the occasion of the visit of European Commissioner Vera Jourová to Slovenia, many political insiders have voiced their opinion that her statements and the visit itself created pressure on the work of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, which has not yet ruled on the Radio-Television Slovenia Act case. MEP Romana Tomc is demanding explanations from the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.

On Thursday, European Commissioner Vera Jourová concluded her two-day visit to Slovenia, but she upset the public with her visit to the Constitutional Court and some of her statements. During her meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, she also touched upon the situation at the national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia.

She expressed her expectation that the Constitutional Court would rule on the constitutionality of the amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act soon. Jourová also met with the President of the Constitutional Court, Matej Accetto, on Wednesday, but she said that they did not discuss the constitutional review of the amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, precisely because the procedure is still ongoing. However, many people pricked their ears when she said that “the decision of the Constitutional Court will show how public service broadcasting will develop in the future.”

The European Commissioner does not have these powers

Many believe that this may also put pressure on the Constitutional Court’s decision-making process. It should be noted that Commissioner Jourová has often spoken on the very subject of the rule of law in Slovenia, but this time, she is commenting on pending cases before the Constitutional Court. In doing so, she also sent the message that her arrival in Slovenia was carefully planned – precisely to help steer the case in the “right direction” from the outside.
Political commentator Miro Haček commented on this on Twitter, writing: “The European Commissioner has no power to comment on decisions of the Constitutional Court of any European Union Member State. Even last year, the Commission advised us to strengthen the independence of judicial institutions, so her visit to Accetto is a slap in the face of her own recommendations.”

Member of the European Parliament Romana Tomc demands clarifications from the Commission President

The fact that Jourová’s visit could be interpreted as impermissible pressure on the work of the Constitutional Court has been highlighted by Slovenian MEP Romana Tomc in a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen. As Romana Tomc pointed out, Jourová has cast serious doubt on the Commission’s commitment to European values, the rule of law and the free media, and she is looking forward to a clarification on the matter and a discussion with the Commissioner. She also asked the European Commission for its position on “whether the Commission supports the kind of interference in media legislation that has taken place in Slovenia in the case of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act.”
Mitja Iršič also commented on what has happened, pointing out that it is interesting that our President, Nataša Pirc Musar, had not warned the European Commissioner in advance that she should give up such grotesque attempts to interfere in our justice system. “Are we a sovereign country, or will European Commissioners from Renew Europe be judging our Constitution in the future?” he added.

 You can read MEP Romana Tomc’s letter in its entirety below.

“Dear President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen,

Commissioner Vera Jourová visited Slovenia this week. In the face of many concerns about this visit, particularly with regard to her choice of interlocutors, the list of which is available on the official website of the European Commission, the most attention was drawn to the Commissioner’s meeting with the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, which took place at a very inappropriate time.

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia is in the process of deciding on a new Radio-Television Slovenia Act, and the process has not yet been finalised. The Constitutional Court has suspended the implementation of the law, which is a slap in the face for the government and the people who insisted on its adoption. The law was adopted immediately after the new government took office, and it was adopted under an emergency procedure and without public participation. In the opinion of many, the law represents an attempt at a complete politicisation of the national media outlet, RTV.

Commissioner Jourová has made it clear in her past statements that she supports the law in question, and she even became involved in the referendum campaign last November, despite the fact that she had been warned of the controversy surrounding the law on several occasions. It is very strange that the European Commission, which stresses the importance of political non-interference in the media, is not concerned about such gross and unacceptable political interference in the media legislation. On the contrary, the Commission clearly supports them.

The Constitutional Court’s decision was a major disappointment for the government of Robert Golob. It is an unbelievable coincidence that the Commissioner organised a meeting with the President of the Constitutional Court just after the Constitutional Court had ruled against the government’s interests and while the case is still pending. Commissioner Jourová’s visit could also be seen as impermissible political pressure on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia.

Dear President of the European Commission, you have repeatedly reiterated your commitment and the commitment of the European Commission as a whole to defend European values based on the rule of law and free media. Unfortunately, individual actions by your commissioners cast doubt on the sincerity of these commitments. I kindly ask you to discuss the situation described above with Commissioner Jourová and to take a stance in regard to this incident.

I also ask you to publish the official position of the European Commission as to whether the Commission supports the way in which the intervention in the media legislation has happened in Slovenia in the case of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act.

I wish you success in your work and send kind regards.

Romana Tomc”

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