PP maneuvers in Brussels to try to keep their blockade on the judiciary
The PP has been blocking the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary for almost four years. A body that coincidentally comes from Mariano Rajoy’s absolute majority. After more than 1,200 days in power, the populists are stalling and at the same time maneuvering to win over the European Commission in Brussels, after they dominated the judiciary for a decade.
The PP’s justice representative, MEP Esteban González Pons, vice-president of the European People’s Group in the European Parliament, held a secret meeting, which the parties did not report, off the agenda and kept secret, with the European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. . According to community sources. The meeting took place last Tuesday, September 13, in Strasbourg, on the eve of discussions on the status of the country.
“We never publish meetings with MEPs, communication with the European Parliament is a normal thing for commissioners,” explains a European Commission source, justifying the absence of meetings on the public agenda of Belgian commissioners: “Communication is normal. With members of the European Parliament.
Sources close to González Pons confirmed that the MEP did not discuss the CGPJ issue with Renders, although they admitted that the two have a strained relationship as the MEP is vice-president in charge of justice in the European People’s Group. Sources claim that all conversations on the matter have been through meetings, video calls or phone so far with European Commission Vice President Vera Eurova.
Pons sent several letters to Eurova and Renders. In the letters, González Ponce calls an “urgent meeting” to express his views, which blame the government for the four-year blockade the PP has been carrying out under the pretext of reforming the system for electing judges. By the judges themselves.
Pons, however, was unable to meet Eurova in Strasbourg last week.
Tactics of conservative members
In recent weeks, Conservative MPs have used excuses to delay the renewal of the constitution. Members of the CGPJ, elected by the PP, initially complained about the Progressives’ scheduling problems, and when they did, they did not make much progress, according to Marcos Pinheiro.
Among other things, the Conservatives want to solve the problem of vacancies in the Supreme Court – the judiciary is prohibited from acting – and are now asking Carlos Lesmes to wait until September 30 when he will meet with Justice Commissioner Rennes.
But the biggest stumbling block between last Friday’s and this Wednesday’s meetings is that the Conservatives failed to nominate a single constitutional candidate. He claims that he has not been approached by anyone interested in becoming a magistrate of this court. Progressives with a list of nine names claim that this is no more delay.
Therefore, no progress has been made this week after the expiry of the deadline. In fact, there is currently no agreement on when the next meeting between the two sectors will take place.
Appointments first, reforms later
Two weeks ago, Vice President Eurova wrote to CGPJ President Carlos Lesmes demanding the immediate renewal of senior judges. In his letter, he condemned the judiciary as being “hostage” to the blockade.
Next week, Renders will travel to Spain to discuss the issue with the government, the opposition party – González Ponce – the judges’ association itself and people involved in the situation gathered over the years in reports on the rules by the European Commission. . Law His agenda is as follows: Attorney General; Two Associations of Magistrates; Vice President Nadia Calvino; Presidential Minister Felix Bolaños; Consumption Minister Alberto Garzon; Minister of Justice Pilar Lope; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Albarez; Citizens Representative Edmundo Bal; NP Representative Esteban Gonzalez Ponce; grass less foundation; CGPJ President Carlos Lesmes; and TC President Pedro González Trevijano.
“We want our appointments and reforms to happen quickly. So there is an interest in discussing with the majority and the opposition to achieve the goal of reform,” Renders explains before the trip: “We are trying to organize a discussion, a dialogue between political forces. Because the renewal of the CGPJ, like the appointment of some constituent bodies, requires a majority, cooperation among the country’s major political groups is essential. And here we have to play a double role: first, to clarify what the expectations are with the rule of law report and its recommendations, expectations linked to European standards, such as the Council of Europe, of which Spain is a member. The majority of the members of the CGPJ are judges elected by their peers without interference from politics, government or parliament.
“Besides,” adds Renders, “we can also communicate. It is not just an invitation to discussion but an attempt to bring people together. And I have done the same before, but I will try to do it during this visit as well.”
Of course, the European Commissioner insists on distinguishing the situation in Spain from the process of encroachment on the rule of law in countries such as Hungary and Poland: “We must clearly recognize the situation in other Member States, where there is regression and deterioration of the situation. The difference is very clear. It is not relevant. The challenge is to bring together both the majority political parties and the opposition, the government and of course the parliament, appoint new members and initiate reforms quickly.”
“If the situation continues for a long time, if the situation does not improve in a few years, then obviously we have to consider other mechanisms. But now, for the first time, we have received a recommendation from a rule of law report,” concluded Renders.
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