On Thursday, during conferences and meetings on the occasion of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, a series of tensions arose between Prime Minister Janez Jansa and representatives of the European Commission. Went, among other things about the “communist judges”.
According to journalists who reported the inauguration of the presidency from Ljubljana, the first incident occurred during a working meeting of Prime Minister Jansa with EU commissioners who came to the Slovenian capital.
In response to the questions that caused Slovenia to postpone the assignment of its representatives to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), the Head of Government referred to numerous problems in the administration of justice in his country, in particular with “communist judges”. The participants in the meeting were shown photographs documenting social contacts between judges and opposition politicians from the Social Democrats.
An angry European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans (whose father co-formed the Dutch Labor Party with the Slovenian SD party in the European Parliament) refused to take a joint “family” photo.
European Commission president defends judges
Ursula von der Leyen, chair of the commission, during the behind-the-scenes talks, had to argue that “judges have the right to autobiography” and that they should be treated with respect, even if they had different political views.
During a subsequent joint press conference of Jans and von der Leyen (whose parties – the SDS and CDU – also form one faction in the EP), they acted as an obvious reserve for each other.
The head of the commission did not directly refer to the incident with the “communist judges”, but spoke about the need to respect the rule of law and the independence of judges.
The prime minister – dubbed “Slovenian Trump” by both opponents and supporters – was not indebted to her, noting that “if anyone thinks that the European Union of 27 member states, in a few years or decades, will become a melting pot for all of them.” Same sentence, should think again.
kk / PAP