The Vice President of the European Commission urges to renew the Judiciary: "I would like to see results"

The Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Values ​​and Transparency, Vera Jourová, stated this Tuesday that the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) must be made up “of a part of judges who are chosen by the judges, and those should to be the majority. This was underlined during his speech at an informative meeting organized in Madrid by the New Economy Forum, during which he responded to the question of whether Spain can be sanctioned if the blockade on the renewal of the governing body of the judges, which had to have been renewed in December 2018. The PP has recently promised to present a proposal to the Government next month to renew the Judiciary, which includes a series of reforms for the “regeneration” of justice. The Government sees in this movement a new attempt to delay a process. Jourová has acknowledged that political efforts are being made, but she has urged that a solution be found. “I would like to see results,” she said.

Jourová has not ruled on a possible sanction and has limited himself to explaining that, within the European Union, there are 11 countries that have a body similar to the General Council of the Judiciary, which, “according to the regulations”, must be composed of “On the one hand, there are judges who are elected by the judges, and those should be the majority,” while the minority, a smaller number of them, “should be appointed by Parliament, by political parties.” The vice president of the Commission has not spoken directly about the Spanish model, where of the 20 members of the Council, 12 are judges proposed directly by the judges, although it is the Courts that select those elected from a broader list proposed by the members of the race. The other eight members are jurists proposed by the parliamentary groups. To be elected, the members of both lists must obtain at least three-fifths of the votes of Congress and the Senate, which, with the current distribution of both chambers, requires an agreement between the PSOE and the PP.

Jourová’s words indicate that, in principle, the Vice President of the Commission considers that the system for electing members in Spain does not fit with European preferences, since the 12 member judges are not directly chosen by the judges. However, in an interview with EL PAÍS published this Monday, Jourová stated: “According to the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, of course, the ideal situation is that one more than half of the members of the councils is voted or selected by their peers, by the judges”. That nuance, “voted or selected”, would assimilate the Spanish model to the European recommendations. In that same interview, the Commissioner for Values ​​and Transparency also pointed out that “the three-fifths majority required to renew the CGPJ meets the standards.”

In his speech this Tuesday, Jourová has unequivocally censored the legal reform proposal that the Government put forward in 2020 to allow the Judiciary to be renewed with an absolute majority, which would allow the current blockade to be undone without the need for the votes of the PP . But the Executive withdrew that proposal after receiving harsh criticism from Brussels, a circumstance that the vice president of the Commission has recalled. “Already in 2020 we ask that they withdraw the reform and that they seek a political solution”, she said, before regretting that, since then, no progress has been made in the renewal of the body. The commissioner has shown her concern about a possible “politicization” of the CGPJ. “We do not want to see these councils being politicized”, she has affirmed, although she has assured that she “understands” “what the reality of Spain is”. “Many political efforts are being made, although I would also like to see results now,” she said.

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