Brussels considers that the key piece to unblock the deep institutional crisis that Spain is experiencing is the urgent renovation of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), whose mandate has already expired for four years. The European Commissioner for Justice, the Belgian liberal Didier Reyndershas criticized that the Government of Pedro Sánchez and the Popular Party have suspended the negotiations on the governing body of the judges and has demanded that they reconsider your position and return to the dialogue table.
In the midst of a clash between the Constitutional Court (TC) and the Government of Sánchez for the express reform on the system of election of the highest body of guarantees promoted by PSOE and Unidas Podemos, Reynders published this Wednesday a thread on Twitter in which what is most striking is precisely the absence of any mention of the TC.
The Commissioner of Justice focuses exclusively on the paralysis of the governing body of judges. “I am sorry to hear that in Spain the negotiations on the renewal of the CGPJ, which has been operating since December 2018, have been suspended. The position of the European Commission in this regard is already well known,” denounces Reynders.
I regret to hear that in #Spain negotiations on the renewal of the Council for the Judiciary, which has been acting in ad interim functions since December 2018, have been suspended. The position of the @EU_Commission in this regard is already well known (2022 #RuleOfLaw report).
— Didier Reynders (@dreynders) December 21, 2022
“The European Commission has recommended that Spain proceed with the renewal of the CGPJ as a matter of priority and initiate, immediately after the renewal, a reform with the aim of adjusting the appointment of its judge members, taking into account European standards”, underlines the Commissioner for Justice. Brussels asks that they be the judges themselves (and not Parliament as now) those who name at least half of the members of the CGPJ.
“The European Commission continues to do an appeal to all parties involved to take all necessary measures to successfully put this recommendation into practice”, concludes Reynders. In other words, Brussels demands that the Government of Sánchez and the PP sit down again to negotiate the renewal of the CGPJ, which in turn would also allow the Constitutional Court to be unblocked.
[Bruselas respalda al TC en su pulso con el Gobierno: “Las reformas judiciales deben consultarse”]
The Community Executive follows the crisis in Spain with great concern, although it tries to limit its intervention as much as possible so that national actors are the ones who find a way out. This Tuesday, the Commission expressly supported the Constitutional Court and expressed its discomfort at the fact that Sánchez has attempted an express processing of his reform, without consulting the judiciary or the Venice Commission.
In this context, Brussels points out that It is up to the Constitutional Court to resolve any doubt or complaint about the reform and the authorities they should respect their decisions. In this sense, the Community Executive celebrates that both the Government of Sánchez as the presidents of Congress and Senate have announced that they abide by the ruling of the Constitutional.
For the Community Executive, the “root of everything” is the lack of renewal of the CGPJ, which has created “a rot that has spread to other organs”, as community sources explain to this newspaper. In turn, the reaction of the Sánchez government to resolve this blockade “has been creating additional problems that are not justified – nor can they be justified – by the initial problem”.
Despite this, The European Commission is reluctant to get fully involved in the crisis, although more and more requests in this regard are coming from Spain. “As long as the institutions work, and for the moment they work, it is not up to us to intervene. Spain is a sovereign country with a full democracy, not a protectorate,” adduce the sources consulted.
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