The Slovenia Times

Candidates for General Court of EU presented to public


Pavliha, an international maritime law expert, said at the presentation in the Presidential Palace that he had decided for the candidacy because he wanted to personally and actively contribute to the development of the EU.

The former MP said he had a rich academic career and ten years of experience in business, including in the fields dealt with by the General Court of the EU (intellectual property, competition and labour law), as well as political experience.

The former minister of transport said he would work independently, conscientiously and impartially, noting that he was not a member of any political party.

Prek, who if appointed will serve his third term at the court, meanwhile said he believed he had done a good job. "I think that we have managed to build in the past 12 years one of the most solid and experienced teams at the court."

Among the future challenges, he singled out the conclusion of the 2016 reform which expanded the number of judges to two from each EU member state, and the continued efforts to eliminate court backlog.

Prek could not avoid questions about the allegation of physical and mental abuse made by an unnamed female colleague at the court in a statement for the public broadcaster TV Slovenija on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

He said that the person was a former employee in his office, with whom he had a brief "emotional connection" a few years ago, only to later establish that it was a "misunderstanding".

"My spouse and me and the spouse of that person and the lady herself resolved this misunderstanding in 2015 and the matter was closed," he said, adding he was surprised that it had been raised again right when he was running for another term.

Prek denied having physically and mentally abused the former colleague and having behaved inappropriately in his office, and noted that he had been backed by the court president after presenting the allegations.

Prek was also backed by Pavliha, who said at the presentation that he respected him as a "top-level jurist, exceptional judge and a good man, which is why I completely trust and believe him".

The two were selected among ten candidates by President Borut Pahor, with Marko Ilešič, who served alongside Prek during the last term, opting not to vie for another term.

Before his first appointment to the court, Prek had served as a member of Slovenia's EU accession talks team.

Pavliha teaches at the Portorož-based Faculty for Maritime Studies and Transport, the Ljubljana faculties of law and economy and at the Malta International Maritime Law Institute.

He was honoured with the Jurist of the Year title by the Jurists' Association in 2001.


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