The Slovenia Times

EU Parliament's draft Slovenia resolution expresses concern over polarisation

Daily news

Brussels - Four political groups in the European Parliament - Social Democrats, Liberals, the Greens and United Left - have submitted a resolution on the rule of law in Slovenia, on which MEPs will vote on Thursday. Much like a report by the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), it expresses great concern over deep polarisation in the country.

The 11-page draft resolution, obtained by the STA, which has not been published yet, mentions the concerning level of public debate, an atmosphere of hostility, distrust and deep polarisation, which has undermined the trust in public bodies and among them.

This is a similar message as was conveyed by the LIBE report compiled after a fact-finding mission in Slovenia in October.

The resolution says that all influential public office holders and politicians, including government members, must lead by example and create a respectful and civilised public debate without intimidation, attacks, insults and bullying.

The resolution welcomes the appointment of Slovenia's delegated prosecutors to the European Public Prosecutor's Office after a six-month delay and expresses concern over the proposed changes to the state prosecution act, which would enable a retroactive changing of the criteria for the appointment of delegated prosecutors and thus also the dismissal of the recently appointed prosecutors.

The resolution also welcomes the restored financing of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and stresses the importance of long-term financing for the agency's independence. It calls on the government to regularly finance the STA in the future as determined by law, and ensure the agency's editorial independence.

The document also expresses concern over attacks, smear campaigns, criminal investigations and strategic lawsuits against public participation, especially if they come from the authorities, and calls on all players to abandon such practices.

The Slovenian government is also urged to ensure adequate financing of RTV Slovenija and immediately stop with any political interfering and pressure on the public broadcaster's editorial policy and ensure its independence.

Despite efforts for the largest political group in the parliament, the European People's Party (EPP), to join the four initiators, this has not happened. Unofficial information suggest the EPP has not drafted an alternative resolution, which is common in such cases.

According to unofficial sources, the EPP sought to have the resolution withdrawn from the agenda as two key issues that were the reason for the resolution, that is the delayed appointment of Slovenia's delegated prosecutors and the financing of the STA, have since been resolved.

But these efforts have failed and the European Parliament will take a vote on the resolution at a plenary in Strasbourg on Thursday.

The resolution is expected to be endorsed by MEPs, including some from the EPP. The EPP is to meet a day before the vote to discuss the resolution.


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