Govt decides to repeat call for delegated prosecutors again

Photo: STA

Ljubljana/Luxembourg – After a court reversed its decision to annul the original procedure to appoint Slovenia’s two European delegated prosecutors, the government has mandated the Justice Ministry publish yet a new call for applications for the two posts.

The Administrative Court on Monday overturned the government’s decision of May to annul the pick of Tanja Frank Eler and Matej Oštir as Slovenia’s delegated prosecutors to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), upholding the pair’s appeal.

The government was supposed to re-examine the appointment of the two prosecutors with the law requiring that it only take note of the result of the selection procedure and refer the candidates to the EPPO.

However, at the session today the government established that the court’s decision could not be implemented as the procedure the government was supposed to re-examine had been concluded with the publication of a new call for applications on 9 July.

“By their own account the two plaintiffs had applied for the new call, thus they obviously deem themselves that the procedure following the first public call was concluded,” the Government Communication Office (UKOM) said in a press release.

Frank Eler and Oštir were the only candidates to apply in the second call.

With a view to a fast and successful appointment procedure, the government thus mandated the Justice Ministry, that in the case of the unsuccessful public call of 9 July, it publish a new call for applications, the release reads.

Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič told the press after a meeting of EU justice ministers that it was in the ministry’s interest to “complete the procedure as soon as possible based on the valid legislation.”

He said he would “work constructively” on the appointment and hoped for the constructive cooperation of all other stakeholders as well.

European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said the Commission was “waiting for a clear explanations about what are the consequences of the new decisions from the administrative court and of the government today”.

He noted that the Commission was following the situation “very closely” and would decide if it needed to use “other tools to try to have a real success in the appointment of the European delegated prosecutors.”

The government annulled the selection in late May with the argument that there was an insufficient number of candidates in the selection procedure, a move that prompted the resignation of Lilijana Kozlovič as justice minister.

In reversing the government’s decision, the Administrative Court said the move constituted an “infringement of an absolutely essential requirement in the administrative procedure” as the reasoning was not explained to the two prosecutors, which constituted a denial of justice.

Slovenia is the only country involved in the EPPO that has not yet named its delegated prosecutors despite repeated calls from Brussels that it should do so.