Slovenian EU presidency expected to continue rule of law dialogue

Brussels – The German EU presidency and the European Commission have expressed the expectation that the dialogue on the rule of law in the bloc, launched by the German presidency, would be continued under future presidencies, including Slovenia’s, which is scheduled for the second half of 2021.

This comes after Germany hosted a second debate on the rule of law on Tuesday. In the past, Slovenia has been reserved in its answers to questions whether it would follow the German model of discussions when it takes over the presidency.

The European Commission issued this year the first report on the rule of law for the entire bloc, with Germany deciding to host two discussions: a general one was held in October, and a discussion involving the first five members in ceremonial order, with Estonia replacing Germany, following today.

Michael Roth, the German state secretary for EU affairs, expressed satisfaction after today’s event that the Portuguese and the Slovenian presidencies were willing to continue the process launched by Germany.

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynolds said that cooperation with Portugal and Slovenia during their presidencies will remain the same, meaning with oversight of some member states.

He also said that the Commission planned to issue the second rule of law report for the entire bloc during Slovenia’s presidency, and thanked future presidencies for their dedication to continue the German model with the objective to create a true rule of law union.

In a press release issued after the discussion today, Gašper Dovžan, state secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry, underlined the importance of an objective and non-discriminatory approach based on independent data, and equal treatment of all member states.

The common objective must be to find better understanding of different systems in member states, which should lead to a uniform understanding of common values, said Dovžan.

He was unavailable for questions today, but responding to a question on whether Slovenia would follow the German model, Dovžan said in October that the intention of Germany to hold specific discussions did not depend so much on the presidency itself as on the five countries willing to discuss the rule of law in this way.