As is well known, the four Members of the European Parliament from the ranks of the SD and LMŠ party (Tanja Fajon, Milan Brglez, Irena Joveva and Klemen Grošelj) launched an intensive campaign, trying to convince the European institutions to block the payment of the European funds to Slovenia, which the Prime Minister Janez Janša fought long and hard for at the recent EU budget negotiations, on the basis of the alleged overthrowing of the rule of law in Slovenia. Member of the European Parliament Milan Zver, Ph.D., responded to their actions, for the newspaper Demokracija.
“The debate on the rule of law in Slovenia is certainly needed. We have been drawing attention to the injustices that are happening in the judiciary for many years, and we have already informed the international public about the problems that are happening in our country, but the international public has not responded so far. We have also been discussing the need for a judicial reform for a long time now, but so far, no changes have been made,” warned the SDS MEP Milan Zver, Ph.D.
“Unfortunately, the legacy of the transitional left-wing governments, such as clientelism and nepotism in all branches of the government, and the unreasonable changing and accumulation of legal regulations, goes deep, and a lot of effort and strength is required to change that. The government that is being led by Janez Janša, which took office in March this year, rolled up its sleeves in order to improve the situation in the field of the rule of law, but something that is so deeply rooted, is impossible to change overnight,” Zver wrote in his response.
The rule of law was not on the agenda during the times of the transitional governments
Zver explained that he is worried that a possible debate in the European Parliament on the situation regarding the rule of law would not go in the desired direction, but would be about everything else, and that the members of the left-wing parties in the European Parliament would try to tarnish Slovenia’s reputation, solely because the centre-right political option is currently in power. “Namely, the rule of law was not mentioned once during the time of the transitional governments,” Zver pointed out.
“To me, it seems extremely inappropriate and non-state-building that in the fight for power, political tools which can have a negative effect on the citizens are being used, the consequences of which can mean that Slovenia would receive less European funds than it negotiated with difficulty. The issue of the rule of law in Slovenia is being used by the political left for political purposes, similarly to what the left-wing forces are doing in the European Parliament, when it comes to the issues of the rule of law in Poland or Hungary,” Zver assessed the actions of the aforementioned MEPs.
He also pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Slovenia had succeeded in negotiating a historically high amount of EU funds, which Slovenia urgently needs for the successful recovery of the economy after the public life ground to a halt because of the coronavirus crisis. “We need the financial resources for the development, for the construction of nursing homes for the elderly, for health care, social services, infrastructure, and for helping our entrepreneurs and craftsmen… All of these sectors have been thoroughly exhausted by the transitional left in the last few years. It is in our interest that such debates, as imagined by the deputies of the left, do not actually happen, however, we should discuss the double standards that certain deputies have on the issues of the rule of law.”
The Slovenian transitional left abused the justice system in the Patria case
The MEP also expressed his fears of the control mechanism, which he himself proposed years ago, precisely because of cases of abuse of justice similar to the Patria case, being turned into their exact opposite. In addition to all of this, the questions of the rule of law will now be tied to the European budget, and there is a real danger of Slovenia and the well-being of its citizens becoming hostages of the authoritarian ambitions of the transitional left.