Didier Reynders demands Pedro Sánchez unblock the General Council of the Judiciary

The Justice Commissioner of the European Union, Didier Reyndershas urged the Government this Thursday to unlock and renew the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and has recalled that judges must elect their peers, in line with what the Popular Party demands for the depoliticization of Justice. Sánchez rejects this proposal.

This is how Reynders pronounced himself in his appearance in the Congress of Deputies, within the framework of his visit to Spain to address the blockade of the CGPJ. In a marathon agenda, the community head of Justice will meet with five ministers -Nadia Calviño; José Manuel Albares, Pilar Llop, Félix Bolaños and Alberto Garzón- and with opposition leaders, in addition to the president of the Supreme Court and the CGPJ, Carlos Lesmes; with the President of the Constitutional Court, Pedro González-Trevijano, and with the State Attorney General, Álvaro García Ortiz. This Thursday it has been seen with the Professional Association of the Judiciary (APM) and the Francisco de Vitoria Judicial Association (AJFV).

Reynders has pointed out that the criteria for the election of the body of judges are defined by the Court of Justice of the EU and the Council of the EU.

“We only ask that when a General Council of the Judiciary is installed, it has to respect a series of rules,” he warned. And, among them, “one stands out, the idea that the CGPJ has to be composed by a majority of judges elected by their peers». “It is not an imposition of the European Commission, but a decision of the committee of ministers of the Council of Europe, of which Spain is a part, and which was taken in 2010, therefore, it is not new,” he added.

The commissioner has reiterated that the Justice must be independent and that the renewal of the CGPJ is urgent, as well as launching a reform “to comply with European standards in the next appointments.”

During his appearance, Reynders has not hidden his concern about the blockade situation in the highest body of Spanish judges.

«In Spain, the main concern is that there is no renewal of the Judiciary, with the consequences that this has. There are more and more vacancies in the Supreme Court and fewer rulings », he asserted.

In this context, he has also warned that Spain is at an important moment, that “it will coincide with the presidency of the Council of the EU” and has warned that Brussels will “pay close attention to the reforms that are carried out”.

Thus, he has pointed out that if the European recommendations are not applied, the Court of Justice can be resorted to, opening infringement procedures “for non-compliance with the rules related to the independence of Justice.” He has also linked European funds to respect for the rule of law.

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