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Commissioner Jourová Under Pressure From The European Public For Not Disclosing Documentation On Slovenia

“Did the European Commissioner Věra Jourová influence the Constitutional Court’s decision and thus enable the Slovenian government to take over the public broadcaster RTV Slovenia?” asks the media outlet The European Conservative, adding that top officials of the former ruling Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), including MEP Dr Milan Zver, think it is very likely that this is true – and that the European Commission may be trying to cover it up.

This week, the European Ombudsman’s office, which is considered to be the watchdog of the various European Union institutions, asked the European Commission to submit the documents relating to last year’s visit to Slovenia by Věra Jourová, who occupies the post of Commissioner for Transparency and Values – which, in light of the situation at hand, is quite grotesque.

“The Ombudsman’s decision marks a significant milestone in advancing transparency of EU institutions. The opacity and questionable competence displayed by Věra Jourová are unacceptable and must not be repeated,” MEP Milan Zver told The European Conservative.

The European Commission is clearly stalling

The European Human Rights Ombudsman’s request came as a response to a complaint lodged by MEP Zver last month. In his complaint, Zver accuses the European Commission of being deliberately opaque in refusing to release documents relating to a meeting between Jourová and the President of the Slovenian Constitutional Court, Matej Accetto, in March 2023, which is suspected of paving the way for the left-globalist Slovenian government to arrange for the removal of all conservatives from the country’s only public broadcaster.

The International Secretary of the Slovenian Democratic Party, Peter Šuhel, who believes that this move clearly violated the Constitution, reprimanded the Commission for the radically different standards it applies to national governments ruled by conservatives, such as the one in Hungary, and those led by governments considered to be globalist allies, such as the one in Slovenia. “If the government of former Prime Minister Janez Janša had done something similar, the European Commission would have immediately initiated Article 7 proceedings,” Šuhel commented to the same media outlet.

MEP Zver has also accused the Commission of “deliberately stalling to prevent Věra Jourová from being held accountable for her actions” before her mandate expires in May this year. In view of the public outcry caused by the practically coincidental visit of Commissioner Jourová and the high-profile Constitutional Court decision, MEP Zver sent a request to the Commission for access to the documentation relating to the visit as early as on the 7th of March last year. Two months later, the Commission responded by sending a heavily redacted report on Jourová’s mission to Slovenia, which did not contain the requested information. MEP Zver responded by immediately applying for disclosure of the unredacted report, the notes of the meeting between Jourová and Accetto, internal communications in the Commission offices about the visit, and internal communications in Jourová’s office about the visit.

Over the following nine months, the European Commission extended the deadline for responding to requests for information four times, in breach of the European Union rules on public access to European Commission documents. MEP Zver has also referred the matter to the European Ombudsman for this reason.

In addition to asking the Commission to provide the requested documents by the 29th of January at the latest, the European Ombudsman’s Office also stated that it would review all internal European Commission documents that fall within the scope of Jourová’s meeting with the President of the Slovenian Constitutional Court.

MEP Zver is fully committed to obtaining the documentation

Regarding the Commission’s conduct, Zver said that it was imperative that the European Commission disclose all relevant internal documents, in particular the records relating to Jourová’s mission to Slovenia. “Such transparency is crucial to dispel doubts about the Commission and the Commissioner’s influence on the Constitutional Court’s decision. Rest assured that I am fully committed to obtaining these documents, even if it means launching legal proceedings against Věra Jourová,” the MEP stressed.

Šuhel, who served as Chief of Staff to then-Prime Minister Janez Janša during the term of the previous government, highlighted the speed with which the Ombudsman responded to MEP Zver’s complaint. “The seriousness of the offences committed by Jourová and the Commission was such that the European Ombudsman acted quickly, requesting the publication of the relevant documents in less than a month,” Šuhel pointed out, adding that this development undoubtedly represents a significant victory for MEP Zver, as it illustrates his unwavering commitment to transparency.

Ž. N.

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