On Thursday and Friday, a meeting of the Executive Committee and the Assembly of the Centrist Democrat International (IDC-CDI) took place in Bled near Kranj, Slovenia, with the most prominent centre-right politicians from around the world attending it. The IDC-CDI consists of more than 100 parties from 80 countries, with three new members confirmed at the meeting of the Executive Committee. The members discussed the future of Europe, Latin America, and Africa; reports from almost every region of the world were discussed, and they are important for many countries, not only for the organisation, as they have the support of more than 180 members from all over the world. A resolution on Slovenia was also discussed and unanimously adopted.
The General Assembly focused on 13 resolutions with the common denominators of peace, democracy and security, or threats to peace in the world and in specific regions, threats to democracy, and threats to the security of citizens. At the press conference, IDC-CDI President Andrés Pastrana Arango thanked the President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), Janez Janša, and the Slovenian people for their hospitality. Janša, who is one of the Vice-Presidents of the IDC-CDI, announced after the meeting that a resolution on Slovenia, which addresses all three of these threats, was unanimously adopted and was drafted by the SDS party.
A resolution on the situation in Slovenia
A resolution addressing the situation in Slovenia was also adopted unanimously, following a proposal by the SDS party. It concerns the pressure on the media, in particular on the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS) and the Constitutional Court, which is currently considering the Radio-Television Slovenia Act. Janša said that the case had European dimensions, as the European Commissioner Věra Jourová was also involved in it. He said that in recent days, a reflection on the government’s decision to abolish the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communist Violence had also been added. Those present in Bled were extremely surprised that something like this is happening in a country where there are more than 700 murder sites. They were particularly saddened that the government of Robert Golob had taken this decision only a few hours before the start of the Day of Remembrance, while a commemoration ceremony was taking place in Republic Square in Ljubljana.
In the resolution that was adopted at the meeting, the IDC-CDI expresses disappointment over the reversal of key reforms introduced by the previous government, including tax reforms, reforms about long-term care, transparency in healthcare procurement, reduction of bureaucracy, decentralisation and many others, as this has had a negative impact on citizens’ well-being.
According to IDC-CDI, the media landscape in Slovenia is highly unbalanced according to internationally comparable data, with more than 92 percent of all types of media being left or far-left oriented. The only national media outlet in Slovenia is the public service broadcaster RTV Slovenia, which is funded by taxpayers and should therefore be impartial in its political reporting. The IDC-CDI is therefore extremely concerned about the adoption of a law by the current coalition which seeks to take control of RTV Slovenia.
The IDC-CDI also called on all relevant institutions in Slovenia to respect the Constitution and the law and to immediately stop the political pressure on the management of RTV Slovenia and the Constitutional Court. Furthermore, the IDC-CDI expressed its utmost concern about the actions of the government, which are reviving practices reminiscent of the totalitarian regime. As stated in the adopted resolution, the members of the IDC-CDI General Assembly are deeply shocked and appalled by the recent decision of the government to abolish the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism on the eve of the commemoration of the said Day of Remembrance. This decision undermines the integrity of historical memory and undermines efforts for justice, both for the victims and their families.
The government’s decision, taken on the eve of the commemoration, has only added to concerns and sparked public outrage.
You can read the IDC-CDI’s resolution in its entirety below:
“Resolution on the situation in Slovenia
The Centrist Democrat International (IDC-CDI) maintains a vigilant eye on the political, social, and economic landscape of Slovenia. It is with grave concern that we address the actions undertaken by the current government following last year’s elections. The IDC-CDI:
- Expresses profound concern regarding the inclusion of an extremist Left party (Levica) within the current government coalition, which advocates for a socio-political system resembling that of Maduros Venezuela and advocates for policies such as nationalisation of private property, withdrawal from the NATO alliance and exit from the EMU, among other radical measures.
- Regrets the significant reversal of vital reforms introduced by the previous government, including tax reforms, long-term care provisions, healthcare procurement transparency, red-tape reduction, decentralisation efforts, and numerous others, all of which adversely impact the well-being of ordinary citizens. It firmly believes that these regressive measures will exacerbate financial hardships, increase the burden on individuals, and undermine the country’s competitiveness on the global stage.
- Notes that according to internationally comparable data, the media landscape in Slovenia is markedly imbalanced, with over 92% of all types of media outlets being left-wing and extreme left-wing oriented. Additionally, the only nationwide media outlet in Slovenia is the public RTV Slovenija, which is financed by taxpayers and should therefore be impartial in its political reporting. Is deeply concerned that the current coalition has passed a law seeking to take control of the RTV into the hands of the ruling party.
- Welcomes the fact that the Constitutional Court has temporarily suspended the enforcement of the law’s most significant articles.
- Is alarmed that the current government coalition is not respecting the ruling of the Constitutional court and is preparing to dismiss the program council members of RTV Slovenija in a manner that flagrantly violates the Constitution. Expresses deep dismay at the Prime Minister’s threats of criminal prosecution against individuals expressing dissenting views on RTV Slovenia. Regards these actions as a blatant violation of the fundamental principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
- Strongly condemns the government’s both public and private exertion of pressure on the Constitutional Court, with the aim of influencing its decision regarding the RTV act.
- Expresses deep concern over the involvement of Věra Jourová, VP of the European Commission, who openly supported the amended RTV act proposed by the government and held a meeting with the president of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia merely ten days after the act was stayed due to suspicions of its unconstitutionality. In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 on public access to the EU documents, urges EC VP Jourová to disclose all internal documents related to her mission in Slovenia. Furthermore, expresses deep concern over the lack of transparency displayed by the commissioner, who has censored five out of the six pages of her mission report and didn’t disclose other internal documents. This deliberate omission raises serious alarm and undermines the principles of openness and accountability expected from a high-ranking European official.
- Is appalled by the fact that the government is directly pressuring individual journalists through police interrogations about their reporting. Strongly condemns the financial and psychological exhaustion inflicted upon media outlets critical of the government, as well as the intimidation of independent journalists. Furthermore, we emphasise that in a country where the pluralistic media landscape is being constrained and efforts to curtail freedom of speech are on the rise, it is increasingly evident that forms of authoritarianism are taking hold.
- Calls upon all relevant institutions in Slovenia to respect the Constitution and the law, and immediately cease any political pressure on the leadership of RTV Slovenija and the Constitutional Court. Urges the European Commission to take all necessary measures to ensure that the Slovenian government respects the constitutional order and guarantees the pluralistic and independent functioning of RTV Slovenija.
- Expresses deep concern regarding the actions of the government, which is rekindling practices reminiscent of the totalitarian regime. Is specifically troubled by the government’s practice to honour monuments and sites that commemorate the creation of the totalitarian Communist Party of Slovenia and are connected to the bloody communist revolution that culminated in the extrajudicial liquidations of tens of thousands at the end of the second World War as its continual violations of human rights until the very last day of its rule.
- Is profoundly shocked and dismayed by the government’s recent decision to abolish the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism on the eve of its commemoration. This decision threatens the integrity of historical remembrance and undermines the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families. It should be the duty of the government to uphold the values of truth, justice, and remembrance, preserving the memory of the victims of all totalitarian regimes and ensuring that such historical injustices are not forgotten and repeated. Notes that the timing of this decision, on the eve of the commemoration, has further intensified the concerns and sparked public outrage.
- Calls upon the government to abandon its undemocratic behaviour and focus instead on addressing the genuine concerns of the people.”