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MEP Romana Tomc Wrote To Sophie In’t Veld About The Unconstitutional Attempt To Dismiss The RTV Programme Councillors

As we have previously reported, Janja Sluga, a member of the Freedom Movement (Gibanje Svoboda) party (who is also a former “renegade” of the SMC party and one of the four lone socialist horsemen in the party – along with Brane Rajić and Igor Zorčič), when convening four regular meetings of the Commission for Public Office and Elections, put on the agenda proposals for resolutions of the dismissals and termination of work of RTV Slovenia Programme Councillors Slavko Kmetič, Alojzij Bogataj, Dr Leon Oblak, Dr Ivan Štuhec, Andrej Prebil, Žiga Kušar, Alenka Gotar, MSc, Jelka Stergel and Rok Hodej. This is the first time something like that has happened in the history of Slovenian parliamentarism, particularly due to the unconstitutional political pressure on the public institution Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS). MEP Romana Tomc thus decided to write to Sophie In’t Veld, Chairwoman of the LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG), drawing her attention to the latest in a series of government attacks on RTV Slovenia and suggesting a meeting. We are publishing her letter in its entirety below.   

“Dear Chair of the DRFMG Group, Ms. Sophie In’t Veld,

In my previous letter dated April 13th, I informed you about the admission made by the Slovenian Prime Minister regarding the political takeover of the national broadcaster of Slovenia through the RTV Slovenia Act (Zakon o radioteleviziji Slovenije).

In your brief response, you mentioned that the letter containing the questions was sent to the Slovenian authorities on March 30th, 2023.

Today I would like to bring your attention to the attached letter from the CEO of RTV Slovenia.

Following my repeated warnings about the grave violations of the Rule of Law in Slovenia, I would like to request information regarding the actions by the DRFMG Group. I am interested in knowing the following:

  1. Has there been a meeting to discuss the situation in Slovenia? If so, could you kindly provide me with an update on the outcomes of the meeting?
  2. Have you received a response from the Slovenian authorities within the specified timeframe? Additionally, I request that all relevant information be published online.
  3. What is the position of the Group regarding the current situation in Slovenia?

Slovenian authorities are urging the disregard of the Constitutional Court’s decision regarding the RTV Law. This situation is of utmost seriousness, and the European institutions, particularly the European Parliament, possess the necessary authority to respond.

It has recently come to my attention that the government of the Republic of Slovenia, specifically the Electoral Commission of the National Assembly, which is controlled by the government, has already begun procedures which will unlawfully remove “disobedient” members of the programming council of RTV Slovenia. These are the individuals who refuse to shape the Programming content according to the Government’s desires.

I would like to seize this opportunity to remind you that the actions taken by the European Parliament during previous centre right government were prompt yet lacked any justification. People who already have little trust in European institutions, particularly those concerned with democracy, perceive these reactions as politically motivated. You now have a unique opportunity to refute this belief.

Romana Tomc”

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