During the debate, many MEPs underlined that significant threats to democracy remain in Slovenia, despite positive developments. Highlighting media funding, online harassment, lawsuits (SLAPP) and threats against critical voices in Slovenia’s highly polarized political environment, MEPs said government officials (including the Prime Minister ) are responsible for efforts to silence alleged critics.
Several MEPs also spoke of political reasons deliberately delaying the appointment of prosecutors in the EPPO. They also highlighted corruption and the impact of late appointments of state prosecutors to relevant investigations, as well as the threat the Union faces from the proliferation of illiberal political movements in Member States.
However, a large number of MPs said that most of the issues at the heart of this debate are either resolved or politically motivated. The appointment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office was finalized earlier today, they say, also recalling the solution recently found for the funding of the national news agency STA. As a result, many MEPs have argued that respect for European values is not a problem in Slovenia.
The debate recorded with Minister Anže Logar on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council and Commissioner Reynders can be followed here.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (European Public Prosecutor’s Office) is the EU’s new independent public prosecutor responsible for prosecuting offenses affecting its financial interests, such as corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. Member States’ participation is voluntary – currently 22 EU countries, including Slovenia, have chosen to participate and delegate their prosecutors to carry out investigations in their country of origin. The European Public Prosecutor’s Office started its operations on June 1, 2021. The Commission 2021 report report on the rule of law in Slovenia noted that the appointment of state prosecutors in the country is unduly delayed, and cautioned against not appointing EU delegated prosecutors in a timely manner.
A delegation from the European Parliament recently visited Ljubljana, where MEPs met national authorities, journalists and NGOs to assess the respect for European values in the country.