Minister Fajon underlines Government's commitment to the rule of law
At the 8th Government session, Minister Tanja Fajon presented the European Commission's 2022 Rule of Law Report, underlining Slovenia's commitment to follow recommendations listed therein. As the lead ministry on this issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tasked all relevant ministries and authorities with undertaking a thorough review of the report and providing a comprehensive response.
The report provides an overview of the situation in four areas: the justice system, the anti-corruption framework, media pluralism, and other institutional issues related to checks and balances. This year is the first time that the report also includes the Commission's recommendations for all Member States. Slovenia received six recommendations, which it will address thoroughly and follow up wherever needs for improvement have been identified.
"The Commission's report assesses the situation over the past year, and makes objective observations that are critical but unfortunately reflect a realistic appraisal of the situation. The critical assessments and recommendations for improvement are neither unexpected nor surprising," said Minister Fajon at a press conference following the 8th Government session, adding that the report highlights all the problematic moves that the opposition has been pointing to over the past two years. She stressed that this is a report on the work of the previous government – an assessment of its work, actions and policies in four areas where the situation has deteriorated significantly according to the Commission.
The European Commission has thus made six recommendations to Slovenia, which Minister Fajon welcomes as a major novelty in this year's annual report. "All recommendations will be taken seriously and followed up," added Minister Fajon, explaining that one of the priorities of the present Government, on which they have been working since the very beginning, is respect for the rule of law. "Let me remind you that we have already taken steps to improve the rule of law situation at the first Government sessions and that the speed with which this Government has acted in itself demonstrates a strong commitment to the rule of law."
The Foreign Ministry will commit all relevant ministries and authorities to carefully analyse the findings, draw up proposals for measures to implement the Commission's recommendations, and to prepare an appropriate timetable for their implementation. On the basis of the third annual report, a debate on the rule of law in Slovenia will be held at the General Affairs Council in the autumn as part of the specific rule of law dialogue, at which time the planned measures will be presented. "Respect for the rule of law is of the utmost importance to this Government. This is what most clearly distinguishes us from the previous one that – as we can see in the report – seemed to work on undermining the rule of law. Additionally, Slovenia's return to the core of the EU, to the circle of countries that respect fundamental values, is further proof of its strong commitment to EU values," added Minister Fajon.