Remember that Brussels has at its disposal tools such as infringement procedures or the suspension of funds

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said this Monday that it would be “positive” if the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) was renewed, as recommended by the European Commission a year ago, before Spain assumes the rotating Presidency of the EU on July 1.

In an act in Madrid organized by the World Jurist Association (WJA) in which King Felipe VI was present, Reynders referred to the importance of defending the rule of law and in particular to the report on this issue published last year by Brussels, in which for the first time specific recommendations were made to the member states.

In the case of Spain, he indicated, “we recommend proceeding with the renewal of the CGPJ as a matter of priority and starting immediately after the renewal a process to adapt the appointment of its judges that takes into account European standards.”

“It would be positive to implement the recommendation before the start of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU in July”, defended the Commissioner for Justice, specifying that in this year’s report on the matter, which will be published precisely that same month, assess how the recommendations have been addressed.

When it comes to the rule of law and the challenges it faces, Reynders said, the European Commission always tries to first engage in a dialogue with the member state concerned, “but unfortunately dialogue doesn’t always bring results.”

For this reason, Brussels opts for a “dual approach” based on dialogue and, when necessary, “decisive actions”. Thus, he added, “we can launch infringement proceedings and ultimately resort to the Court of Justice of the EU.” This first option has already been employed with Poland, he has reminded himself.

Likewise, there are new instruments, such as the conditionality of the funds. In this sense, he said, Brussels launched a budget conditionality procedure against Hungary last year, which blocked cohesion funds for this country. In addition, a series of milestones have been established in the case of both countries related to this matter that must be met in order for them to receive European funds for their respective recovery plans.

On the other hand, Reynders has congratulated himself on the fact that thanks to these reports, which he has defended that they are prepared in a transparent and equitable manner, they have led to “positive reforms of the judicial system” in some member states, as was the case in Luxembourg and its constitutional reform.

The Commissioner for Justice stressed that the rule of law also facilitates progress in other areas at the international level, since it “fosters stability, sustainable economic development, trade and investment”.

“Promoting the rule of law is our priority, especially in relation to enlargement and the neighboring countries”, he stressed, hence the respect for this issue and fundamental rights is the main milestone that is required in the face of to advance in the accession processes. “This is necessary to preserve our identity as a community of values”, she has justified.

Finally, Reynders thanked the WJA for awarding the World Peace and Liberty Award to the EU, which will be collected by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during the World Law Congress that will take place next July In New York.