On 21 April, the Spanish government announced the withdrawal of the controversial reform to the Spanish General Council of the Judiciary. The decision comes after active and tireless work by Europe’s liberals, including European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová and Commissioner Didier Reynders as well as the European Parliament representatives of Spanish ALDE member Ciudadanos, led by ALDE Party Vice-President Luis Garicano.
This is not the first time that liberal Commissioners have expressed concern about the possible limitation of judicial independence in Spain. At the end of last year, the European Commission sent a letter to the Spanish Government expressing its doubts about the reform and, on Monday 19 April, Vice-President Jourová reiterated the EU’s position, already expressed in the 2020 Rule of law report, stressing the importance of addressing the issue with the Judicial Council to avoid its politicisation.
The government’s reversal is a key success of European Liberals and a sign of our continuous fight for democracy, rule of law and the respect for the divisions of power.
The suggested reform, presented by government parties PSOE and Unidas Podemos in October 2020 without consultations with the opposition, was a sign of politicisation of the body and an attempt to undermine democracy and the rule of law. This reform was intended to modify the parliamentary majorities needed to renew the body.
Bruselas para el intento de “okupación” del poder judicial por parte de la coalición Podemos-PSOE.— Luis Garicano (@lugaricano) April 20, 2021
Extremadamente importante y exitoso trabajo de @RenewEurope @CiudadanosCs. Muchas gracias @VeraJourova por defender la democracia española y la separación de poderes. https://t.co/kRMzJJ7UgS
Today, I had a very useful meeting with Spanish Justice Minister Campo to discuss current issues of common interest, including the situation of Spanish National Council of Judiciary. Here is my comment after the meeting : pic.twitter.com/xLhWjxC1hk— Věra Jourová (@VeraJourova) April 19, 2021