Brussels postpones the meeting on the CGPJ because the parties need more time

Mediation for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) is still not an easy path.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 March 2024 Sunday 22:25
6 Reads
Brussels postpones the meeting on the CGPJ because the parties need more time

Mediation for the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) is still not an easy path. The meeting scheduled for next Wednesday the 27th, which was going to take place in Madrid, between the Deputy Secretary of Institutional Action of the PP, Esteban González Pons, and the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, and sponsored by the Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynders, It has been postponed because the parties need more time, according to sources consulted by La Vanguardia. Furthermore, since yesterday the Belgian politician has been one of the official candidates to be Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

The fourth meeting for the reform of the CGPJ between PSOE and PP will not take place, finally, next Wednesday. Community sources explain that the parties have asked the European commissioner for more time and that he remains prepared to meet at any time and deny that this is because he must soon leave his position as commissioner. The PP spokesperson, Borja Sémper, admitted this morning that he could not confirm that the meeting was going to take place. The meeting, in fact, no longer appears on the commissioner's official agenda either.

It also happens that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, an organization that is not part of the European Union, has also decided this Monday that Reynders, former Belgian minister and current European commissioner, remains a candidate to lead the organization, a position for which he already opted in 2019, without success, then when he was part of the Belgian executive, as deputy prime minister.

According to the European Commission's Code of Conduct, any member of the Executive who wishes to start a campaign as an official candidate in another institution must leave their position through unpaid leave, as recently happened with Vice President Margarethe Vestager in charge of Competition and Digital when he opted to preside over the European Investment Bank (EIB) and that in the end fell to the government's former first economic vice president, Nadia Calviño.

It was already planned that Reynders could leave his position at this time if his candidacy became official. In fact, now with the nomination, the Belgian politician must inform the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and she must decide on her replacement. Therefore, if the Executive so decides, it must also announce who will assume the mediation of the CGPJ and that, after three meetings (two in Brussels, and another in Strasbourg) it has not yet managed to obtain white smoke. However, Reynders in the last meeting was positive and even defended that “the agreement is possible”, despite the pessimism of González Pons, and Bolaños arguing that “the dialogue between the two parties is good news”.

In the three previous meetings, no details of the content, how the negotiation is taking place or the working method were revealed, and thus avoid leaks in the face of delicate discussions. Brussels insists, as it has requested in its reports on the Rule of Law, that the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary be unblocked first and "immediately afterwards" reform the method of electing judges. However, this has never been the preferable scenario for the Popular Party.