F.Leading German MEPs express concern about Slovenia’s Council Presidency from the beginning of July. EU Parliament Vice President Katarina Barley (SPD) demanded in the newspaper Welt of all those responsible at European level – “Member States, European Commission, Parliament and the media” – that Prime Minister Janez Jansa “should not offer a stage for his anti-democratic rhetoric and politics”.
Slovenia’s six-month EU presidency will be “challenging”, said Barley. She fears that Jansa will even disappoint the hope that “even difficult heads of government will become more supportive of the state in the Council Presidency”.
Barley compared Jansa with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “Janša is a beginning Orbán.” He proceeded very similarly to “submit to the state”. Jansa deprives “unpleasant media financial support and intimidates journalists personally, especially women”.
Nicola Beer (FDP), also Vice President of the European Parliament, demanded that Jansa “must be ready to negotiate European solutions and not be a European problem herself”. She accused Slovenia’s Prime Minister of not wanting to cooperate with the newly created European Public Prosecutor’s Office and of insulting critical media.
“Anyone who denigrates the Slovenian state news agency as a ‘national disgrace’ endangers the freedom of the press and creates unacceptable pressure on journalists and bloggers,” said Beer. Jansa must “be prepared that we will take a very close look during the EU presidency and will not hesitate to openly criticize such behavior as intolerable,” she told the newspaper.
An EU Council Presidency is “no reason for false consideration. With the rule of law mechanism, we have a handle when a member state obviously crosses red lines. Slovenia should not forget this. “