UE Reynders is happy about the "constructive dialogue" with Bolaños but reiterates that they will have questions until the final approval of the Amnesty Law

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, celebrated this Monday that a "constructive dialogue has been opened with the Spanish authorities" on the Amnesty Law

UE Reynders is happy about the "constructive dialogue" with Bolaños but reiterates that they will have questions until the final approval of the Amnesty Law

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, celebrated this Monday that a "constructive dialogue has been opened with the Spanish authorities" on the Amnesty Law. But he has reiterated that it is not a specific issue, a specific element such as protection for crimes against European funds or the inclusion of the so-called lawfare, but that there will be questions throughout the parliamentary process, waiting for possible amendments. . They are going to look at everything, every detail to see if it is in line with community law. And then, and only then, "will there be a formal and official opinion."

Reynders and Minister Félix Bolaños temporarily signed peace today in Brussels after last week's indirect clash. Aware that even if they were to appear as the current Presidency of the Council of the EU and the Commission, after a meeting of the Justice Ministers of the 27, there would be many questions on the Spanish issue (all of them, in fact) they have agreed upon the message, or rather the messages and the forms. There has been no correction, denials, but rather the opposite. Bolaños has forced the machine a bit, as he did then. And this time it was the veteran Belgian politician who returned the strategy, answering what he wanted and partially ignoring what he was asked. Or what the Spanish said.

"The Commission and the Government always work with full cooperation and address all issues of common interest with total loyalty and trust. Regarding last week's meeting, it is good to appear together to avoid misunderstandings. It is a continuous, fluid dialogue, transparent. This dialogue is developed with questions, with answers to all, with total normality, transparency and that is why we have a common position and we are totally aligned," said the Spanish minister. If there were no doubts, concerns, questions, I would not have traveled a few days ago. Another thing is that these questions prejudge the final opinion.

"We have a procedure that we share. This is not the first time that we examine a project before it is adopted. It is about opening a dialogue with the Member State. We have not changed our attitude since the first letter sent to the minister," said the commissioner. , insisting that there is no additional pressure. They formally requested the text of the law, they received it, they are studying it and within the framework of that analysis they constantly have questions. And they wait for answers as before. "We have requested the text and we are in a constructive dialogue with the authorities. It is an internal process in Spain, which will be addressed first in the Spanish Parliament. The Commission, I repeat once again, will make its evaluation when there is a definitive text."

Both have appeared together, for the first time, after the meeting of EU Justice Ministers, which the Spaniard has led within the framework of the rotating Presidency of the EU Council. Both had been at public events, in private meetings in Madrid or Barcelona, ​​but not in the press room answering questions. It is no secret that they are not exactly friends, that they have had friction in the past, that Bolaños and the Government believe that the Belgian is a "right-wing" politician and that he sympathizes too much with the PP's position in the controversy over the renewal of the CGPJ. And he did not like at all the letter he sent, with a copy to former minister Pilar Llop, just on the eve of the agreement between Junts and the PSOE, just a few hundred meters from where they shared the day today.

After the bilateral meeting last week, Bolaños assured that in the European Commission "there was no concern, zero, about the rule of law in Spain or the separation of powers." He did not say that there was no concern about the Amnesty Law, not literally, but he responded with those words to repeated questions about the Commission's concerns, trying to show that that was in fact the feeling in the institutions. What doubts and concerns there were and still are is obvious, political but also about the legal details, especially while the proposal is being processed in Congress and the process is open to amendments. And for this reason, the morning after that meeting, a community spokesperson, measuring his words very carefully, came out to correct if not deny Bolaños, insisting that while it is being processed there will be no formal opinion, but that does not mean " Let there be no worries." Whether the Spanish minister said it literally or not, everyone, in Spain but also in the Commission, interpreted him as saying that there was no concern about the amnesty. And the Commission has not allowed him to go that far.

However, this Monday Reynders did not enter the match. When Bolaños was asked if he maintained, face to face with the commissioner, the words spoken, that "zero concern, none", the Minister of Justice did not hesitate. "I reiterate my answer: of course I maintain everything I said. We have a shared position, common to the Commission and the Government of Spain, in a process of total normality, where there is fluid, loyal, transparent dialogue, that dialogue will continue and any doubts that the Commission has, we will clarify it. The best answer is the Commissioner's words this morning, who said that the Commission and the Government have a common, aligned position".

With those words he has put the Belgian in a commitment, who has emerged from them with experience. Avoiding the clash, without falling into the trap about whether the words were about the rule of law and the separation of powers or amnesty. And opting for his own shortcut. Reiterating that what they have in common is the "position on the procedure", which consists of "dialogue with the authorities and an evaluation with our opinion at the end, not before, when it has been adapted by Parliament." That is, they agree on the forms, but not necessarily on the substance.

Half of the questions today have been for the amnesty, but the rest for the issue of the CGPJ, since today marks five years since the renewal would have been due. Reynders is aware and has adhered to the recommendations of the Report on the Rule of Law published in July of this year, which says that the absolute priority is the renewal of the body of judges, to immediately begin with the reform of the judicial system. choice of vowels.

Asked if this order is still the recommended one, since the PP insists on reversing it, Reynders said yes, given that it is what is included in the official report. In the past he himself tried to do everything at once, to agree on renewal and reform at the same time, but he understood that this was impossible. That the only way out of the quagmire is to renew first and then get into the depths of the model, "following European standards." Today he thinks the same, but when asked what would happen if it were another way, he has said, as on other occasions in the past, that on his part there would be no problem.

For the Commission it would be a relief to settle the two problems once and for all, although it is difficult to believe, after talking for years with all parties, that this is possible. Now there is, he said, a new parliamentary balance and another Government and he hopes that this can unblock the main concern according to reports in recent years.