Brussels Does Not Understand The Blocking Of The CGPJ


Fernando González Urbaneja | In Brussels, the leaders of the European Commission do not understand, do not share, the Spanish debate on the renewal of the Council of the Judiciary. They do not say what should be done, it does not fall within their remit. However, they warn that it sounds bad, smells bad and damages the reputation of Spanish democracy. It seems this well-known and publicised opinion does not impress the Spanish politicians who lead the two parties with the qualified parliamentary majority. They remain entrenched in their position and determined not to give an inch as far as their respective reasoning is concerned. Uphold it and do not amend it.

Both Sánchez and Casado bear complete and exclusive responsibility for the deadlock. One of them very likely more responsible than the other. Also likely that Casado’s arguments are more inconsistent than Sánchez’s. But neither comes off well.

The government cannot resist the temptation to directly disqualify the current CGPJ and especially its current president, whose biography is reviewed with an accusing finger. Nor can they put up with the harsh and vulgar accusation that their adversaries are unconstitutional. And from the Popular Party it is perceived they are comfortable with the blockade, that they are not doing badly, at least on the surface, forgetting it is Spain, institutional stability and democratic normality that are doing badly.

Neither of the parties have the negotiating skills to propose a list that will prompt no objections. One that goes beyond just identifying political lots. The Gospel suggests that if something is scandalous, avoid it (cut it out), because the consequences are painful. This is a good piece of advice: if the list scandalises, change it, draw up one which does not deserve to be rejected.

There are six thousand judges and career prosecutors with experience and a brilliant record of service to the State, as well as several thousands of long-serving and prestigious lawyers. And amongst all these, there is a huge amount of names willing to serve Spain and its democracy. Sánchez and Casado have to put this list together. One with no objections and which transcends idealogical allegiance, imbueing the judiciary with serenity. Brussels does not understand the situation. It really is incomprehensible and the lack of responsability on the part of the pair of party leaders is inexcusable.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.