In a controversial move, Slovakia’s parliament has approved a judicial reform proposed by left-wing populist Prime Minister Robert Fico. The law received the necessary majority on Thursday evening, with 78 members of the government camp voting for the proposal. The opposition boycotted the vote.
The EU Commission has criticized the text and threatened Slovakia with the blocking of financial resources. Tens of thousands of participants demonstrated in Slovakia against the proposed law. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova described the adoption of the law as “bad news for Slovakia and all its citizens”. She called it “unacceptable” and criticized the accelerated process through the parliament.
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (Eusta) in Luxembourg labeled the reform plans in the EU member state as a “serious risk of violating the rule of law.” In mid-January, the European Parliament also condemned the reform plans with a resolution. The law includes reducing penalties for corruption and economic crime, as well as limiting protection for whistleblowers.