European Parliament criticizes Slovak authorities for rolling back rule of law

On January 17, the European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing the ability of the Slovak authorities to fight corruption and protect the EU budget in the event of the adoption of a controversial reform of the criminal code.

496 MEPs supported the resolution expressing concern about the unjustified acceleration of the reform of the Criminal Code of Slovakia and the dissolution of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which deals with corruption cases and serious crimes.

The MEPs believe that these changes “threaten the integrity of judicial processes and undermine the EU’s fight against fraud.”.

The Slovak government should reconsider the proposed changes to the whistleblower legislation, as the new rules could retroactively deprive them of their protection.

The resolution also expresses concern about cases of persecution of civil society by the Slovak authorities, their intention to take control of public broadcasting, and attacks against independent media.

In December, the government of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico launched a procedure to revise the country’s Criminal Code, easing penalties for serious crimes and disbanding the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

At the same time, personnel changes began in the police, including investigators who had been working on cases against Fico’s entourage.

The European Commission had earlier sent a letter to the Slovak Minister of Justice warning the Slovak government against plans to dismantle the Special Prosecutor’s Office, and the Slovak opposition has been organizing protests.

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