Commentary on today’s CJEU judgment
The Court of Justice of the European Union today pronounced its judgment in the case brought against Slovenia by the European Commission over the violation of the ECB’s archives. It found in favour of the Commission, ruling that the alleged failures of duty had been committed in full. The case related to a criminal investigation at Banka Slovenije in 2016 in connection with the bank recovery and resolution process. Banka Slovenije’s view is that the ruling confirms the accuracy of the positions that we have taken in proceedings to date. Here we should reiterate that the proceedings related to bank recovery and resolution have been a burden on the functioning of Banka Slovenije for a number of years now, and have tarnished the country’s reputation in the eyes of the international community. We have therefore embarked on action to help ensure that those involved in the proceedings at the time are given proper legal protection, in line with the Slovenian legal system and EU law.
Today’s ruling also confirms how right we have been in our views of the independence of the central bank, and the principle of the inviolability of EU archives. It was a breach of the inviolability of the ECB archives that brought the European Commission, having exhausted all other possibilities, to refer Slovenia to the Court of Justice for a breach of EU law. The court today ruled that Slovenia had failed to cooperate properly with the ECB, and in so doing had failed in its duty to cooperate sincerely with the EU. Banka Slovenije has been trying to resolve this issue within the framework of domestic legal proceedings and discussions, turning to the ordinary courts and also to the Constitutional Court.
We are reiterating our commitment to finding, at the earliest possible juncture, acceptable solutions that comply with Slovenian law and Slovenia’s international commitments. The proceedings related to bank recovery and resolution have been a burden on the functioning of Banka Slovenije for a number of years now, and have tarnished the country’s reputation in the eyes of the international community. Because all previous attempts to find solutions to unresolved issues were unsuccessful, appropriate judicial relief has still not been granted to those involved in the recovery and resolution processes.
Banka Slovenije is undertaking to comprehensively settle the unresolved issues at the earliest possible opportunity in line with the Slovenian legal system and EU law. We have therefore decided that Banka Slovenije will take a more active role in the search for solutions to unresolved issues. Steps were taken in this direction when a taskforce of independent, reputable experts was set up in October at our initiative. On the basis of their in-depth understanding not only of the situation in narrow technical terms, but also from the perspective of the functioning of society as a whole, they will draw up a set of proposals for the comprehensive settlement of the aforementioned unresolved issues. It is our firm commitment that the proposals formulated by the taskforce will help in raising the expertise of the debate, and in taking a constructive approach to resolving the unresolved issues.