Sunday

17th Dec 2017

EU justice scoreboard upsets some member states

  • The participation rate of judges in continuous training activities on EU law is above 50% in nearly a third of member states (Photo: Scott*)

The European Commission presented its second annual justice scoreboard on Monday (17 March) but not all member states like the idea.

The Brussels-executive describes the scoreboard as an information tool for member states to improve the quality, independence, and efficiency of their individual justice systems.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

It argues that better justice systems attract business and can help promote growth.

“The legal system plays a key role in attracting or repelling foreign direct investments,” EU commissioner for justice Viviane Reding told reporters in Brussels.

The findings are intended to contribute to the so-called European Semester, which outlines budgetary and financial policies to keep governments in track on overall objectives.

Member states that fall behind in modernising their justice systems are likely to be issued country-specific recommendations.

Last year, recommendations were issued to 10 member states.

Not everyone is playing along.

Some are providing fewer data sets compared to the first scorecard.

“In certain graphs, it is true that we have less data,” said a EU source.

The data is primarily sourced from the Strasbourg human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe. Other data sets come from places like the World Bank or the EU’s statistical office Eurostat.

The 2014 scoreboard compares the data collected from 2010 to 2012.

But some of the scoreboard data sets on the charts dated 2010 from Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Romania, Cyprus, and Hungary are missing for 2012.

The UK provides data on its justice system to the Council of Europe but does not to want participate in the European Commission's scoreboard.

"We have no intention of the UK becoming part of a one-size-fits-all EU justice system,” said UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in a statement on Monday.

Grayling refutes the commission’s claim that the scoreboard is a tool for promoting effective justice and growth.

“I do not believe that the commission has any role in the detailed monitoring or assessment of the justice systems of member states to secure this goal,” he said.

Member states in late February after a justice and home affairs meeting in Brussels offered a cautious response to its methodology.

They noted, in a seven-page communication, that the quality of national judicial decisions is difficult to quantify.

“The results of any such exercise should in any case be of a non-binding, non-compulsory nature and should not lead to any kind of ranking of the member states,” noted the paper.

But whereas some member states reject the premise of the scoreboard, others have welcomed it, said the commissioner.

“I am glad to say that some member states have really asked for this help and we have sent over them the best experts from the European Union and from other member states,” she said.

The findings provide a range of results on the length of proceedings, the clearance rates of resolving cases, the number of pending cases, training of judges, use of technology, money spent, and perceived independence among other things.

It found that one-third of the member states have a length of proceedings at least twice as long as the majority of the member states.

“Something is going wrong there,” said Reding.

At nearly 700 days, the time needed to resolve litigious civil and commercial cases among the member states that provided data, is the longest in Malta.

In Latvia, it takes around 50 days.

Backlogs of cases also vary.

Italy has the most pending civil and commercial cases, among member states that provided data, followed by Croatia and Greece.

Perception of independence in several member states has improved but has slipped in Slovakia and Bulgaria, according to the World Economic Forum.

Both member states rank 133 and 123, respectively, out of a ranking of 148 countries.

Romania wants EU signal on Schengen membership

Bucharest expects other member states to decide on its accession to the passport-free area before it takes the rotating EU presidency on 1 January 2019 - amid criticism of a controversial new justice reform.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

Germany's spy agency says the Chinese state is trying to recruit high-ranking German officials via social media outlets like LinkedIn. It accused Chinese intelligence of setting up fake profiles to lure them into becoming informants.

News in Brief

  1. EU adopts 'track-and-trace' tobacco system
  2. Luxembourg appeals Amazon tax decision
  3. EU leaders agree to open phase 2 of Brexit talks
  4. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  5. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  6. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  7. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  8. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  3. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  4. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June
  5. EU stresses unity as it launches next phase of Brexit talks
  6. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  7. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  8. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  2. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  3. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage
  4. Centre Maurits CoppietersCelebrating Diversity, Citizenship and the European Project With Fundació Josep Irla
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceUnderstanding the Social Consequences of Obesity
  6. Union for the MediterraneanMediterranean Countries Commit to Strengthening Women's Role in Region
  7. Bio-Based IndustriesRegistration for BBI JU Stakeholder Forum about to close. Last chance to register!
  8. European Heart NetworkThe Time Is Ripe for Simplified Front-Of-Pack Nutrition Labelling
  9. Counter BalanceNew EU External Investment Plan Risks Sidelining Development Objectives
  10. EU2017EEEAS Calls for Eastern Partnership Countries to Enter EU Market Through Estonia
  11. Dialogue PlatformThe Turkey I No Longer Know
  12. World Vision7 Million Children at Risk in the DRC: Donor Meeting to Focus on Saving More Lives