The European Parliament on Thursday sounded the alarm over “deep polarisation” in Slovenia, amid warnings on press freedom and judicial independence in the EU member state.
Lawmakers backed a resolution with 356 votes for and 284 against, saying they were “deeply concerned about the level of public debate, climate of hostility, distrust and deep polarisation in Slovenia, which has eroded trust in public bodies and between them”.
It said that “prominent public figures and politicians, including members of the government, have to lead by example and need to ensure a respectful and civilised public debate, free from intimidation, attacks, slurs and harassment”.
Slovenia’s right-wing Prime Minister Janez Jansa — whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency — has faced repeated accusations of flouting democratic norms.
Last month, following pressure from the European Union, the authorities agreed to restore funding to the country’s sole news agency STA, suspended since December after Jansa’s conservative government criticised its reporting.
The resolution called on the government to ensure the funding going forward and to “cease all political interference and pressure” on the country’s public broadcaster.