On Monday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the infamous 2017 changes to the Aliens Act, which effectively allowed the government to wholesale deny asylum under certain conditions (say, a mass migration wave, to give an example at random), were unconstitutional and struck them down in an 8-1 decision. Normally, this would be quite a bombshell on its own. And yet, somehow, it wasn’t.
Both readers will remember that the topic was so controversial back then that it drove a big fucking wedge between PM Miro Cerar and Speaker Milan Brglez, both SMC top dogs at the time and that Cerar eventually threw Brglez out of the party. Still, the latter must be feeling smug these past few days.
Poor Czechs. They can’t even have a proper senior political turf war without those pesky Slovenians beating them to it. Imagine being in charge of Czechia’s foreign policy, seething over another one of your president’s solo trips to badlands and mulling a response, only to see your counterpart in Ljubljana do the exact same fucking thing, an hour earlier.
This is broadly what happened to Czech FM Tomáš Petříček while he was looking for ways to undo the damage president Miloš Zeman did during his visit to Belgrade where he said that he will push for de-recognition of Kosovo by Czechia. However, Zeman wasn’t the only president of a Central European country facing pushback from his foreign minister that day. Cue Borut Pahor. Obviously.
There is little doubt that Janez Lenarčič will be a very good European Commissioner for Crisis Management. There is even less doubt that Slovenian prime minister Marjan Šarec does not – to use a popular phrase – give a flying flamingo about which portfolio Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in the end assigned to Lenarčič.
In fact, it seems that rather than seeing them as missteps, PM Šarec decided his recent EU-related faux pas were in fact great successes and were to be repeated rather than avoided. Talk about learning the wrong lesson…
Janez Lenačič, the (current?) Slovenian nominee for commissioner in the upcoming European Commission, had his first hearing in the Slovenian parliament yesterday. As the nomination process is wholly within the government purview, the parliamentary hearing is mostly a dog-and-pony show, intended to appease the grandstanding urges of MPs. Nevertheless, the non-binding vote finally brought to an end to the latest case study in how not to manage human resources.
To say that the entire episode was a shitshow deluxe would be a bit of an understatement. It is incredibly ironic how PM Marjan Šarec was ever so vocal about the bizarre spectacle of shambolic commissioner nomination Muddy Hollows endured in 2014 and yet ended up pretty much in the same place Alenka Bratušek and later Miro Cerar ended up in five years ago.