Sunday, July 14, 2024
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EU Commission Expresses Concerns About Austria’s Judicial System

In its published rule of law report, the EU Commission expressed several concerns about Austria. In principle, the independence of the Austrian judicial system is highly regarded, the country-specific document states.

At the same time, however, the Brussels-based authority noted little progress in establishing an independent federal prosecutor’s office free of directives and in the Freedom of Information Act.

Criticism was also leveled at the reform process. Although the judicial system in Austria was undergoing an important reform process, there was concern that the need for judicial involvement in the appointment of administrative court presidents had not been taken into account.

Furthermore, there was criticism that the reform of the public prosecutor’s office had not progressed. The final report of the expert group from September 2022 had not yet resulted in any political measures.

In its analysis, the EU Commission also highlighted work on a new action plan to combat corruption. It said recommendations on party financing had been implemented, including empowering the Court of Auditors to audit party finances.

However, no progress was noted on “effective rules for the disclosure of assets and interests of members of parliament, including effective monitoring and sanctioning mechanisms.”

The report also criticized the lack of a Freedom of Information Act. In addition, challenges remain regarding the safety of journalists, with no specific details provided.

Source : Vindobona



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