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More new EU candidate judges for EU courts receive a negative assessment

Of the new candidate EU judges nominated by their Member State since 2018, 28% received an unfavourable opinion from the Evaluation Committee. This is more than in previous years. This is reflected in the sixth report of the ‘255 Committee’.

In total, eight out of 43 opinions issued were unfavourable in the period March 2018 to October 2019. No unfavourable opinions were issued on candidates for the renewal of a term of office. This means that 28% (eight out of 29) of the opinions on candidates for a first term of office were unfavourable, whereas the average since the creation of the Committee was around 20%.

Of the eight unfavourable opinions since March 2018, six relate to candidates for a first term of office as judge of the EU Court of Justice, and two to candidates for a first term of office at the EU Court of Justice.

The evaluation panel was set up on the basis of Article 255 of the EU Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. Its task is to ‘advise the Member States on candidates’ suitability to perform the duties of Judge and Advocate-General of the Court of Justice and the General Court before the governments of the Member States make the appointments’.

The 255 Committee advises on the competence and integrity of the Judges and Advocates-General proposed by Member States for (re)appointment to the EU Court and Tribunal. The panel, chaired by the Dutchman Christiaan Timmermans, includes former judges of the EU Court and judges of the highest national courts. The practice in Brussels is that a negative opinion of this committee means that the nominated candidate is not eligible for (re)appointment. The report gives a good insight into the committee’s work.

Source: (Dutch)