STA, 22 February 2021 - Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld (Renew) has invited PM Janez Janša to Brussels to take part in a discussion on the media in Slovenia that is expected to take place in March, public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported on Monday.
The MEP is the chair of the European Parliament's Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group within the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
Last week, after Janša accused Politico's journalist Lili Bayer of lying in her story about the media in Slovenia, the MEP said she believed there was sufficient ground for the group to start monitoring the situation in the country.
In 't Veld said today that the invitation to the joint discussion had also been sent to Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti, Government Communication Office (UKOM) director Uroš Urbanija, RTV Slovenija director general Igor Kadunc and to Ilinka Todorovski as RTV Slovenija's viewers and listeners' ombudsman.
"As we did with other countries, Malta, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Belgium, we will of course invite the prime minister, ministers and other relevant representatives to present their views to us. For us it's not important whether they belong to the right or left. Important are facts, discussions, so that we know what is going on," she said.
Earlier in the day, Janša was called on by the leaders of both junior government coalition partners, New Slovenia (NSi) and Modern Centre Party (SMC), to invite an EU mission to Slovenia to investigate the state of freedom of the press.
NSi leader and Defence Minister Matej Tonin said on Twitter European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova would learn the most about freedom of the press in Slovenia if she deployed a "fact-finding mission" to the country. His call was joined by SMC leader and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.