In a report* published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs, Dr Ljubo Sirc CBE** demonstrates that communists still control a significant proportion of the economy and the judiciary in a number of central and eastern European countries. More alarming still is the revelation that during the accession process for formerly communist countries the European Union failed to ensure that the accession criteria regarding the rule of law were met.
Using Slovenia as a case study, Sirc provides evidence that both the European Commission and the European Court of Human Rights have turned a blind eye to the failure to enforce private property rights in particular the failure to implement restitution and denationalisation legislation. Consequently, since much of the property confiscated under communism has not been returned to its rightful owners, old communist managers still control a high proportion of Slovene businesses.
Sirc also reveals that the Slovenian judiciary is dominated by communist-totalitarian judges. This is not just a problem for Slovenia. Communist judges from the accession countries are now playing a significant role in the European Courts and in future may threaten the rule of law and property rights throughout the European Union.
European Rule of Law in Danger: If Property Rights are the Foundation of a Free Society, Are Europes Former Communist States Free? The Third Section of the European Court of Human Rights Declares Evidence of Ownership Inadmissible
, by Ljubo Sirc, IEA Discussion Paper No. 16.
**Dr Ljubo Sirc CBE is the Founder President of the Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies (CRCE).