The election of the new board of directors of RTVE begins to be unlocked. Congress has begun to cite candidates this week who will appear before the Advisory Committee on Appointments starting next Monday. They are being summoned in batches of 10 and following the classification established by the committee of experts that evaluated the applicants and valued their projects. In total, there are 94 applications to fill the 10 seats on the governing body of state radio and television. His appointment will end the term of journalist Rosa María Mateo, sole administrator of the corporation for two and a half years.
The parade of candidates will open with a first round made up of those who obtained the highest scores: Javier Montemayor, Rafael Camacho, Manuel Ventero, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, María Eizaguirre, Francisco Moreno, Agustín García Matilla, Eladio Jareño and Vicenç Sanclemente . The list is headed by Alicia Gómez Montano, who passed away last January.
The appeals are being made by the lawyers of the Cortes themselves, who are giving appointments for specific days. They warn that the time of the interventions will be fixed by messages sent by email. To speed up the evaluations, each candidacy will be assigned an approximate time of half an hour. Initially, the applicants will be submitted to the presentation and the questions of the 10 spokespersons of the commission, which will have two minutes each. And they will have the remaining time to defend their project.
They will appear before the commission chaired by Meritxell Batet and to which the spokespersons of the different parliamentary groups belong, some of which are also attached to the commission in charge of controlling RTVE. This call will serve to verify how many of the 94 continue in the race for the presidency of the corporation.
With this massive summons, the essence of the public competition called by Parliament for the election of the RTVE council evaporates and an innovative procedure designed with the aim of depoliticizing its governing bodies is largely annihilated. It was about electing a council with professional and not political profiles. In addition, the work carried out by an expert committee (composed of 17 members appointed by the parliamentary groups) that selected the 20 candidates under the principles of merit and ability is largely buried. Among them were four women and 16 men.
After two years of paralysis, in mid-December, the Board of Congress unanimously agreed to reactivate the process to remove RTVE from the limbo in which it has remained since 2018 and which has led public television to a progressive loss of relevance.
The mechanism was put into operation again after solving the thirty resources that weighed on the first screening carried out by the experts. This wave of challenges threatened to open a complex journey through the courts. The idea that it was the parties that proposed candidates based on their parliamentary weight was also rejected to avoid the parade of the 94 who opted for the contest. This option could have ended up in court anyway.
But the procedure chosen by Congress does not satisfy everyone. Some professionals maintain their idea of going to the Constitutional Court because they understand that there has been « defenselessness ». « They have changed the rules of the game in the middle of the game and without the knowledge of the people, » they say. Others applaud that everyone has the option to present their project on equal terms. « Is more fair. It did not seem very correct to make the evaluation of projects after knowing the score of the curricula, ”says Javier Martín Domínguez, ranked 29th.
Others are very critical of the scales on which the first selection settled. The telecommunications engineer Ángel Luis Gonzalo (58th position) considers that « an open, democratic and competitive competition has become a restricted competition for inexperienced journalists in management. » He adds that informants benefited from this evaluation and economists, engineers or lawyers were harmed.
How to regulate the election of four seats by the Senate
Of the 94 candidates to form part of the board of directors of RTVE, only 10 will obtain a place. The law establishes that six will be appointed by Congress and the other four by the Senate and the election will have to comply with the parity law. The candidates already have a date to appear in Congress, but they do not know how the designation will be regulated in the Senate and they wonder if they will have to repeat the same process in the Upper House.
From among the elected councilors, Congress will appoint the president of the corporation. Applicants must obtain the confidence of two thirds of both Chambers. If in a first vote they do not reach that quota, in a second round only an absolute majority and the support of at least half of the groups will be necessary.