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Romania, in the attention of the European Parliament again

The European Parliament has again cautioned Bucharest to put the reforms on justice back on track

Romania, in the attention of the European Parliament again
Romania, in the attention of the European Parliament again

, 16.04.2019, 13:46

In November 2018 the European
Parliament passed a resolution that mirrored its concern with the recent
changes in the Romanian judicial system, changes promoted by the left-of-center
ruling majority made up of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance
of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE).






These changes risk jeopardizing the
separation of powers within the state and undermining the fight against
corruption, the resolution said. Six months on, a new debate on the rule of law
in Romania was held, with no improvement being reported by the country’s
European partners.






On the contrary, they warned the power
in Bucharest again, that they must put the reform process back on track and
fight against corruption. Romania needs to put the reform process back on
track and to do it urgently, Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told the
European Parliament in Strasbourg on April 15. This means going forward,
not backwards, and abstaining from any steps which reverse the progress
accomplished over the past years, she added. Jourova cited very
real risks of further steps backwards regarding the rule of law and, more
specifically, the independence of judiciary and the fight against
corruption.






What happened during the process of
appointing the European prosecutor did not make things any clearer, Jurova went
on saying. The European Commissioner referred to the case of the former anti-graft
chief prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi, whose candidacy for the post of
European prosecutor is strongly supported by the European Parliament but
equally contested by the Bucharest authorities who did everything in their
power to prevent her from being appointed, which Brussels couldn’t help
noticing. Social Democrat MEP, Dan Nica, explains why Kovesi should not be
European prosecutor:






Dan Nica: In 2009, Romania’s general prosecutor signed the first secret protocol
with the Intelligence Services. Surprisingly, that prosecutor was Kovesi. In
the past two years, a series of secrete protocols signed with the intelligence
services have been revealed. Romanians have thus been informed that these
protocols allowed for abominable abuse and injustice.


Cristian Preda, a Romanian MEP
representing the opposition, accuses the power in Bucharest of abuse on justice.
Cristian Preda:






Cristian Preda: The regime in Bucharest is no longer a rule of law, because the ruling
majority has been making, as of 2016, huge pressure on judges, prosecutors and
magistrates, to force them to revise sentences, definitive sentences, and make
them stop prosecuting corruption deeds.




Among the foreign MEPs, there were
voices that criticized the absence from the debate of a representative of
Romania’s government, given that the country holds the six-month presidency of
the Council of the EU. Monday’s debate in the European Parliament did not end
with a resolution, as in the case of the previous debate.





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