The European Commission has examined Romania’s progress in terms of implementing recommendations coming from Brussels.
Romania has reported limited progress in terms of implementing recommendations at economic, social and legislative level issued by the European Commission. This is the main conclusion stemming from a report made public on Wednesday. According to the document, Bucharest will have to increase its efforts to fulfill its fiscal and tax-collection obligations, so as to achieve the mid-term budget objectives for this year.
Moreover, Romania needs to curb black market labour. Another pending recommendation is the adoption of legislation to balance the retirement age for women and men. Romania also needs to improve access to quality education, especially for children in rural areas. In the field of healthcare, Romania will have to continue to combat informal payments and favor outpatient treatment.
The Commission also noted Romania’s limited progress in terms of adopting legislation that should ensure the functioning of a professional and independent body of public sector employees, as well as a priority classification of public investment projects. In addition, “legislative changes adopted in 2017 reversed the substantial progress made the previous year in strengthening the corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, pointing to a significant backtracking on past reforms”, the document also reads.
Political pundits in Bucharest highlight one of the more serious points in the report, linked to the country’s justice system. “The irreversibility of the progress in the fight against corruption was recently put at risk”, the Commission warns, adding that “the ongoing reform of the justice laws risks undoing progress achieved in the last 10 years and harming judicial independence”. As a first reaction, the Foreign Ministry in Bucharest highlighted the half-full part of the report, noting that the report makes positive reference to Romania’s economic progress last year, the tendency to consolidate public investment and the improvement in terms of growth potential and labour market conditions.
Romania was rated as a country without macroeconomic imbalances, the Foreign Ministry further notes. Over the coming period, Brussels will hold bilateral meetings with each EU member state and will issue a new set of recommendations in May.