Romania will keep measuring up to the European standards with regard to the rule of law, said Prime Minister Victor Ponta
Almost a week since the European Commission made it public, the latest justice report issued under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism is still in the focus of the Romanian politicians’ attention. The document, which reads that Romania has implemented some of the recommendations made by the European Commission with regard to the rule of law, but not all of them, on Monday was discussed by the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in Brussels.
The head of the European Commission urged the Bucharest authorities to make progress in ensuring the independence of the judiciary. He also said that Romanian members of government or parliament should set an example and give up their offices when charged with corruption or lack of integrity. In turn, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that his government was fully committed to the effort of improving the functioning of the judiciary and that Romania would keep measuring up to the European standards with regard to the rule of law.
According to Romania’s President, Traian Basescu, the report is fair, but deeply politicized in terms of reactions. He has stressed that the public approach has often been insincere and has suggested that the current government should send a letter to the European institutions, committing itself to solving all the problems laid down in the report. The MEPs members of the National Liberal Party Ramona Manescu and Cristian Busoi have stated in the plenary session of the European Parliament that Romania’s monitoring through the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism should be stopped either right away, or in keeping with a clearly set timetable.
The reason for such a claim is that the report allegedly contains inadvertencies, untruths and also subjective evaluations, which are not real. In their opinion, this mechanism has turned into a pressure tool, which has strayed from its technical objective and has become 80% political. The EC report says that although the Constitution and rulings given by the Constitutional Court have been observed, there are still reasons to worry about the instability of legal institutions in Romania.
The European Commission has again hailed the activity carried out by the National Integrity Agency and the National Anti-corruption Directorate and has stressed that the number of sentences in cases involving corruption has doubled lately. The document also stresses the importance of appointing a new Prosecutor General and a new leading board of the National Anti-corruption Directorate, as this would stand proof of this body’s independence, integrity and professionalism. The European Commission calls on all MPs declared incompatible to resign, and urges that the immunity of those who are criminally investigated be lifted.