Date: 15 November 2018
The EP „deeply concerned” About the Judicial Reform in Romania
In the resolution approved on November 13, it was assessed that the reform of the judiciary and penal code could threaten the struggle with corruption. 473 MPs voted for, 151voted against and 40 abstained.
These are the results of the debate with the participation of the PM Viorica Dăncilă, which took place at the beginning of this month. Probably, she did not manage to convince MEPs to her points as in the recently accepted resolution, they called Romania to avoid the situation in which the new regulations could lead to decriminalisation of cases of corruption. It was also pointed out that some reforms and proposals of changes in legislation might result in, among others, the fall of the level of judiciary independence and its quality.
The report accepted by the European Parliament was based on the case from November 2017. It was spotted that Romania had taken certain measures to accept solutions recommended by the European Commission at that time. It was stated that it had been achieved only in some cases.
– I regret that Romania has not only stalled its reform process, but also re-opened and backtracked on issues where progress was made over the past 10 years. It is essential that Romania gets back on track immediately in the fight against corruption and also ensures an independent judiciary. This is the only way how Romania can resume its path towards the conclusion of the CVM process, in the interest of its citizens, its country, and the EU as a whole – Frans Timmermans, the Vice-President of the European Commission commented the situation.
The President of Romania Klaus Iohannis commented on the EU resolution even more bitterly blaming both PM Viorica Dăncilă and the leader of the Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea for its appearance. He stated that the acceptance of the resolution meant that Romania moved 11 years backward – until the moment of joining the European Union in 2007.
– Both the EP resolution and the CVM report contain the same things. Romanians, most of them, me and many others, want to be European, to build a solid democracy. Unfortunately, this accident of democracy that is Dragnea-Dancila government has completely different ideas and is trying to pull the country back – Klaus Iohannis said.
The resolution of the European Parliament consists of eight recommendations whose acceptance can solve the current situation. It recommended, among others, the suspension of the introduction of new regulations connected with the judiciary as well as the analysis of current changes with regard to the instructions of the Venice Commission and other organisations concerned about the condition of the judiciary in Romania. It was announced that the situation would be inspected again yet before the end of the current European Commission term which was to end in autumn 2019. In the press release, it was pointed out that similar report was devoted to Bulgaria. This country has similar problems when it comes to relations with the European Union. However, the European Commission assessed that it was more determined to introduce changes recommended by the EU.
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