Romania: EU calls on Romania to check corruption

Considered one of Europe’s most corrupt countries, Romania is under pressure by the European Union to fight corruption. Brussels has asked Romania to provide details of its proposed overhaul of the judiciary.

During a visit to Bucharest last week, French President Emmanuel Macron echoed the European Commission’s concerns. He told the local news agency Mediafax: “I have talked with the president and prime minister over the justice system reform project that is not coherent with a will to fight against corruption. Both have guaranteed their commitment to continue what they started, to reduce corruption”.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the planned overhaul, presented by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader on August 23, included giving him control over the judicial inspection unit, currently managed by the Superior Magistrates’ Council (CSM), the country’s judicial watchdog. Other changes included the way in which chief prosecutors are appointed and setting up a special prosecuting unit for crimes committed by magistrates.

President Klaus Iohannis said that if the measures are approved they will set reform efforts back by a decade.

The proposals triggered a small street protest outside government headquarters late on August 23 and drew criticism from magistrates, opposition politicians and analysts.

In a statement on August 24, the European Commission said: “We are asking the Romanian authorities for the draft laws and additional explanations.” “The irreversibility of the progress achieved by Romania in the fight against corruption in the last ten years is essential for the Commission,” it said.

29 August 2017

New Europe

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