Following the vote to change the Criminal Codes in Romania, Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party (EPP), reacted.

“Once again the Socialist-led (PSD-ALDE) coalition has shown their true face to the Romanian people. It is discouraging to see that the governing coalition of an EU member state changes its criminal codes to ensure that their leader and other politicians will not have to answer for their wrongdoings,” Daul stated.

“Such behaviour of the PSD-ALDE coalition is neither pro-European, nor dignified for a ruling alliance. Such actions affect the anti-corruption fight in Romania and the proper functioning of justice as a whole. Worse, Romania’s successful reforms after joining the EU are now being put into question by the current ruling coalition. The PSD-ALDE actions with regards the justice system are inconsistent with the principles of the rule of law, of the European treaties and go completely against the interests of millions of honest Romanians. It is utterly unbelievable that a governing majority from an EU member state, that holds the EU Council Presidency, continues to frequently violate the European rules and norms,” he added.

Since January 1, Romania holds the rotative EU President. “The Romanian government should have been a model of respect for the European values. But it failed to do so from the very first day,” Daul said.

EPP’s President calls on the Romanian government “to immediately take the necessary steps to implement all the recommendations of the Venice Commission, as well as the recommendations of the European Commission set out in the latest report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. An independent justice system is not a luxury and made to benefit just a few, it’s a necessity for a truly functioning democracy that must serve every and each Romanian. Given the grave situation, I highly commend President Klaus Iohannis on his efforts and his initiative to hold a referendum on the course of the justice system in Romania.”