European Interest

EPP Group puts sliding rule of law in Romania on plenary agenda

Flickr/Cristian Iohan Ştefănescu/CC BY 2.0
Romanian police used water cannons and teargas to disperse anti-corruption protesters, Bucharest, August 10, 2018.

As the weeks pass by, the situation of the rule of law in Romania is worsening according to the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament.

The latest campaign against the European Parliament’s top candidate for European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruţa Kövesi, is unacceptable in a European Union Member State, and the EU Institutions must not be blackmailed by the Romanian authorities says an EPP press release.

At the request of the EPP Group, the Conference of Presidents agreed today to hold a debate on the rule of law in Romania next week in Strasbourg.

“Parliament’s position, based on hearings of all the candidates for the European Chief Prosecutor, is clear: Laura Codruţa Kövesi should be the first European Chief Prosecutor. She is capable, bold, competent and independent, which are the perfect attributes for someone who should hold such an important and complex office. Her experience proves that she is capable of fighting corruption and crime. We should not let the harsh campaign against her by the Romanian authorities prevent the European Institutions from choosing the best candidate. Member States must stand up to the pressure of the Romanian government at the Presidency and support Ms Kövesi for this role,” said Inge Gräßle MEP, Chairwoman of the Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee.

Twelve countries, both within the European Union and beyond, have written a letter insisting that the Romanian government stops the revision of the criminal code that would weaken the fight against corruption.

“Now it is up to the rest of the Council to stop yielding to the Romanian government’s pressure and support Laura Codruţa Kövesi, who has never given in despite enormous political and legal pressure by the government in an effort to silence her”, added Inge Gräßle, who is a member of the European Parliament’s negotiating team with the Council to appoint the first European Chief Prosecutor.

“Over the last months, the European Parliament has been calling on the Romanian authorities to respect European values and the rule of law. The European Parliament must clearly point out the numerous cases of rule of law breaches in Romania and put pressure on the Romanian authorities, as well as on the European Commission to react swiftly to any changes to Romanian law that would undermine European values and the rule of law in the country,” said Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

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