European Interest

MEPs urge Romania to respect judicial independence and keep fighting corruption

Flickr/Eusebiu Balauca/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
An anti-corruption protest in Bucharest, February, 2017.

Plenary held a discussion on Wednesday with European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the Austrian Presidency of the Council and the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă on the situation of rule of law in the country. MEPs will vote on a resolution on the matter during the November I plenary session.

“We last discussed the state of the rule of law in Romania in February” Frans Timmermans said . “I’ll try and be as concise as I can. We’re all aware that the initiatives taken by the Romanian authorities since 2017 as concerns the reform of the justice laws, the criminal procedure and criminal codes and the processes regarding the judiciary have led to concerns from a wide range of stakeholders both inside and outside of Romania and the EU. Many Romanians are worried that the proposed changes to these laws may undermine the long standing efforts in the fight against corruption and the independence of the judiciary,” he added.

MEPs called on the Romanian government to reverse course in the reform of the judiciary and avoid measures that would weaken the fight against corruption.

Speaking during the plenary debate on the rule of law in Romania, Esteban González Pons MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group and Chairman of its Working Group on Legal and Home Affairs, addressed the Romanian Prime Minister and insisted that she should never ignore the voices of her own people. González Pons also attacked the Social-Democrats and the Liberals who have also chosen to be accomplice and keep silent on the current situation in Romania.

“The people of Romania want a better future in their own country with integrity, transparency and justice. The Romanian Government has repeatedly ignored its people. We have serious concerns for the state of the rule of law in Romania which is meant to protect all Romanians equally,” he said.

According to the EPP “the Romanian Government has made a number of attempts to diminish the independence of the judiciary, whilst clearly weakening the rule of law in the country. This is something which goes against European values and therefore the European Parliament is obliged to not only speak about these issues, but ensure that values such as the rule of law, democracy and judicial independence are safeguarded in all its Member States.”

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