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Johannes Cornelis van Baalen

ALDE leader Johannes Cornelis van Baalen: We are concerned about the laws that do not help judiciary independence in Romania

Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) said on Thursday, in an interview for RFI Romania, his party is concerned about the amendments brought to the laws of justice and that he intends to come to Bucharest in order to discuss this issue with PM Mihai Tudose, with the Justice Minister and the ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

“As liberals and democrats we are concerned. It’s not the same situation as in Poland and Hungary, but the judiciary should be independent and these laws do not help in this regard. I am aware of the Government’s argument that justice has been politicised during President Traian Basescu’s term and they claim these laws would lead to de-politicisation, but we want to have discussions to find out if this is true. We would carefully look at these laws and discuss it with our partners in Romania. There’s also the referendum about marriage. We believe it is not at all useful,” the Dutch MEP Johannes Cornelis van Baalen said.

He added he had told Tariceanu to have a liberal view about “a cleaner rule of law” and “to have a more independent judiciary,” and that ALDE Romania members remain our good friends, but “we have lots of clarifications to solve.”

Johannes Cornelis van Baalen said that, for the time being, he sees no way to open the activation of article 7 for Romania, as for Poland. “However, we monitor and debate the situation. We can accept that the system was politicised during President Traian Basescu’s term, it is true, but Romania should make decisions so that the system is independent, not less independent. We will examine the adopted laws, the referendum on marriage, but for the time being I do not see an opening of the procedure to activate article 7 in Romania’s case. For the time being,” Johannes Cornelis van Baalen said.

The ALDE leader said he will visit Romania in the coming period. “Romania is an important member, due to its geographic positioning, in the context of the situations in Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. So we consider Romania a vital partner, a good partner in the field of security, but we are concerned about the rule of law.  Generally, I have a positive attitude towards Romania. I intend to visit Romania next year, I can’t say the exact date. For certain, I will meet the Prime Minister and my good friend Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Maybe I will meet some NGOs and lawyers, I want to have a comprehensive view,” the ALDE leader has told RFI Romania.

About Valeriu Lazar