The European Commission requests the Romanian authorities to send the draft bills with amendments to the justice system, presented by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader on Wednesday. In a reply to HotNews on Thursday, the EC underlines the need for Romania’s progress in the fight against corruption.
The Commission has seen news from the press. We ask the Romanian authorities for the draft laws and additional explanations. Then we will study them carefully. Meanwhile, we want to see that the Romanian authorities have followed our recommendation included in the January report, part of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. The irreversibility of Romania’s progress in the fight against corruption over the last ten years is essential for the Commission. The Commission is ready to cooperate with Romania in terms of CVM objectives – stated, at the request of HotNews, a European Commission spokesperson.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader presented on Wednesday the amendments proposed for the laws on the judges and prosecutors statute, on the Superior Council of Magistracy and on the judicial organization.
The most controversial amendment refers to the procedure of appointing the Prosecutor General and of DNA, DIICOT chief prosecutors. More precisely, President Klaus Iohannis has been excluded from this procedure.
The new justice laws stipulate that the Romania’s Prosecutor General and the prosecutors’ office chief will be appointed by the Judge Section of the Superior Council of Magistracy, upon the Justice Minister’s proposal.
Currently, Romania’s Prosecutor General, the first deputy and the deputy, the chief prosecutors of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate and Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism and their deputies are appointed by the Romanian President, upon Justice Minister’s proposal, with the go-ahead by the Superior Council of Magistracy.
President Klaus Iohannis stated that the proposals to amend the justice laws submitted by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader represent an attack against the rule of law, against justice independence and the anti-corruption fight.
Reuters: EC concerned over Romanian judicial overhaul
The European Commission has asked the Romanian government for more detail of a proposed overhaul of the judiciary, expressing concern it may be a step back in the fight against corruption, Reuters informs.
French President Emmanuel Macron mirrored the concerns during an official visit to capital Bucharest on Thursday.
“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,” local news agency Mediafax quoted Macron as saying at a reception at the French embassy.
In a statement on Thursday, the 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.