European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova: Romania is not facing the triggering of Article 7

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The European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova said on Wednesday, in Bucharest, that currently Romania is not facing the possibility of triggering Article 7, underscoring that the procedure starts when the rule of law is systematically violated.

In the past year, Romania has been repeatedly warned about the ‘nuclear option’, the last time in May, when the EC Vice-president Frans Timmermans has warned that the preliminary procedure for triggering Article 7 will be launched, if the amendments to the Criminal Codes come into force, reports.

“Article 7 is used when we admit that the situation in one country is serious, when a systematic violation of the rule of law takes place. Currently we are not facing this situation in Romania,” Vera Jourova said.

The statement was made in Parliament, during the EU-US ministerial meeting of the justice and home affairs ministers.

On May 10, Frans Timmermans sent a letter to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and to the speakers of the two chambers of Parliament, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Liviu Dragnea, warning that the Cooperation and Verification mechanism (CVM) will be replaced by a tougher procedure, if the amendments to the Criminal Codes come into force.

“It is now becoming really urgent for Romania to put the reform process back on track. This means going forward, not backwards, and abstaining from any steps which reverse the progress accomplished over the past years. The best starting point remains the approach set out by the Commission in November, to call a halt to the changes and start afresh on the basis of proper consultation and the input of external expertise. In contrast, the current situation is raising new concerns,” the letter signed by Frans Timmermans read.

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