PM Grindeanu meet Frans Timmermans in Brussels, reiterates Gov’t intention to continue anti-corruption fight. What did Timmermans say?

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During a meeting with first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans in Brussels on Thursday, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu reiterated the Romanian Government’s ‘firm stance to continue the fight against corruption”.

“I told him what we want for the future, if we talk on what it has been discussed a lot in Romania, namely the reglementations on judiciary, so that they be enforced in Parliament, by a wider debate involving NGOs, MPs, so that the Constitutional Court’s decisions referring to articles in the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code to be adopted in Parliament,” PM Grindeanu stated during the press conference.

He also announced that he would nominate a non-political person who is not part of the ruling coaltion at the helm of the Justice Ministry next week.

The Romanian PM said that he would like the CVM lifted in 2019.

In his turn, Frans Timmermans hailed the Government repealed the emergency ordinance no 13.

As for the CVM and anti-corruption protests in Romania, the EC official said: “(…) We want to get to a situation where the fight against corruption has such a success that the progress is irreversible. This has nothing to do with political debates It’s just a clear manifestation of the people and of the Romanian authorities to create an irreversible situation where the Romanian citizens should de assured that their country is not in the systemic corruption’s claws anymore. It’s exactly what this Cooperation and Verification Mechanism wants as well.”

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated, before the visit he will pay to Brussels on Thursday and Friday, he wants to assure all Romania’s partners that the fight against corruption, the involvement and strengthening of our role in the EU are priority objectives of the Government that he leads.

The Government Press Office has announced that Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu will pay a visit to Brussels on February 16-17.

The Prime Minister will meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk,  first vice president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Employment economic growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen.

“I want to assure all our partners in the European institutions that the fight against corruption, the involvement and strengthening of our role in the EU are priority objectives of the Government that I lead, and the approach now is in line with the active dialogue that we promote with all our European interlocutors,” Prime Minister Grindeanu said.

The delegation led by PM Sorin Grindeanu will include FM Teodor Melescanu and Marius Nica, adviser to the Prime Minister.

The European Commission had a prompt retort on the Romanian Gov’t controversial action late on January 31 (when the emergency ordinance 13 was adopted), warning that the anti-corruption fight in Romania must continue and not go back.

“The fight against corruption needs to be advanced, not undone. We are following the latest developments in Romania with great concern.

The irreversibility of the progress achieved in the fight against corruption is essential for the Commission to assess whether at some point monitoring under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) could be phased out,” read a joint statement of EC President Juncker and First Vice-President Timmermans on the fight against corruption in Romania, released on the EC website on February 1.

PM Sorin Grindeanu sent on February 1 a letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and to the first vice-president of the forum, Frans Timmermans, explaining the rationale behind the emergency ordinance on amending the Criminal Code and the draft on the pardon, assuring that the government supports the fight against corruption.

Grindeanu then showed willingness to go to Brussels for talks with the EU leaders on this topic.

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