EC first vice-president Frans Timmermans, who was in Romania on Monday to get the Honoris Cause title of a university in Bucharest and to meet the Romanian PM Viorica Dancila, has left an assignment for the premier. The two officials have concluded the work plan by a group of Romanian and European experts, which must find solutions to enforce the CVM recommendations. A first meeting of the expert group is due this week, while progress will be discussed next week when Dancila is scheduled to go to Brussels.
According to a EC spokesperson, PM Dancila and Timmermans will meet next week to discuss the progress made by the experts.
A Government press release says that discussions of Monday have been „constructive and have been a follow-up of the ones already established within the meeting that took place in Brussels last week”. „The two officials underlined the need of a good cooperation between the Romanian Executive and the European Commission”.
On the other hand, in plain language, Frans Timmermans has put it bluntly that Romania made no progress on judiciary since the last CVM report and that Romania must not abandon the anti-corruption fight.
„The problem for me is that since the publishing of the CVM report we have seen no progress.
We’ve only seen a refusal of the Commission documents by the Romanian Government. I want us to sit down and to go through all the points in the commission’s CVM report and see if we can solve them. I am here in the spirit of cooperation and I want to solve these issues, but I also want to make perfectly clear that these issues are very serious indeed and we need to see progress now.
We are at your disposal to help you do this. I know you need to transpose decisions by the Constitutional Court into legislation but let’s do it in a way that we do not relinquish on the fight against corruption and that we do respect the independence of the judiciary in Romania. This is very, very important”, Timmermans said.
During the Doctor Honoris Cause awarding ceremony at SNPSA, Timmermans has stated that Romania would have had the fate of Ukraine if it had not joined the European Union in 2007.
The EC top official said he has seen Romania’s evolution with his own eyes in the past 20 years. “If you said back in early 90s that Romania would be a EU member state, we should be entrusted to a mental hospital. But Romania made it possible and the rest of the EU made it possible. And it was a historical event, he said, adding that there is no doubt for him that if Romania had not taken this historical step, Putin would have done in Romania what he is doing now in Ukraine“, Timmermans said.