European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, has expressed concern about the amendments to the laws of justice in a statement to ‘Die Welt’. She pointed out that the amendments put at risk the independence of judges and that it would be useful if the government were to review the plans for justice reform, stiri.tvr.ro reports.
“Parliament’s draft bills jeopardize the independence of judges and reduce the powers of prosecutors. They also weaken public confidence in the judiciary,” Vera Jourova said, adding that “it would be useful if the government were to review the draft bills on justice reform.”
Vera Jourova added that for now it is not appropriate to activate Article 7 for non-observance of the rule of law, as it happened in the case of Poland.
“It is obvious that, as of January, Romania will not only be responsible for its own country, but also for the whole of Europe, holding the presidency of the EU Council. It must have credibility, especially in areas such as justice,” Commissioner Jourova said.
“Romania has progressed between 2014 and 2017. I was optimistic that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Romania could be waived. Now, however, we have a relapse, this has surprised me,” the commissioner admitted.
In the article, ‘Die Welt’ states that tens of thousands of people have protested against the government in recent days and that the gendarmes have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters.
The German daily views these images as “gloomy, from a country that will preside over the EU countries for 6 months and will play a key role in European issues such as the Brexit, migration, tensions in transatlantic relations or the new EU budget.”