Dozens of Romanian magistrates have staged a protest in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels, in order to convey a public message to defend the judiciary in Romania.
Among the participants are Gabriela Scutea, former Deputy Prosecutor General, Judge Cristi Danilet and DNA Prosecutor Carmen Alexandra Lancranjan, ziare.com reports.
The magistrates have posted messages in support of the justice independence and of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. They were to be joined by the magistrates in Belgium in order to issue a joint press statement.
The magistrates have had scheduled meetings with European officials, including with the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.
The Romanian magistrates had a 45-minute meeting with European Commission First Vice-president Frans Timmermans.
“The discussions were rather technical. He was interested in learning about our point of view regarding the legislative amendments aiming the laws of justice and the Criminal Codes,” one of the representatives said. He added: “Timmermans was very interested in the ordinances adopted by the Government.”
The communique issued by the magistrates reads that “the legislative reforms adopted in the past two years, by ignoring the Venice Commission and European Commission’s reports, corroborated with the inefficiency of the Superior Council of Magistracy in guaranteeing justice independence, the judges and prosecutors are under continuous assault. Romania is obviously heading away from the demands of the rule of law. Such a development tends to spread all over Europe, placing under quarantine dozens of years of dialogue and democratic progress that seemed irreversible. In such conditions, the European institutions cannot remain passive, the fate of the rule of law in Romania being in their task too.”
They say they wanted a meeting with European officials in order to deliver a firm public message, related to the right of information for the European entities which involves the free dialogue.
They argue that the lack of real dialogue with Romanian authorities has led thousands of magistrates to protest in various ways, requesting the repeal of limitations on the freedom of expression, the repeal of decisions on setting up the special section for investigating magistrates, the doubling of the period of experience with the National Magistracy Institute and the ones which eliminate meritocracy in the judiciary.