The European Parliament has held Wednesday morning a sitting dedicated to the rule of law in Romania, following the amendments to the laws of justice and the Criminal Codes and the violence during the rally on August 10 in Bucharest. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has attended the plenary to present the Romanian Government position.
The EP plenary sitting came days after the heated debates in the EP Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) about the situation in Romania. The European Commission warned the Government it could be brought to court if the EU rules will be violated. European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans has requested the Bucharest authorities to rethink the amendments brought to the laws of justice and to the Criminal Codes.
Prime Minister, Viorica Dancila, said in her speech addressed to the EP, that she hasn’t come to Strasbourg to account, but out of respect and appreciation for the European forum, and called for a similar attitude towards the Romanian people.
“I haven’t come here to account. I’ve come here because I appreciate and respect you. I ask from you for the same respect to Romania. I want to ask: for whom are we building? For politicians, for CVM, for the Europeans? No, we need to have fair justice for the citizens. Justice has to be the guarantee that the laws and civil rights are observed and the ones violating them are to be sanctioned. In what way did the CVM report on the violations of rights?” PM Dancila said.
“I haven’t noticed anything about the secret protocols between the SRI and the judicial institutions. This means the mechanism has failed to meet the demands it was established for and I officially request you to inform us who delivered the data and who wrote the CVM reports,” the head of Government said, adding that she had informed the MEPs about the abuses in Romania caused by the secret protocols.
“The Venice Commission said that during the Soviet rule, the Prosecutor’s Office was an instrument… Half of the magistrates in Romania had files opened on their names, by which they were influenced to make decisions. It’s not only me saying this, the magistrates say it. In the end, they were acquitted and the files were closed, but they had been dismissed. Today I’ve informed you about the abuses in Romania. From now on, we cannot ignore such issues, we cannot talk about the judiciary in Romania without considering these abuses. You should wonder why…,” PM Dancila said.
The Premier has criticized the European Parliament’s position in regard to the rally on August 10, as for other states a different attitude was adopted.
“A few words about the rally on August 10. I notice the Romanian Gendarmerie is charged of taking action against violent people who wanted to get into the Government building. I haven’t seen the same position on rallies in France, Spain, etc. when the law enforcing forces have used the same procedures. I can’t accept that the Gendarmerie is accused for actions that happen all over Europe. Do not allow in Romania to happen things that are unacceptable in other Member States. No one, never, could turn Romania back from its European path,” PM Dancila concluded.
Before the EP plenary sitting, PM Dancila had talks with the European Parliament Speaker, Antonio Tajani.
Talks with EC First Vice-President Timmermans
Tuesday evening, Premier Viorica Dancila met EC First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, to talk about the issues of amendments to the laws of justice and Criminal Codes, the SRI protocols and the CVM assessments. A Government release reads that PM Dancila has told the EC official that the CVM reports do not fully mirror the reality.
The European Parliament’s plenary sitting on Wednesday will not be followed by resolution, an EP release informs that a resolution would be adopted during November 12-15.
The Government release Tuesday evening reads that the talks between Dancila and Timmermans were constructive, focused on issues related to the European agenda. “PM Dancila reiterated Romania’s position to promote the European interests and wishes to have a successful mandate next year to avoid divisions. The Premier expressed the wish that the debate on Wednesday in the EP will be based on arguments and will be constructive.”
The release also reads that the Romanian Prime Minister stressed the need for close cooperation between Romania and the European Commission during the presidency of the EU Councils.
PM Dancila also expressed the openness to continue the consultations with the Venice Commission.
The talks were attended also by Justice Minister Tudorel Toader.
Justice Minister: No reproaches to Romania
Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, said after the talks Tuesday evening in Strasbourg, that the EC official had no reproaches to Romania and that our country is not envisaged for the activation of article 7 of the EU Treaty.
“It was a fair meeting, correct dialogue. There was no reproach from one side or another. Stress was laid on continued dialogue between the Government and the Commission – with a common goal, the European construction. The First Vice-President said there is out of question to activate article 7, Romania has a different situation against Hungary or Poland,” Minister Toader said.
EP sources say that, during the second week of October, President Klaus Iohannis will deliver a speech in the EP plenary in Strasbourg, focused on the future of European Union. Reportedly, this is the reason for postponing a resolution on Romania until November.