Romania's PM, ruling party accuse EC of interference in national justice system

  • Cristina Nastasa
  • 30.3.2018 14:14

On 21 March, Viorica Dăncilă, head of the Social-Democrat - Liberal-Democrat government, requested clarifications from the European Commission (EC), regarding a 2012 letter it sent to to the Romanian Minister of Justice, which she said was not the only one of this kind, and suggested it interfered with the justice process.

The document drafted in accordance with the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) contained requests of details of ongoing corruption investigations of a former PM, as well as other officials and influential individuals. Liviu Dragnea, leader of Social-Democrats, himself formerly convicted, and currently prosecuted, stated that the letter is a dog-whistle. According to EC, the request was a usual procedural exchange within the CVM, by which Romania agreed to EC's role in monitoring corruption investigations cases of high-ranking officials in non-partisan manner. Although Junker expressed his intention to end the CVM by the time Romania assumes the Council’s presidency, recent attempts made by the social-democrats to subdue the judicial system have raised doubts in this regard, while EC’s November CVM reports criticised the stagnation of Romania's anti-corruption efforts. As in other Eastern European democracies, internal threats pose no less of a danger for Romania than the external ones, and institutional corruption could endanger Romania’s national security by undermining the judiciary's independence.

About author: Cristina Nastasa

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