President Klaus Iohannis on Friday stated, in Tallinn, where he pays an official visit, that in respect to the modification of the Justice laws there is need of a new negotiation on their content with the justice system. Thus, the head of the state said the Supreme Council of Magistrates’ (CSM) rejection of the proposal […]
CVM Report: European Commission recommends Romania to immediately suspend justice laws’ implementation
The European Commission on Tuesday recommended Romania in the Report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) to immediately suspend the implementation of the justice laws and subsequent emergency ordinances and revise them by fully taking into account the recommendations in the CVM as well as those formulated by the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe’s group of states against corruption (GRECO). Moreover, Brussels recommends Romania to immediately suspend all ongoing appointments and dismissal procedures for senior prosecutors. The European Commission also recommends the relaunch of the appointment process of the head of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) who must have experience proven in the field of the prosecution of corruption crimes and a clear mandate so that DNA continues to carry out professional, independent and non-biased investigations in the corruption cases. The CVM Report also recommends the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) to immediately appoint an interim leading team of the Judicial Inspection and appoint within three months, by contest, a new leadership of this institution. In addition, the EC urges the observance of the negative opinions of the CSM related to the appointment or removal from office of some prosecutors with leading positions until a new legislative framework comes into force, in accordance with the recommendation No.1 of January 2017. Likewise, the EC recommends the freezing of the entry into force of the amendments proposed to be brought to the Criminal Code and to the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as the relaunch of the revision process of the CP and CPP by fully considering the need to assure these codes’ compatibility with the EU law and the international instruments in the matter of combating corruption, alongside the recommendations formulated in the CVM and with the Venice Commission’s opinion. The EC notes in the CVM Report’s conclusions that the enforcement of the amended justice laws, the pressure at the independence of the judicial system, in general, and at the National Anti-corruption Directorate, in particular, as well as a series of other measures that undermine the efforts of combating corruption, have had as effect the annulment of the progresses or the questioning of their irreversible character.
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Ecaterina Andronescu nominated Education Minister; George Ciamba to replace Victor Negrescu as Minister Delegate for European Affairs
Ecaterina Andronescu has been nominated as Education Minister, and George Ciamba will replace Victor Negrescu as Minister Delegate for European Affairs, according to the decision adopted by the PSD leadership on Tuesday. According to Gabriela Firea, there was unanimity for Andronescu during the PSD leadership’s meeting, while in Ciamba’s case there were two abstentions. Andronescu, who held this office before, is set to take over the portfolio, considering that Rovana Plumb’s stint as acting Education Minister expires on Friday. Ahead of the PSD leadership’s meeting, Ecaterina Andronescu had a discussion with Liviu Dragnea and Premier Viorica Dancila. Ecaterina Andronescu has lately criticised PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, whom she has asked to step down from the helm of the party. George Ciamba, currently secretary of state within the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), will take over the office vacated as a result of Victor Negrescu’s resignation. PM Viorica Dancila: For Education, European Affairs we proposed experienced people, who bring added value Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Tuesday stated that she proposed people with experience for the offices of Minister of National Education and European Affairs, who can bring added value – Ecaterina Andronescu and secretary of state with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs George Ciamba. “Considering that there are 45 days since we have an interim Minister of National Education, we came today with the proposal to appoint Mrs Ecaterina Andronescu. For the Ministry of European Affairs we proposed George Ciamba as Minister-delegate. We came with these proposals for I strongly believe we need experienced people, with expertise, for these are two important portfolios and we need to consider people who can bring added value. (…) Romania is on schedule with the preparations for taking over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union and I believe that any statement that can throw a shadow of a doubt on this can only do harm to Romania. We are almost there, we are on schedule,” stated the PM, at the end of the meeting of the National Standing Bureau (BPN) of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Asked if he re-assessed Ecaterina Andronescu’s case, the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, said he accepted the proposals made by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. “I don’t make re-assessments. It was Mrs PM who came with the two proposals, which were voted in the BPN sitting,” said Dragnea.
Dancila: Iohannis should no longer attack Gov’t, should abstain from making statements that harm Romania. As Prime Minister, I assure you Romania is prepared for the presidency of the Council of the EU
Dragnea: It’s the President’s obsession for this Gov’t to fall   Premier Viorica Dancila is asking President Klaus Iohannis to no longer attack the Government because consensus is needed in order to exercise the presidency of the Council of the EU. In his turn, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea says that the statements that President Iohannis made on Monday can be labelled as “irresponsible.” “I’ve seen President Iohannis’s attack yesterday. We have this Government because we had the Romanians’ vote and confidence and I believe the President shouldn’t evaluate this, he should accept the will of the people expressed by vote. Secondly, we have got used to the President’s statements about the Government, about the governance. I don’t want to respond to the President, I don’t want to do as he does. For me it’s important to come up with concrete things for Romanians. (…) Every time President Iohannis attacks me, I’ll respond with what we – this Government and this coalition – are doing for Romanians,” Viorica Dancila stated on Tuesday after the meeting of PSD’s Standing National Bureau (BPN). Dancila insisted that Romanians are tired of disputes and so is she. “I believe we must see how we can make sure we have results internally, but also externally. I’m asking President Iohannis to no longer come out with such statements that harm Romania. He knows, and I know too, that this was also emphasised by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, who told us that if we want to be successful there must be consensus between the Presidency, the Government and Parliament. I care about this consensus, because I care about Romania’s image and I care about Romania’s well-being. I hope the President would understand this too,” the Premier added. Viorica Dancila gave assurances that Romania is on schedule to take over the presidency of the Council of the EU. “And I believe that any statement that casts doubt on this can only harm Romania. We are on the last stretch, we are on schedule, I have nominated an experienced person who will surely be supported also by the many experts from the MAE [Foreign Ministry] and who can successfully lead a successful presidency of the Council of the EU. I’ve seen yesterday public statements regarding the rotational presidency, regarding the fact that Romania is not prepared or better said that this Government is not prepared. As Prime Minister, I assure you that Romania is prepared, that we are, as I said, on schedule, from the standpoint of both the programme for the presidency of the Council of the EU and from an organisational and logistical standpoint. I believe such statements can only harm Romania, I believe this is unprecedented in an EU member state and I’m asking all political forces, including the President of Romania, Mr Iohannis, to abstain from making such statements, because Romania needs consensus, Romania needs unity and needs good Romanians who would think primarily about their own country and less about personal interests,” Dancila emphasised.
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The non-legislative resolution on the rule of law in Romania was passed on Tuesday by the European Parliament 473 -to- 151 votes and 40 abstentions, a text that affirms the MEPs’ “deep concern” towards the judicial and criminal legislation’s reform in Romania and “condemns the violent and disproportionate intervention of the police forces during the Bucharest protests” in August. The EP declares itself “deeply concerned with the revision of the judicial and criminal legislation in Romania, especially because of the possibility that it could lead to the structural undermining of the independence of the judicial system and the latter’s capacity to efficiently fight corruption in Romania, as well as to the weakening of the rule of law,” the resolution reads, as drafted by the representatives of the community legislative’s political groups. Moreover, the document “condemns the violent and disproportionate intervention of the police during the August 2018 protests in Bucharest.” In addition, the resolution “invites the Romanian authorities to establish safeguards so as to ensure a transparent, legal basis for any kind of institutional cooperation and avoid any interference that is disturbing the balancing and verification mechanisms” and “calls on the strengthening of the parliamentary control over the intelligence services.” The Eurodeputies “urge the Romanian authorities to counteract any measures that would decriminalise corruption” and “enforce the national anti-corruption strategy”and “strongly recommend the reconsideration of the legislation regarding the financing, organisation and functioning of the NGOs as regards its potential to have an intimidation effect upon the civil society, as well as in contradiction with the principle of the freedom of association and the right to private life and to fully align it” to the EU framework. Not in the least, the Eurodeputies “urge Parliament and the Government of Romania to fully enforce all the recommendations of the European Commission, the GRECO and of the Venice Commission, and abstain from any reform that would endanger the observance of the rule of law, the judicial system’s independence, included.” Likewise, the Community legislative “advocates a constant dialogue with the civil society and emphasises that the above-mentioned matters must be approached based on a transparent, inclusive process” and “encourages the request on own accord of the opinions of the Venice Commission regarding the legislative measures in question ahead of their final approval.” The debate preliminary to the resolution took place on 3 October, in the plenary sitting of the European Parliament, the talks being attended by Prime minister Viorica Dancila and the European Commission’s First Vice President Frans Timmermans.
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