Manfred Weber (in picture, middle), a German MEP and Vice-Chair of the European People’s Party (EPP) has described the state of affairs in Romania as “scandalous” in reference to the criticisms in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report, published last week.
The comments came during a discussion on Bulgaria in the European Parliament on February 6, during which the German MEP argued that the issues in Bulgaria were being dealt with by the national authorities. He said the debate should be turned to Romania, where he claimed the report showed that judiciary independence is still under threat and politicians with integrity rulings against them refuse to step down.
The MEP urged “discussion on the real issues” and argued that current concerns were about Romania, where he said there is a “scandalous state of affairs,” according to news service New Europe.
Following the CVM report, the European Commission (EC) President José Manuel Barroso met Romanian PM Victor Ponta in Brussels. “We need to see further progress on the independence of the judiciary and the appointment to key posts. We will also look to politicians to set an example by stepping aside where integrity rulings or corruption charges exist,” said President Barroso.
The CVM report, published January 30, mentioned some of the shortcomings in Romania, such as the intimidation and harassment against people in state institutions, such as the National Integrity Agency – ANI, the Constitutional Court, among others. EU officials highlighted the need to revise freedom of the press rules to protect state institutions and respect fundamental rights.
(photo source: Manfred Weber’s Facebook profile)