The European Commission (EC) has concerns over the Romanian press and has criticized the local media for attacks on the judiciary. The EC President referred to complaints received from Romanian courts in a press conference earlier today (February 4 ).
“We cannot dismiss the fact that we have received complaints by the Constitutional court, by the Superior Counsel of the Magistracy about campaigns orchestrated in the media against the independence of the magistrates – either prosecutors or judges,” said President Barroso. However, he qualified his remarks by saying, “freedom of the media is sacred and the Commission will always defend free and pluralist media in Romania and elsewhere.”
Following the publication of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report last week, Romania’s PM Victor Ponta met EC President José Manuel Barroso (in picture) in Brussels today (February 4 ).
The EC president welcomed the greater political stability in Romania following the elections and said that he hoped reforms could now push ahead. The two discussed a variety of topics, including youth unemployment, EU funds and the CVM report. President Barroso said the problems Romania has had absorbing EU funds were again discussed and that he welcomed PM Ponta’s commitments to improvement.
The most notable point of criticism was on judiciary independence. “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.
During the press conference, Barroso reiterated his and the Commission’s support of Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area. He finished by saying Romania could count of the EC’s support in the future.
photo source: ec.europa.eu