Conflict of interest notion removed from Romania’s Criminal Law

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis promulgated last week the law that takes “conflict of interest” for public servants out of the Criminal Law. The concept was replaced with “using the position to favor certain individuals”.

The Parliament adopted the bill in May with 187 favorable votes, 79 negative votes and 6 abstentions. The National Liberal Party (PNL) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP) challenged the law at the Constitutional Court, but the judges decided in June that the law was constitutional.

The governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) has been trying to change some important provisions in the Criminal Law after winning the parliamentary elections in December 2016. A controversial emergency ordinance (OUG 13) adopted by the Government in late January aimed to change the way abuse of office and conflict of interest were defined.

The ordinance was repealed after the biggest protests Romania has seen in 25 years, but the PSD-ALDE majority continued their efforts to change the Criminal Law in the Parliament.

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