The presidents of the Romanian Parliament’s two chambers, who are also the leaders of the ruling coalition, signed a letter to the European Commission’s leaders expressing their concern that the European Commission was misinformed about the changes to the justice laws recently passed by the Parliament.
The letter, signed by PSD leader and Chamber of Deputies speaker Liviu Dragnea (picture, right), and ALDE leader and Senate president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu (picture, left), came as a reaction to a joint statement by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who expressed expressing their concerns about the latest developments in Romania regarding the independence of the country’s judicial system and its capacity to fight corruption, on Wednesday.
Dragnea and Tariceanu call the EC leaders’ statement “surprising” and say that the EC didn’t express the same concerns in the past, when the Dacian Ciolos technocrat cabinet changed the criminal codes by emergency ordinance. They also stated that the new laws were drafted and examined according to Romania’s Constitution and that the Constitutional Court is analyzing them to make sure they also respect the Venice Commission requirements.
They also said the law changes were needed to transpose EU justice standards in the national legislation and that the recommendations of the Venice Commission and European Commission have been considered. Dragnea and Tariceanu also said that the debate on these changes was transparent and expressed their concern that the EC was misinformed by “various sources from Romania”.
Former PM Dacian Ciolos and former justice minister Raluca Pruna reacted to the coalition leaders’ letter saying that in their government no one had the interest to change laws to solve their own legal problems.