Draft resolution on Romania: European Parliament deeply concerned about justice reform

The European Parliament (EP) is “deeply concerned” about the changes to the justice laws and the criminal codes in Romania, which could weaken the rule of law, according to the draft resolution on the rule of law in Romania.

The document will be discussed in the Thursday meeting of the European Parliament. If there is an agreement, the resolution will be voted in the EP’s plenary sitting on November 14.

The draft resolution on the rule of law in Romania, consulted by local publication G4media.ro, says that the European Parliament “is deeply concerned about the reformed legislation on the Romanian judicial and criminal law, especially with regard to its potential to undermine the independence of the judiciary in a structural way and its ability to effectively combat corruption in Romania, as well as to weaken the rule of law.”

The European Parliament thus urges the Romanian parliament and government to “fully implement the recommendations of the European Commission, GRECO and the Venice Commission and refrain from any reform that would jeopardize the rule of law, including the independence of the judiciary.”

According to the same draft resolution, the MEPs invite the Romanian authorities to “set up safeguards to ensure a transparent and legal basis for any institutional cooperation and to avoid any interference that goes beyond the verification and balancing system.” They also call for “strengthening parliamentary control over intelligence services.”

The European Parliament also urges the Romanian authorities to “counter any measures that would decriminalize corruption in office and implement the national anti-corruption strategy.”

The European Parliament “asks the European Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, to monitor the actions taken following the recommendations of the Romanian authorities, continuing to provide full support to Romania in finding the right solutions,” the same draft resolution reads.

The document also condemns the “violent and disproportionate intervention of the police forces” during the August 10 street protest in Bucharest. The protest ended violently after a brutal intervention of the riot police and gendarmes. They used tear gas and water cannons to clear the square, with peaceful protesters, journalists and even tourists being injured during their intervention.

The draft resolution also refers to the legislation on the funding, organization and functioning of NGOs and the European Parliament’s “deep concern about the political restrictions on media freedom and the legislative proposals penalizing Romania’s denigration abroad and reintroducing defamation into the Criminal Code.”

The resolution to be adopted in mid-November comes after the debate in the European Parliament plenary session on October 3, which focused on the latest reform of Romania’s judicial system. The Romanian prime minister also held a speech during this debate, in which she criticized the CVM reports.

Irina Marica, [email protected]

(photo source: Adobe Stock)