EU’s 2021 Rule of Law Report: Justice laws amended in 2017-2019 are still in force in Romania
In the absence of solid legislative and policy solutions to Constitutional Court decisions, there are increased obstacles and legal uncertainty for the fight against corruption in Romania, the European Commission’s 2021 Rule of Law Report on Romania reads.
The Commission remains confident the new ruling coalition will remove the obstacles but notes that “the amendments to the justice laws, still in force, had a serious impact on the independence, quality and efficiency of the justice system.”
Increased institutional cooperation in the context of the elections in 2020 could mark a change of approach on the integrity of elected officials, the report reads on a positive note.
The Commission’s report notes concerns on the stability and predictability of legislation. Among the main concerns, there is a Constitutional Court’s decision that apparently questions the principle of primacy of EU law. “Following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU of 18 May 2021 on several aspects of the justice laws, the Constitutional Court gave a judgment on 8 June 2021, which raises serious concerns, as it questions the principle of primacy of EU law."
On the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), the European Commission concludes that “there is progress across all the remaining CVM recommendations and many are on the path to being fulfilled if progress remains steady,” but avoids mentioning any time horizon for the expected lifting of the Mechanism.
EC’s November 2018 report concluded that developments had reversed or called into question the irreversibility of progress and added eight recommendations to the 12 drafted in 2017. The Commission’s latest CVM report, adopted in June 2021, assessed progress on the 12 recommendations of January 2017 and the eight additional recommendations of November 2018.
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