Romania’s prime minister Viorica Dancila sent a letter to European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker asking him for clarifications on an alleged interference by the EC in the justice process in Romania.
Dancila’s request is related to a document presented by the Romanian media, which the European Commission supposedly sent to the Romanian justice minister Mona Pivniceru in October 2012, as part of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) evaluation. In this document, the EC asked for details about the criminal proceedings targeting former PM Adrian Nastase, former ministers Tudor Chiuariu and Decebal Traian Remes, local businessmen George Becali, George Copos and Dan Voiculescu, and several others.
“It is essential for securing our institutional collaboration and strengthening judicial integrity in Romania to find out whether the document attributed to the European Commission is an authentic one, assumed institutionally, and if it is the only document of its kind and whether it was capable of bringing, by its content or effects, interference with the proper functioning of justice and breach principles of law,” the PM wrote in her letter to Juncker.
She also wants clarifications on the “reasons, motifs and criteria” on which the list was made and the way in which the information collected following this request contributed to the EC’s analysis and evaluation of Romania’s progress within the CVM.
At the end of her letter, Dancila suggests that the CVM should be removed. “From the above considerations and in view of the constant progress made by Romania in the field of justice, I would rightly stress again, Mr. President, that our country fulfils all the conditions for the lifting of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, a measure which, once taken, will open new horizons and perspectives of our partnership.”
The Romanian version of the letter resented by the Government included more categorical terms, suggesting that the PM actually requested the CVM lifting so that the relationship between Romanian and the EC would return to normal.
The Romanian PM had a meeting with Juncker in February after which she said the CVM on Romania would be lifted by next year, when the country takes over the presidency of the European Council. However, EC officials, including first vice president Frans Timmermans said Romania needed to finish the justice reform and anticorruption fight marathon in order to have the CVM removed.
The Romanian ruling coalition’s initiatives to change the justice laws and criminal codes in the last year have strained the relationship between the Romanian Government and Parliament and the European Commission.
(photo source: Gov.ro)