EC warns Romanian Govt. not to take actions that would affect the judiciary
The European Commission’s first vice president Frans Timmermans sent a strong message to Romania’s Government asking it to refrain from any actions that would affect the judiciary. He said he had many discussions with prime minister Viorica Dancila in the last two months and that he hadn’t concluded that Romania is back on the right track, despite having constructive talks with the Romanian authorities.
Timmermans’ message comes as the Romanian Government was reportedly expected to move on with a controversial emergency ordinance that would change the Criminal Code and other laws and regulations related to the justice system.
“Romania must urgently return to the reform process, which means steps forward and not backward, and refrain from any measure that could lead to regress,” Timmermans said in a press conference in Brussels, according to News.ro.
“I warn the Romanian Government not to take any action that affects the judiciary and creates impunity for high-level officials who have been convicted for corruption,” he continued.
He mentioned having had several talks with prime minister Viorica Dancila in the last two months and that there have also been discussions at expert level.
“We asked for urgent results. We have clearly told them that discussions for the sake of discussion are not enough. Urgent measures are needed. We have talked about the emergency ordinance drafts, transposing EU directives and the special section for magistrates. Unfortunately, we could not draw the conclusion that Romania is back on the right track. If these problems aren’t solved, then the Commission will have to do something concrete, with the means at its disposal,” the EC official explained.
He also said that the Commission would react immediately, within a few days, if given any reason to do so.
He also addressed the matter of the new emergency ordinances the Romanian Government has prepared to bring new changes to the Criminal Code and other judiciary laws.
“We can’t take measures for emergency ordinances that haven’t been issued yet. The European Commission has done everything in its power, together with its services, to convince the Romanian authorities not to go in this direction. We’ve had very intense meetings. We have given them all the necessary advice to avoid such a situation. If, due to internal policy reasons they continue, the Commission will react immediately,” Timmermans continued.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea)