PM Viorica Dancila is participating in the debate about the rule of law in Romania at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Representing the European Commission’s point of view, VP Frans Timmermans is accusing the Government of threatening the fight against corruption in Romania.
PM Viorica Dancila’s main statements:
- I’ve listened to everybody and I want a constructive dialogue to take place. Mrs. Macovei, this government you so frequently criticize has brought economic growth and that’s why Romanians love it. Don’t bring the political fight into the European Parliament.
- I can tell there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I am blaming those who are behind it and spreading this misinformation
- Let’s not try to antagonize each other. Let’s look at the things that unite us and leave behind those things that drive us apart. We will improve the things we need to improve. Reform is initiated in the Parliament, which was democratically elected as the expression of the people’s will. The EP is not my enemy, I was an MEP for 9 years and I will never move away from European values.
- The Venice Commission has mentioned that in the Soviet system, the General Prosecutors’ Office was an instrument… Half of the judges in Romania have been influenced in their court decisions. And that is something said by the magistrates, not by me. I’ve informed you today about the abuse that was carried out in Romania. From now on these things will not be ignored.
- On the protests in Romania- I see that the Gendarmerie is being accused of aggression against violent protesters who tried to get into the Government building. I didn’t hear the EC officials having such opinions about the protests in France, Spain, when the authorities there intervened using the same measures to restore peace. I cannot accept the accusations made against the Romanian Gendarmerie. Don’t let things that are unacceptable in other countries happen in Romania.
- I didn’t hear anything about the secret protocols between the SRI and the Justice institutions. Based on those protocols millions of people were surveilled by the Romanian secret service, without them knowing. This means that the CVM has lost its purpose and I officially demand to know who gave information and who wrote the CVM reports for Romania.
Timmermans’s main statements:
- The reason why we talk about these things is that we care about the European journey and about the Romanian people. The recommendations of the Venice Commission are extremely important, but please also look at the CVM recommendations of last year and at the ones to come next month, because I believe they are very important. I will continue my dialogue with Romania. I will be very meticulous and precise and send these very detailed question to the Romanian government, because the stakes are very high in this process regarding the EU’s future. It’s as important, if not even more important for the Romanian people. If we have to use other means at our disposal, we will. We are guardians of the treaties and we take this role very seriously.
- The last time we discussed the rule of law was in February. We’re all aware that the actions of Romanian authorities, the reforms to the justice laws and criminal codes, have created a lot of concern in the EU. Many of them could undermine justice. These are worries that the Commission shares. The EC has a cynical and impartial approach. As for the justice laws, the three laws define judiciary organization and the statute of magistrates. These laws have been repeatedly challenged at the Constitutional Court. The European Council, through GRECO, adopted a report, and the preliminary report by the Venice Commission was also extremely critical towards the changes. I know that the European Parliament will be extremely focused on the opinion. But the Romanian Parliament has not given any signal that it would respond to these opinions.