Seven EU embassies ask Romania’s ruling coalition to avoid actions undermining the independence of the judiciary, fight against corruption

Ovidiu Posirca 21/12/2017 | 18:05

As MPs have voted controversial amendments to the justice laws, the embassies of seven EU member states have asked the leadership of the center-left coalition PSD-ALDE to avoid actions that would ruin Romania’s judiciary reforms.

“We acknowledge that Romania has recorded in the past decade significant progress on building a path and apply credible reforms in the judiciary. However, our conviction is that the recently approved laws on the reforms of the judiciary, in their current form, as well as the recent amendments proposed for the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedural Code risk putting this progress in danger,” according to a joint statement of the embassies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The embassies cite the latest findings of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM). The EU experts pointed out that the reforms of the judiciary have to be carried out in a transparent manner following a thorough consultation process.

“On this backdrop, we ask all the sides involved in the judiciary reform project to avoid any actions that could weaken the judiciary and the fight against corruption and to ask, without delay, the required approval of the Venice Commission, in order to maintain the independence of the judiciary and to keep intact the reform process in general,” said the embassies.

Tens of thousands of people have protested in the main Romanian cities in the past few weeks as MPs have debated the changes to the justice laws. Prosecutors and judges staged silent protests in the past days on the backdrop of the debates in Parliament on these changes.

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