Brussels, 30 January 2013
Commission issues report on progress in Romania under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism
The report presents the Commission's analysis on the steps Romania has taken in the past six months and shows where further steps are needed.
President Barroso said, "This report comes just after the election of a new government in Romania. It contains clear recommendations on the rule of law and judicial independence which I hope will be taken up as part of ongoing reform in Romania. Steps have been taken to address the serious concerns we raised in July and our report explains clearly where further progress is needed."
In July 2012 the Commission published its regular report on Romania's progress under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. At that time important questions were raised about the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary in Romania and the Commission made a number of recommendations to Romania. It also indicated that it would make a report on how its recommendations had been followed up six months later. In that follow up report adopted today, the Commission finds that Romania has implemented several but not all of its recommendations. The report also covers other aspects of reform of the judicial system and the fight against corruption. It addresses further recommendations to Romania which will be followed up by the Commission.
While the respect for the Constitution and the decisions of the Constitutional Court has been restored, the lack of respect for the independence of the judiciary and the instability faced by judicial institutions remain a source of concern. The Commission's report also stresses the importance of nominating the new Prosecutor General and head of the National Anti-corruption Directorate who would enjoy public confidence and demonstrate the independence, integrity and professionalism needed to deliver effective results in fighting corruption.
The Commission's recommendations also underline the responsibility of Ministers and parliamentarians to set an example in terms of respect for integrity.
As for the progress on the CVM objectives, much still remains to be done. The report sets out the key developments over the past six months in reform of the judicial system and steps against corruption, noting the resilience of the courts and the anti-corruption institutions in difficult circumstances.
The Commission will monitor the progress closely and adopt a further report on the reform process before the end of this year.
On 1 January 2007, the Commission established a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism to assess the commitments made by Romania in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption. The Commission was asked to report on progress in these areas on a regular basis. The Commission issued its first report on 27 June 2007 and reported since then on a bi-annual basis. The Commission reports are complemented by a staff-working document which sets out the Commission's detailed analysis against each of the benchmarks set for the CVM.
The Commission's analysis is based on an assessment of progress by the Romanian authorities and on information by Member States, international organisations, independent experts and a variety of other sources. The Commission has carried out several missions to Romania, and the reports also take into account the responses by Romania to detailed questionnaires prepared by the Commission.
The last annual report was published on 18 July 2012.
The report is available on the following website:
Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)
Mark Gray (+32 2 298 86 44)