SEECP Regional Anti-corruption conference kicks off in Bucharest


FM Corlatean: Fight against corruption, part of effort to internalise European values. UK Ambassador Harris: Romania’s experience in the fight against corruption will be useful for regional states.

Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean reiterated on Tuesday, at the SEECP regional conference devoted to the fight against corruption, the importance of consolidating regional cooperation in South East Europe as a decisive element in the EU membership candidate or aspiring states’ bid to move closer to the European community space. The SEECP regional conference is held in Bucharest, being organised by the Justice Ministry in partnership with the Regional Cooperation Council, the Embassy of the UK in Bucharest and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The Romanian official, acting chairman of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), underscored that the fight against corruption is part of the effort to internalise the European values, an essential process for the profound reform of society in the states aspiring to the status of EU members.
‘Romania crossed this path, it learned a lot of lessons and now has the duty to share the good practices with the partners in the region,’ Corlatean said, as quoted by Agerpres. The Romanian dignitary voiced his conviction that the regional event in Bucharest would contribute to the full internalisation of the values of integrity, fairness, transparency in exercising all public offices and dignities of all three branches of public power. ‘Both governments and civil society and private environment representatives are directly responsible for fighting against corruption, in the general public interest,’ Corlatean also said.
In his turn, British Ambassador Martin Harris stated that Romania’s experience in the fight against high-level corruption will be useful for regional states that want to join the EU.
“The British Embassy in Bucharest has worked closely with Romanian judiciary institutions such as the DIICOT, DNA, Attorney General, Superior Magistracy Council and ANI in order to exchange expertise and good practices and to stimulate our collective capacity to fight against corruption and organized crime. Romania has a truly impressive track record in tackling high-level corruption in recent years. I am convinced that this experience will have a great relevance and will be useful for regional states that want to join the EU,” the ambassador said.
Asked about the appointments made within the police or the judiciary at the request of territorial leaders investigated for corruption, Harris answered that there has to be an agreement between the President, the Government, the Judiciary and the Parliament in what concerns these appointments.
Justice Minister: Confiscating illegal assets, a priority for Romania
Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc stated at the same conference that more has to be invested in preventing corruption, and Romania has the legislative instruments needed and the will to fight against this phenomenon. Cazanciuc reiterated the fact that identifying and confiscating illegal assets, even by applying the European directive on extended confiscation, represents a priority for Romania. “The last two years show a constant growth of the Romanian judiciary’s efficiency, the sums confiscated on a yearly basis standing at approximately half a billion Euros,” the minister concluded.
In her turn, National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi said that the confidence in the judicial system’s efficiency was also reflected in the fact that increasingly more persons have denounced corruption deeds.
‘(…) An important achievement of the DNA prosecutors is represented by the fact that in 2013 they disposed precautionary measures on some goods worth EUR 350 M, money that could ensure, for instance, a quarter of the entire Health Ministry budget, if actually recovered,’ Kovesi said.

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