What reactions has generated in Romania the U.S. Department of State criticism on judicial laws?

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U.S. Department of State: We urge Parliament of Romania to reject legislative proposals that weaken rule of law and fight against corruption

 

On Monday evening, the United States expressed its “concern” about the amendments proposed by the special parliamentary committee, warning that the measures risk affecting the fight against corruption and the independence of the Romanian judiciary.

“The United States notes with concern that the Parliament of Romania is considering legislation that could undermine the fight against corruption and weaken judicial independence in Romania. This legislation, which was originally proposed by the Ministry of Justice, threatens the progress Romania has made in recent years to build strong judicial institutions shielded from political interference. We urge the Parliament of Romania to reject proposals that weaken the rule of law and endanger the fight against corruption,” reads a press statement posted on the website of the U.S. Department of State, signed by spokesperson Heather Nauert.

 

Parliament Chambers’ heads Tariceanu and Dragnea: United States must trust Romanian Parliament

 

The United States must trust the Romanian Parliament, which aims to “strengthen the independence of the judiciary” and “to eliminate political influences in the functioning of the judiciary,” reads a press release issued on Tuesday by the Senate’s Speaker Calin Popescu-Tariceanu and the Chamber of Deputies’ Speaker Liviu Dragnea.

“The United States must trust the Parliament of Romania, which aims to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and the elimination of political influence in the functioning of the Justice. The United States of America must trust the Romanian Parliament which is debating these days the reform laws of the Justice, because it is the same Parliament that adopted the Declaration on the anniversary of two decades of Romania-US Strategic Partnership, okayed the allocation of 2% of GDP for defense expenditures, decided the participation of Romania’s armed forces in operation theaters in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well in the cooperation within the anti-ISIS / DAESH coalition alongside the US and other allies, and adopted laws on the purchase of the Patriot anti-missile defense system,” the release reads.

The heads of the two Chambers emphasize that the Romanian Parliament “took note with unpleasant surprise” of the release issued on November 27, 2017 by the US State Department on the debate on the reform of the judiciary.

“We want to point out that in any discussion with our partners we have to start from a fundamental constitutional principle, the same in the US and Romania, according to which the debates, decisions and votes in the Parliament take place in the name of the sovereignty of the people and cannot be the object of any form of pressure,” reads the quoted communiqué issued by the heads of the two Chambers.

“We express the hope that the US State Department’s statement was made in good faith, but we cannot avoid noting that it does not appear to be the result of a balanced, objective and comprehensive analysis of the facts, being rather the echo of some opinions in the Romanian public space. The nature and form of the US State Department’s statement are incomprehensible in the context in which it is hard to imagine that in US could have occurred violations of the citizens’ rights and freedoms that we often witness in Romania. It is hard to believe that in the US a prosecutor would allow themselves to present to the court forged interceptions or to blackmail the judge into bringing them into a criminal case unless they rule in their favor. It is hard to believe that in a consolidated democracy such as the US’s, there are collaboration protocols between intelligence services and magistrates.

It is probably unconceivable in the American judiciary for the secret services’ representatives to extend their tactical field to the courtroom and provide legal opinions to magistrates and afterwards to follow whether they rule in accordance with the suggested solutions. It is also unimaginable in the US that a high-ranking public official to refuse to appear before a parliamentary committee of inquiry, thus breaching clear decisions of the Constitutional Court. Last but not least, it is hard to believe that in the US a magistrate who flagrantly violates fundamental human rights has no responsibility before the law,” the joint press release also reads.

The heads of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate state that “all these numerous abuses that have taken place in Romania are the main reason for initiating the debates on the reform of the judiciary, with each amendment adopted within the Special Commission being aimed at correcting abuses and the precisely documented vulnerabilities in the current judiciary.”

 

ForMin Melescanu: Parliament to make public communication on US Department of State statements

 

Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu announced Tuesday, after coming out of Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s office, that Parliament is going to make a public communication about the message of the US Department of State.

“We don’t have the statement yet. We had a talk. (…) There will be a public communication of Parliament,” Melescanu pointed out, asked if he was going to send a letter to the US Department of State.

Teodor Melescanu arrived on Tuesday morning to the Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s office, talks being held in the context of the public position of the US Department on the changes to the Laws on Justice.

The PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu had a “morning meeting” on Tuesday with the ALDE President Calin Popescu Tariceanu in his office at the Senate, mentioning that a public position on the US State Department’s statement will be decided today.

“It was <a morning meeting> with the president of our allies. We will talk at 12.00 o’clock and very soon we’ll have a public position” Codrin Stefanescu stated after exiting Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s office.

He also said that it wasn’t decided to convene a meeting of the governing coalition. “Calm down, everything will be just fine” Stefanescu told to journalists.

 

Justice Minister: U.S. State Department expresses itself as allowed to

 

The U.S. State Department expresses itself how and as much as it is allowed to, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said in reaction to the criticism levelled by the U.S. State Department, which asked for the rejection of the legislative proposals that weaken the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

“The State Department expresses itself how and as much as it is allowed to,” Tudorel Toader stated on Tuesday, at the Justice Ministry.

He claimed that the State Department’s press statement talks about the bill currently debated by the special parliamentary committee, a bill undertaken as a parliamentary initiative.

 

Plesoianu (PSD): U.S. communique leaks ineptness and is full of clichés. We’re not a country of idiots

 

PSD’s House member Liviu Plesoianu claims, on his Facebook page, in reaction to the U.S. communique which criticises the amendments to the judicial laws, that the document “leaks a lot of ineptness,” adding that Romania is not “a country of idiots,” nor a U.S. “colony.”

“Dear Department of State, since you’re addressing the Romanian Parliament, I will answer you in my capacity as Romanian MP. First of all, I inform you that in Romania <<Parliament is the supreme representative body of the Romanian people and the sole legislative authority of the country.>> That’s what it says in a booklet we call the Constitution… Likewise, the same booklet says that Romania is <<a sovereign and independent state.>> And, as parliamentarian of this country, I am adamant to observe what is written in this booklet. Regardless of how much this might bother you,” PSD’s House member wrote on his Facebook page.

Plesoianu continued his attack on the U.S. State Department’s communique, emphasising that “Romania is not a country of idiots, nor a U.S. colony.”

“I believe that, in drafting this press statement, one can only have two premises as starting point: the conviction that the Romanian people are idiots, or the conviction that the Romanian people accepts Romania being the 51st American state. In itself, the communique leaks so much ineptness that I’m simply embarrassed that someone was capable of conceiving such a thing. Without at least an iota of argument based on something concrete, we are thrown some clichés, in the hope that we will rush, like turkeys in a courtyard, to gather them up from the dust, shoving them down our throats… Well, dear State Department, <<I urge you>> to understand one thing: Romania is not a country of idiots, nor your colony!” the parliamentarian concludes.

 

PNL: U.S. communique on judicial laws, unprecedented and grave. Imperative request, in Romanians’ favour

 

The communique in which the U.S. State Department is asking Parliament not to adopt the amendments to the judicial laws is “unprecedented and grave,” this “imperative request” coming from our strategic partner being in the interest of Romanians, PNL Spokesperson Ionel Danca claims.

“The communique in which the U.S. State Department is asking the Romanian Parliament not to adopt the legislative proposals amending the judicial laws because they affect the fight against corruption and the independence of the judiciary is unprecedented and grave. The independence of the judiciary is absolutely necessary for a normal Romania with strong and stable democratic institutions that people can trust,” the PNL Spokesperson wrote on Facebook.

According to the source, the imperative request made by Romania’s NATO strategic partner is in the interest of Romanians “in order for PSD-ALDE to give up their attempt to subordinate the judiciary for personal purposes.”

“It is in our interest and in the interest of our partners to build and maintain in Romania a democratic system with strong independent institutions, based on observance of the laws,” Danca wrote.

Ionel Danca’s reaction comes after the United States expressed its “concern” about the amendments proposed by the special parliamentary committee, warning that the measures risk affecting the fight against corruption and the independence of the Romanian judiciary.

“The United States notes with concern that the Parliament of Romania is considering legislation that could undermine the fight against corruption and weaken judicial independence in Romania. This legislation, which was originally proposed by the Ministry of Justice, threatens the progress Romania has made in recent years to build strong judicial institutions shielded from political interference,” reads a press statement posted on the U.S. State Department website.

“We urge the Parliament of Romania to reject proposals that weaken the rule of law and endanger the fight against corruption,” the U.S. State Department points out.

 

Florin Iordache: Proposals do not affect independence of the judiciary. What are we talking about?

 

The U.S. State Department’s communique regarding the currently debated amendments to the judicial laws mentions the package proposed by the ministry, a package that was modified, its current form not affecting the independence of the judiciary, Florin Iordache, chairman of the special parliamentary committee on judicial laws, stated on Monday.

“We are talking about the Justice Ministry’s proposals. The proposals now in Parliament are completely different from the Justice Ministry’s. As long as what we are debating does not affect the independence of the Judiciary in any way, as long as all amendments are coming from professional associations and from the CSM… what are we talking about?” Florin Iordache, chairman of the parliamentary committee on judicial laws, stated for the TVR public broadcaster.

Asked whether the amendments are drafted in agreement with the Opposition, Iordache said: “We’re not imposing anything.”

“The proposals now debated in Parliament are completely different from the initial proposals of Justice Minister Tudorel Toader,” Iordache added, referring to the fact that the U.S. State Department mentioned that the amendments to the judicial laws were initially proposed by the Justice Minister.

Asked whether he will withdraw the bill from the debate or whether the debate will continue within the committee he chairs, Florin Iordache suggested the talks will continue, adding “as long as what we are debating does not affect in any way the independence of the judiciary.” He asked the talk-show anchor to point to a single article of law that endangers the independence of the judiciary.

“As long as all amendments are coming from professional associations and from the CSM… what are we talking about?” Iordache concluded, pointing out that the members of the committee he chairs will take into account this signal.

 

Undoubtedly, we continue this debate on judicial laws”

 

On Tuesday, Florin Iordache, chairman of the special parliamentary committee on judicial laws, stated that the debate on the amendments to the judicial laws will “undoubtedly” continue, claiming that the laws debated within the committee are different from what the Government had sent and pointing out he does not know why the U.S. State Department asked for their rejection on the grounds that they allegedly affect the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption.

“Undoubtedly, we are continuing this debate and we will continue to take into account all points of views expressed by the judiciary, which is invited,” Florin Iordache stated.

He said he has not had a discussion with PSD President Liviu Dragnea following the U.S. State Department’s request to reject the amendments to the judicial laws, but pointed out he will talk with the Social Democrat leaders later that day.

“If there is a single provision, or if in the message that was transmitted – other points of view will probably come too –, if there is a single provision that infringes the independence of the judiciary, or we are talking about the weakening of the fight against corruption, I fully agree with these provisions [sic]. So far, we have only discussed some issues that aim at the separation of the magistrates’ careers, we discussed the strengthening of the independence of judges and prosecutors, without political interference in the act of appointment, in the act of dismissal, and in the career of magistrates, and I hope we will also get to the law on the accountability of magistrates. In my view, there is no reason to stop Parliament from having a debate. I want to remind you that these laws were adopted in 2005 by the Government undertaking responsibility for them. So, between the Government undertaking responsibility, where there is no debate, and a wide debate with all those interested at the table, I believe the latter modus operandi is preferable,” Iordache added.

Asked why he believes the U.S. State Department asked that the judicial laws be rejected, Iordache said he does not know.

“I don’t know where from, but the laws proposed by the Government are mentioned. Compared to the laws proposed by the Government, those of us – my colleagues and I – who signed the bills have a series of important modifications, and in the debate we took into account all the observations made by the judicial system. We are only transposing those observations and those modifications requested by the Romanian judicial system. None of the modifications we have made and that we will continue to make injure the independence of the judiciary and, at the same time, they do not put pressure on judges or prosecutors,” the Social Democrat claimed.

 

Olguta Vasilescu: Romania is a sovereign state. Maybe it would be interesting [to know] which article from the judicial laws bothers

 

On Monday evening, Labour Minister Olguta Vasilescu commented on the criticism that the the U.S. State Department levelled in regard to the judicial laws, stating for Antena3 private broadcaster that the Constitution says Romania is a sovereign state and Parliament is elected to legislate, adding that it would be interesting for the American partners to state which article from the judicial laws bothers them.

“It may be interesting [to know] which article from the judicial laws bothers,” Vasilescu said after she mentioned the constitutional article which stipulates that Romania is a sovereign state.

She pointed out that if American partners believe the judicial laws contain an article that affects the independence of the judiciary “it would be good to indicate it.”

 

Turcan: I salute the statement made by Romania’s strategic partner in the face of grave backsliding committed by ruling coalition politicians

 

PNL First Vice President Raluca Turcan stated on Tuesday that she salutes the U.S. State Department’s statement, pointing out that it expresses the stance of an ally of Romania for whom fundamental values that guarantee internal cohesion and development cannot be relativized.

“I salute the statement made by Romania’s strategic partner in the face of grave backsliding committed by politicians from the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition, politicians who disregard the country’s commitments, their own campaign commitments, as well as the Romanian citizens’ expectations. The weakening of the fight against corruption and the dismantling of institutions can never be in the interest of Romanian citizens,” Raluca Turcan pointed out in a PNL press statement.

The PNL First Vice President points out that the U.S. State Department’s statement expresses the stance of an ally of Romania for whom fundamental values that guarantee internal cohesion and development cannot be relativized.

“<<Citizens are equal before the law>> remains a paragraph written in the Romanian Constitution, which PSD and ALDE have violated every day that has passed since they took over power through the defrauding of confidence they committed in last year’s elections. The premeditated character and gravity of their actions are visible for any person of good faith,” Turcan added.

 

Serban Nicolae: State Department communique is extremely bizarre, insulting. President should ask Romanian ambassador to convey firm protest

 

PSD Senator Serban Nicolae stated on Tuesday that the U.S. State Department’s press statement is “extremely bizarre, insulting,” and that the Romanian President should ask Romania’s ambassador to Washington to convey a firm protest.

“It’s a matter of perception. Klemm is not the main character in this action, this extremely bizarre communique is, which, in my view, breaks all the customs specific to relations between two states, even more so between two partner states like Romania and the U.S. In what concerns Romania, it’s pretty insulting. Anyone else who would take the liberty to imperatively make a demand on the Parliament of Romania, whatever that demand may be, is unacceptable,” Serban Nicolae stated at the Palace of Parliament.

The PSD Senator claimed that the President of Romania should ask the ambassador to Washington to issue a firm protest.

“I believe the President of Romania should urgently instruct Romania’s ambassador to Washington to convey a firm protest, to ask what were the conditions in which this communique appeared, who takes responsibility for it on the part of the U.S. Government. I repeat, it [the press statement] is absolutely useless for the U.S., but insulting to Romania. I doubt that after such a communique there is any sane Romanian citizen who would say ‘until now I didn’t sympathise the Americans, but, seeing such a communique, I have become a fan,’” Nicolae stated.

Serban Nicolae stated that U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm is “a bizarre civil servant to say the least.”

“I believe these attitudes, promoted in recent years by Hans Klemm, this civil servant who is bizarre to say the least, won’t bring any benefit to Romanian-American relations. On the contrary, I see an exacerbation of anti-American feelings and I don’t find it normal,” the PSD Senator claimed.

Asked what prompted the representatives of the U.S. to react in this manner, Serban Nicolae replied: “They’re not representatives, it’s a somewhat stranger issue. I believe that, if you look carefully, there is nothing specific to international law, to diplomatic customs, in what has occurred in the relationship between the U.S. Embassy and Romanian society in recent years. The fact that Hans Klemm poses with the flag of the so-called Szekely Land and finds it natural, that he goes anywhere in Romania because that is his mission as ambassador… What appears in this communique is what Mr Klemm had said a few hours before at a television station. It’s not signed. First Klemm made the statements and then the U.S. State Department Spokesperson’s office made a statement. (…) Things are bizarre to say the least and should be treated as such. On the other hand, the insulting tone of such a communique should give birth to a reaction in Bucharest, without passion and without any hysteria on the part of some public authorities, but things must be clarified.”

“Romania has no kind of commitment of servility or slavishness or inferior position. Romania is a state with equal rights in all its international commitments (…) and we don’t have to pass exams or to justify our position,” Nicolae emphasised.

In his opinion, it would be good for the Romanian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson – the counterpart of the American issuer of the press statement – to convey a similar point of view.

Asked how Parliament should react, the PSD Senator said: “Parliament minds its business, as compelled by the Constitution and its status among the constitutional branches of government of the Romanian state. In my view, [a letter] is not necessarily needed, because Parliament’s constitutional prerogatives are not to issue communiques or public statements, but to legislate and to exercise its sovereignty on behalf of the Romanian people. That is why I don’t believe Parliament should necessarily have a reaction to a communique issued by the spokesperson’s office from who knows where.”

 

Ex-JusMin Catalin Predoiu: I can’t accept State Department’s tone when speaking to Romania

 

Former Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu claims that the U.S. should use a different tone when speaking to Romania, after the U.S. State Department issued a press statement in which it expresses its “concern” about the amendments proposed by the special parliamentary committee.
“I supported, and I support, with administrative and political actions, the independence of the judiciary and the strategic partnership for the 21st Century with the U.S. The fight against PSD for the independence of the judiciary is not easy and any support is welcome. But I cannot accept the tone that the Department of State uses when speaking to Romania. We are, maybe, the most loyal U.S. ally in the region and the closest partner in the theatres of war, for democracy and North Atlantic values. At least for this reason, a different tone should be used when discussing with Romania any issues, irrespective of how delicate they are. It is not certain how inspired and efficient this move is from a tactical standpoint, which could fuel an anti-American and nationalist current that can be manipulated by Russia. Maybe more ingenuity is needed on the part of the Department of State. Maybe American diplomats should be more careful to the way they approach Romania, more adapted to realities on the ground, in order to be efficient. I’m saying it as a friend of America,” Catalin Predoiu wrote on Facebook.

Orban on Predoiu’s reaction to the U.S.: I express PNL’s official position, opinions expressed by some of my colleagues are individual points of view

PNL President Ludovic Orban reacted on Tuesday to the criticism that Catalin Predoiu levelled at the U.S. State Department, stating that he expresses the party’s official position, in his capacity as party leader, and the opinions “expressed by some” are personal points of view.
“In my capacity as PNL President, I express PNL’s official position. The opinions expressed by some of my colleagues are individual points of view, which do not correspond to PNL’s official position,” Ludovic Orban stated.

 

Norica Nicolai: Melescanu should ask U.S. State Department for clarifications

 

MEP Norica Nicolai stated on Tuesday that Romania must continue the legislative process within the limits it considers, and asked Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to ask the U.S. State Department for clarifications on “the press statement with political undercurrents.”
“As formulated, this communique is almost a press statement with political undercurrents. These things are not very appreciated in the relations between states. Romania must continue the legislative process within the limits Parliament considers and in relation to the Constitution. Apart from that, nothing special,” MEP Norica Nicolai stated for MEDIAFAX.
She asked Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to demand clarifications from the U.S. State Department.
“Considering the content of this press statement and its conclusion, which expresses concern about certain provisions, a clarification is needed, because not any statement can be considered just because it exists. Mr Melescanu and the Government will have to take a decision,” Norica Nicolai added.

 

CSM judge following U.S. criticism on judicial laws: Harsh tone shows that decision-makers took into account no other domestic or external signal

 

Supreme Magistracy Council (CSM) Judge Bogdan Mateescu stated for MEDIAFAX that the harsh tone used by the U.S., in relation to the judicial laws, shows that decision-makers have taken into account no other domestic or external signal, the magistrate pointing out that the judicial laws should be withdrawn.
“External partners emphasise what we too have said, inside the country. Over 4,000 magistrates, the general assemblies of courts and prosecutor’s offices, the CSM on two occasions, the great part of civil society, they all drew attention, loud and clear, to the damaging character of the legislative proposals, and asked that they be withdrawn. This harsh tone, unprecedented in the current rapports between partner states, emphasises that the issue is very grave and that decision-makers did not take into account any other domestic or external signal, even though the entire civilised world repeatedly expressed its concern. External partners see beyond fake news, manipulation, denigration of anyone who has a different opinion, beyond stories about deep states also consisting of judicial bodies, or beyond so-called overnight changes in the votes cast within the CSM, or beyond needs to maintain so-called privileges, all situated far from reality. The laws must be withdrawn, the legislative process must be rebuilt from scratch, on solid foundations, institutional autism and arrogance must be replaced with respect and real cooperation,” CSM Judge Bogdan Mateescu stated for MEDIAFAX.

 

USR’s Barna: The translation is simple – you are wide of the mark with the judiciary

 

Save Romania Union (USR) President Dan Barna stated on Tuesday that the international messages concerning the Romanian judiciary are worrisome and, translated from diplomatic speak into day-to-day language, they would sound as follows: “you’re wide of the mark with the judiciary.”

“Two weeks later, we are basically in the same spot, we have to translate the diplomatic language into the citizens’ language. The moment we find, in official messages – two weeks ago in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), and today in the U.S. State Department’s message –, words such as concern, the undermining of the interests of the rule of law, the translation for citizens is very simple: you are wide of the mark with the judiciary. This is the message Romania’s partners are explicitly issuing these days, ever more explicitly, for the current Government, and the reaction borders on irresponsibility,” Dan Barna stated.

The USR President added that “the current ruling majority is toying with Romania’s strategic interests, probably in a battle for Romania’s new vision of partnership, which we are seeing these days but not only these days.”

“I remind you that, several weeks ago, the USR announced that PSD and ALDE seem to reorient Romania’s strategic positioning, Mr Melescanu having a sudden unexpected interest in the Visegrad Group and Mr Dragnea probably in the political leadership vision we find in its member countries. (…) All of this irresponsibility with which the current ruling majority guides Romania, ignoring the messages, is becoming a significant risk for the rule of law,” Barna explained.

He added that for PSD the option is either to completely sacrifice Romania’s interests while saving Liviu Dragnea “and his acolytes,” or to maintain the rule of law.

“What seems to be happening for the time being is that the option they are choosing is to form a shield around Mr Liviu Dragnea, completely ignoring or sacrificing the rule of law that Romania has built so hard, we see it in the State Department’s message too,” Barna pointed out.

“The strategic partnership with the U.S., our capacity as EU member, cannot be risked. The development resource that structural funds represent, which risk being suspended, and you know this very well, cannot be sacrificed because the Romanian Government has been Mr Liviu Dragnea’s law firm for a year and has had no other dossier on its table,” the USR leader said.

 

U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm: State Department communique should not come as a surprise

 

U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm stated on Tuesday, after the U.S. Department of State issued a press statement regarding the amendments to the judicial laws, that it should not come as a surprise, since the embassy had repeatedly expressed the same opinion prior to its release.

“Yesterday’s State Department press statement should not be a surprise. Back in August, on August 29, the U.S. Embassy issued a communique concerning the proposals of the Justice Ministry, and in the weeks before that, on August 23 and August 25, concerning the reform of the judiciary. On August 29, the embassy issued a press release in which it expressed its concern about the Justice Ministry’s proposals. The document did not say “Ambassador Klemm or the U.S. Embassy,” it said the United States of America is concerned about the rule of law. So, what happened yesterday was once again the expression of U.S. concern regarding the package of proposals that are now in Parliament, which could lead to the rolling back of the amazing progress that Romania has made so far,” Ambassador Hans Klemm stated during a visit in Drobeta Turnu Severin.

The American official added that “in the past 15-20 years you have created an independent judiciary, you have consolidated the rule of law and the fight against corruption.”

 

Gorghiu: I feel offended that Tariceanu and Dragnea have ended up talking on behalf of Parliament, without any kind of mandate

 

PNL Senator Alina Gorghiu states that Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu have no kind of mandate from the joint plenum – as required by the regulations – to convey any kind of message to the U.S. State Department on behalf of Parliament, and explains that the American Government’s request that the legislative process concerning the judicial laws be stopped is reasoned.

“I actually feel offended that Tariceanu and Dragnea have ended up talking – without any kind of mandate – on behalf of Parliament and implicitly on my behalf, about very, very important issues! These gentlemen are certainly not the Parliament. They cannot react in this manner on behalf of the institution, without consulting anyone, and even on an issue of foreign policy. There is no argument to be found in the Constitution for them to issue such press releases starting off with formulas such as “Parliament has taken note” etc. In fact, in the regulations of joint activities, Article 13, Point 23 stipulates who can adopt declarations, messages or other documents of an exclusively political character: the joint plenum,” Alina Gorghiu wrote on Facebook.

The PNL Senator points out that Tariceanu and Dragnea are looking for a reason to scold the U.S. State Department “as one scolds a disobeying pupil who is part of a new concept – ‘another deep state.’”

“We see the kind of arguments that would be used in a televised show in Bucharest,” Gorghiu points out.

“So, a recap of what has happened so far: the bills were criticised from all quarters, primarily by Romanians. There were 4,000 magistrates who signed against them. There were two negative CSM reports which were the results of particularly wide consultations with magistrates from all over the country. There was the CVM report on these bills, which suggested that the Venice Commission be consulted. PSD rejected all these messages just like I believe it also rejected diplomatic and political messages that were not made public,” the PNL Senator adds.

Alina Gorghiu states that the best solution would be to reject for good the current bills and to initiate a transparent modification of the judicial laws, by consulting the Venice Commission and observing the parliamentary procedure.

 

Turcescu (PMP) to Dragnea and Tariceanu: You bastards, I didn’t take note of the U.S. communique “with unpleasant surprise”

 

Popular Movement Party (PMP) House member Robert Turcescu announced on Tuesday that he distances himself from the position expressed by Parliament Speakers Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu regarding the U.S. State Department’s press statement, calling the Speakers “bastards” and saying he did not take note of the U.S. Government’s stance “with unpleasant surprise.”

“Dragnea and Tariceanu issued a joint communique which starts by saying ‘the Parliament of Romania has taken note with unpleasant surprise of the communique issued on 27 November 2017 by the U.S. State Department, concerning the debate on the reform of the judiciary.’ Well, you bastards, I, and other colleagues of mine from the Parliament of Romania, didn’t take note of this communique ‘with unpleasant surprise,’ you bastards! But we took note, with fury and nausea, of all the filth you’ve been cooking up for so long. Dragnea, leave, get lost!” Robert Turcescu wrote on Facebook.

 

Citu (PNL): I don’t recognise the Romanian Parliament’s response to the U.S. State Department’s communique, presented by the Speakers of the two Houses

 

PNL Senator Florin Citu announced on Tuesday that he distances himself from the stance expressed by the Speakers of Parliament – Liviu Dragnea and Calin Popescu Tariceanu – in reaction to the U.S. State Department’s press statement, and says that the two are not speaking on behalf of all MPs.

“I disagree! I, Senator Florin Citu, DO NOT recognise the Romanian Parliament’s response to the U.S. State Department’s communique, presented by the Speakers of the two Houses. I’m asking all of my fellow Senators and House members who disagree with the Romanian Parliament’s response to urgently make public their opinions and to follow my example and send the U.S. Embassy a message in this sense. Dragnea and Tariceanu ARE NOT speaking on behalf of all parliamentarians. Courage, we can do it!!!” Florin Citu wrote on Facebook.