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August 14, 2022

EC: Legal system reform lags behind in Romania

In an interview with TVR1, European Commission spokesman Mark Gray claims that legal system reform in Romania has been lagging behind, in the context of recent election processes.

The comment comes days before the Commission will release its interim report on Romania and Bulgaria progress in justice reform and the fight against corruption. Bulgarian media reported last week that the document will be made public after March 3, though it was initially expected by the end of February.

“We wish to make sure that it will include everything. We are also working with the Romanian government in this respect. In essence, it is a technical report that describes a stage,” Gray said. He added that the last evaluation mission, in January this year, has assessed the situation following the country’s elections, which obviously resulted in reforms lagging behind. On January 11-13, a team of experts from the European Commission was in Bucharest, as part of the mission that evaluated the commitments made within the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (MCV). EC experts met officials from every institution in charge with enforcing the MCV, namely the Superior Council of Magistrates, the Public Ministry, the National Anticorruption Directorate, the Ministry of Administration and Interior, the High Court of Cassation and Justice and the National Agency of Integrity. In September 2009, EU foreign ministers decided – under the justice progress report published by the EC in July – to keep in place the MCV for Romania and Bulgaria, asking Romania to reach “a wide political consensus” in view of allowing Justice to operate with efficiency.

The exact date has not been unveiled yet, but it will certainly be after March 3rd, because the EU is drafting a new strategy to support economic growth and jobs, which will be presented at that moment, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported, quoting well informed sources within the EC.

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