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May 17, 2022

Justice Minister: EC report to note justice progress setbacks over ANI law

Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu stated for RFI that the European Commission’s justice reform report “will be published earlier than August” and that it will note progress setbacks over National Integirty Agency (ANI) law modifications. The minister also stated that he will propose the adoption of a new Code of Integrity this autumn.

Predoiu argues that the changes Parliament brought to the ANI law will be noted in the report. “I believe that the report will be published earlier than August. I believe that the fact that the changes brought to the ANI law represent a setback for the number two goal of the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification is no longer a secret for anyone. The degree of irreparableness is debatable,” the official stated. Predoiu regrets that Senators changed the law the way they did. “Of course we would have preferred to have no intervention on the ANI law or if something nevertheless had to be done in virtue of the Constitutional Court’s decision it should have focused strictly on several issues having to do with the non-constitutionality criticism that the Court raised. Unfortunately the intervention extended beyond the Constitutional Court’s focus and that will create problems,” Predoiu stated for RFI.

Mark Gray, EC spokesperson on issues concerning the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification, stated one week ago that the EC report on justice reform, corruption and organised crime in Romania and Bulgaria will probably be published in August, dismissing speculations that the report will be published on July 22, Novinite.com website reported.

Predoiu also said that this autumn he will propose within the government the adoption of a Code of Integrity. “I am of the opinion that there should be no exaggerations, especially since things can be fixed this autumn provided there is the necessary political will to do so,” he explained.

The ANI law was adopted in the form agreed by the Senate’s committees. The Senate plenum approved on June 30, with 115 votes in favour and two abstentions, the text that President Traian Basescu had sent for reexamination. The Senate however eliminated from the law essential provisions that the head of state, the civil society and European and American diplomats had asked for.

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