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December 6, 2021

Unhappy with Police reforms, PM warns Berca over need for real change

Mihai Razvan Ungureanu deems that reforms in fact never started.

Premier Mihai Razvan Ungureanu warned the representatives of the Police yesterday that he will get personally involved in the changes that have to be implemented within the institution, including in what concerns the selection and promotion of employees, because he has the feeling that reform never started. Present at the review of the Romanian Police’s activity in 2011, Ungureanu pointed out that the reform process does not entail solely layoffs and changing organizational charts, but also professionalization and the introduction of quality standards. “During reviews, in speeches, we often mix figures with our hopes. Sometimes figures hide the reality instead of revealing it, and I know it is comfortable to offer quantitative parameters because by doing that we often remove qualitative evaluation,” the Prime Minister stated, being quoted by Mediafax. In this context, he pointed out that he does not know who is pleased with the fact that Bucharest is “an almost safe city” in the statistics because people on the street do not share that opinion. “You can be convinced that I will personally get involved in the changes you will implement in better organizing your activity, (…) as long as I will understand what dysfunctions they address. I am not the fan of change for change’s sake,” Ungureanu told Internal Affairs Minister Gabriel Berca. At the same time, the Head of Government told policemen that they will have to change “the face of Police” if they are not pleased with the image they have among citizens, the problem being also generated by the images showing handcuffed policemen being brought before criminal investigation bodies. The Prime Minister also warned that those that are unable to keep up and that consider they can hold their jobs based on criteria other than professional criteria, will be forced to leave the system.  On the other hand, Ungureanu asked for a moment of silence for the policemen killed on duty, telling Minister Berca that he would have expected to see this initiative without his intervention.

Kovesi: policemen perceived as the most corrupt civil servants

Romania’s General Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi claims that as long as the General Anti-corruption Directorate (DGA) is more efficient than other Internal Affairs Ministry structures “and we see arrested policemen on TV,” the perception that policemen are among the most corrupt will remain. Present at the event, the General Prosecutor warned that in recent years she noticed that the efficiency of the fight against corruption is still evaluated based on the number of cases, not on their finality (the existence of arraignments – editor’s note). On the other hand, she admitted that in many cases the media puts the spotlight on corrupt policemen while saying only a few words about those fallen in the line on duty: “I’m not saying this only to suggest how difficult your activity is, but to show that without the human value of its employees the institution would be inefficient.” On the other hand, Kovesi pointed out that public procurements and conflicts of interests have to be kept in mind, being domains that are monitored by the EC through the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (MCV). “It’s impossible for there to be no information on the way in which different state institutions organize public procurements in a county or on when contracts are signed with parents, relatives,” she underlined, adding that she supports transferring money laundering investigations to Police prerogatives.



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