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January 28, 2022

Former President Emil Constantinescu writes to EC President Jose Manuel Barroso

In the letter made public on Friday, the former Romanian president states that the MCV report released on July 18 includes “exaggerations” and “inaccurate information” that affected Romania’s political, economic and financial interests.“I write to you as former President of Romania from 1996 to 2000 and leader of the civil society and of the anti-communist and pro-European democratic opposition from 1990 to 1996, in order to express my concern with the way in which Romania’s political, economic and financial interests were affected by the position that the European Commission adopted towards the political changes that took place in Romania in July 2012,” Constantinescu writes in the open letter. Constantinescu points out that “although all political changes in Romania were subjected to the Constitutional Court’s scrutiny and were declared constitutional, they were deemed, by many European Commission, European Parliament and Western officials, as democratic backsliding, in stern language that went as far as the use of labels such as “coup d’état” or “putsch-like methods”; even worse, threats such as postponing Schengen accession or implementing supplementary monitoring were made.” The former president points out that the “hasty use” of labels that do not respect reality were meant to amplify the internal political tension in Romania and are considered a cause behind the national currency’s depreciation. He added that these “exaggerations” could have been avoided had there been a dialogue between the Commission and former Romanian heads of state, such as Ion Iliescu and King Mihai I, as well as with notable representatives of Romanian academia and NGOs.According to Constantinescu, the EC’s opinion on the need “to meet a minimum voter turnout threshold of over 50 per cent of the number of registered voters could lead to serious effects by destabilizing the political system in Romania.”Constantinescu argues that the Constitution contains no stipulation about the need to meet a minimum voter turnout threshold in case of a referendum and the recommendation made by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) is against imposing a turnout threshold. Constantinescu also considers that “the intervention in favour of the suspended president” is “serious” and could lead to the creation of an anti-European current in Romania for the first time.

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