Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will discuss the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) next week, according to EC spokesperson Margaritas Schinas. She told ‘Gandul’ that the two would meet in Brussels to talk about the post-accession mechanism imposed to Romania and Bulgaria by the other EU member states. The role of the CVM is to expedite the progress made by the two countries in areas where they were not meeting all conditions required for joining the EU in 2007. In Romania’s case, it was mostly about the fight against corruption.
Klaus Iohannis: ‘I want us to become so good that this instrument is no longer necessary’
President Klaus Iohannis said at the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy (CSM) on Tuesday that it is time for Romania to be objectively assessed and that one of the major goals of the judiciary in 2015 should be the lifting of the CVM, and his statement was followed by reactions including criticism coming from those who find that the progress Romania has been making lately in the anti-graft field are mostly owed to the CVM. ‘2015 is the 8th year now when Romania is under CVM monitoring. Over time, this has been a useful tool. For instance, the CVM has generated best practices. (…) These have been eight years of major progress for the judiciary. (…) In recent years, the CVM report acknowledged significant progress and I think it’s time for a change. Today (…) I responsibly declare that the time has come (…) for Romania to be assessed with the objectivity it deserves for the final acknowledgement to be made that those benchmarks have been fulfilled (…). I think that one of the major goals of the judiciary is to have the CVM lifted,’ added Iohannis.
Also, president Iohannis added on Wednesday that Romania is not yet prepared to scrap the CVM, pointing out that he wants Romania to ‘become so good that this instrument is no longer necessary.’ ‘I did not say it is imperative to have the CVM lifted now. (…) I want us to become so good that this instrument is no longer necessary,’ Iohannis told the Adevarul Live webcast.
He said that the CVM can be lifted in a few years, because ‘at this time we are not yet prepared’ to do so.
Justice Minister Cazanciuc: I hope for a CVM report to ground a decision regarding our Schengen accession
Minister of Justice, Robert Cazanciuc on Tuesday stated at the CSM sitting that he hoped for the CVM to be a good one to ground Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone. ‘With respect to the CVM, next week I will tell our colleagues in Brussels the same thing that I told them last year, that we need to set on different grounds the cooperation with the members of the European Commission, our partners in the EU, the same as other member states proposed a cooperation within some valid mechanisms at the level of the entire European Union. I hope that we can have a very good report for the second consecutive year, a report to ground a very good decision regarding our accession to the Schengen Zone. Let’s hope that, while following into the footsteps of other few EU member states, we will be able to contribute to the building of a judicial cooperation mechanism to be valid at the level of the entire European Union,’ Cazanciuc stated.
High Court chief Livia Stanciu: CVM must be maintained, many objectives still not finalised
The High Court of Cassation and Justice president Livia Stanciu said on Tuesday that the CVM must be maintained, since there are many objectives still not finalised. When asked whether the CVM should be lifted, Stanciu answered: ‘No, from my point of view the CVM must still be maintained, since there still are many objectives that have not been finalised. We, of course, tend to lifting this mechanism – and I agree with what president (Klaus Iohannis) said in this respect – but it must still be maintained for all the set objectives, that were set by common agreement; because I chiefly consider it a cooperation mechanism and only secondarily being a verification mechanism and the European Commission representatives have proved this, at least with respect to the activity of the courts. That is why I think it must be maintained’, the High Court chief underscored.
Monica Macovei: We mustn’t lift CVM monitoring, until all blockages in the flow of justice are eliminated
MEP Monica Macovei on Tuesday stated, in reference to previous statements made by President Klaus Iohannis, that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) should stay in place until all political blockages in the flow of justice are eliminated. She also added that the permanent presence of the General Prosecutor at the CSAT meetings is wrong and violates the principle of separation of state powers. ‘President Klaus Iohannis publicly said that one of his objectives is to lift the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism by the end of 2016. I want to remind him that if the DNA [National Anti-corruption Directorate] still exists and is functional today, it is precisely thanks to the CVM, since the obsession of the largest part of our political class is to have the DNA shut. The CVM exists because of the Parliament and politicians lacking the political will to eradicate corruption, while they are continuing to postpone or block the lifting of immunities or seek to obtain pardon for their colleagues behind bars. The solution is to immediately lift, without any exceptions, the immunity of the MPs and ministers involved in criminal cases and to stop such emergency ordinances and laws that are meant to protect politicians. Until we eliminate all political blockages of justice, the CVM must stay in place for the correct functioning and the independence of justice,’ said Macovei according to Agerpres.
New magistrates’ chief Marius Tudose:
New CSM chief Marius Tudose said after being elected to the position on Tuesday that one of the main objectives in the period ahead include the achievement of a measure plan after analysing the CVM report. ‘Our main goal at this moment is to draw up measure plans after we analyse the CVM report’, Tudose said.
Bulgaria too wants out of CVM
Given the fact that the reports on Romania and Bulgaria are coupled, the response of the southern neighbour on the subject is also important. Bulgarian FM Daniel Mitov has also requested the lifting of the CVM. During talks he had with Romanian Ambassador in Sofia Anton Păcureţu in December last year, he called for cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria in view of having the mechanism removed and also joining the Schengen border free area.
The latest CVM report of the European Commission was published in January 2014. The next one is due in January 2015.