MEP Monica Macovei has said she would do everything in her power for the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) not to be terminated until the latest changes in Romania have become irreversible and thinks the most important test for Klaus Iohannis would be the appointment of new heads of prosecutor’s offices and High Court.
‘I will do everything in my power for the CVM not to be lifted. This mechanism helps politicians – many or not so many -, judges and prosecutors carry on justice reform all the way throughout, so that we can all become confident in what happens in the system, but mostly for the fight against corruption, tax evasion and fraud to go on’, Macovei said in an interview offered to ‘Romania libera’.
The member of the European Parliament thinks it’s ‘very telling’ that, whilst Prime-Minister Victor Ponta was lobbying for the termination of the CVM in Strasbourg, the Parliament in Bucharest was discussing ‘the abrogation of remand for selected criminal offences, including corruption’. ‘Do not forget that Romanian MPs have always tried, through a variety of means, to stop investigations. For example, the other day we had a new case where an MP’s immunity was not lifted. This means there is no political will to fight corruption and that politicians want to protect their party colleagues. Such facts do not go unknown to EU commissioners and EU Member States. Ponta is making a fool of himself by asking for the termination of the CVM while, back in the country, they refuse to lift an MPs’ immunity or discuss the possibility of abrogating preventive arrest. I don’t expect this lobby will be taken into consideration. In addition, it is also in Romanians’ interest that this Mechanism continues, because not the entire justice system works well, because we still have corrupt and unprofessional judges and prosecutors. A few DNA branches do work, a few prosecutor’s offices and courts do work, but this doesn’t apply to the whole of the justice system everywhere in the country. The change for the better in justice must go on until it becomes irreversible, regardless of who will come to power’, Monica Macovei said.
Macovei about Iohannis: ‘It seems that he doesn’t need advice’
As for the head of the state. Macovei said President Klaus Iohannis had not kept his word on all the promises made before the presidential runoff election when he accepted her support. Yet, the MEP thinks that the true test the president is still to pass is the appointment of new heads to the prosecutor’s offices and the High Court. ‘Some have not yet been fulfilled, although it’s been a long time. For example, the law on the electronic or postal voting, all options have been dropped by the Parliament and I don’t see the president being too insistent. I’m afraid 2016 will find us with the same old system, with paper lists that can be forged, despite of what happened at the polling stations overseas during the November election’, Macovei said.
‘For example, people will be appointed to the leadership of the prosecutor’s offices or the High Court and it’s very important to see who will take over those positions. It will probably be the most important test Klaus Iohannis will take’, Macovei noted.
The MEP pointed out that she had not seen Iohannis after the president’s installation in office. ‘No, we spoke on the phone twice. He said he called to meet up, but it never happened. It seems that he doesn’t need advice. I criticised him after he had been to the Superior Council of Magistrates where he gave his first speech on justice, because he spoke about televised justice as if he had been on Antena 3 TV. There is no televised justice, except when TV stations decide they want to go and film politicians who go to DNA, Court, prison, not to mention their own studios where the lawyers of arrested people are present all the time. We never see prosecutors or judges in TV studios’, Monica Macovei said.