French ambassador in Bucharest Francois Saint-Paul on Tuesday bestowed the French Legion of Honour in rank of Knight on chief prosecutor of Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi, saying that the DNA enjoys huge popularity and its fame has exceeded the borders of Romania to become a model worth following elsewhere in Europe.
The ambassador mentioned that the DNA head is a symbol of professionalism, integrity and duty, presenting a brief account of Kovesi’s professional career.
“A young, talented athlete, you were selected to play in Romania’s national junior women’s basketball team, which was the runner-up in the 1989 European Championships. That intense athletic life did not hold you back from attending school. (…) You were 33 years old when Romania’s President Traian Basescu appointed you attorney general in 2006. (…) The year 2006, which was one year before the accession proper of your country to the European Union was the beginning of an extraordinary challenge. In fact, you were the first woman ever to hold the office of Romania’s attorney general and also the youngest one,” said Saint-Paul.
He added that DNA’s results are truly impressive, a fact that was confirmed in an EU report as well that places DNA among Europe’s top five anti-corruption institutions.
“Today, we can witness the long journey travelled and the strong as well as sustainable transformation of a system that owes you much, because thanks to you and your many cause devotees colleagues the DNA is enjoying high popularity. As a matter of fact, DNA’s fame exceeds Romania’s borders, becoming a model worth imitating elsewhere in Europe,” the ambassador added.
He said the decoration was awarded in recognition of Kovesi’s devotion to the fight against corruption, to her sense of fulfilled civic duty to contribute to the construction of the Romanian society, as well as for her “extraordinary courage” displayed in the fight against corruption.
“Yes, thanks to your unwavering determination, the image of Romania’s justice changes from one day to another. I want to assure you, esteemed lady, of France’s forever support to your mission, be your availability to share your knowledge with experts to help create an agency for the efficient retrieval of damage incurred on the Government, worth some 431 million euro, be the training of French anti-corruption prosecutors and financial investigators,” said Saint-Paul.
France previously decorated Kovesi on May 18, 2011, when she was presented with the National Order of Merit in rank of Officer. France awards these two prestigious decorations to those who serve the country as well as to foreign figures for achievements in the service of common good that are worth mentioning as examples.