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March 25, 2023

Five NGOs denounce SRI and Ciolos Gov’t at European Anti-Fraud Office

On Tuesday, January 31, five non-governmental organisations – the Academic Society in Romania (SAR), Active Watch, the Spiritual Militia Association, the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania – Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH) and the Association for Technology and Internet (ApTi) – filed with the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF) a complaint concerning the way in which the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) received European grants for the SII Analytics project that has mass population surveillance potential, stiripesurse.ro informs.

The complaint was simultaneously filed with the Romanian Parliament’s SRI Oversight Committee, with the mention that “there is the suspicion that the SRI interceded with high-level officials of the Ciolos Government for them to approve this project, even with the Prime Minister, and that the last tranche of this project comes against the backdrop of older constitutional infringements covered up by CSAT [Supreme National Defence Council] decisions whose constitutionality was not checked.”


Main accusations


In their complaint, the signatories show that there is the suspicion that the SRI was favoured before and during the European Regional Development Fund’s call for projects procedure, being in fact the only applicant. SRI filed the project before the applicant’s guide was published.

The suspicion is basically based on the following aspects:

  1. The public consultation on the applicant’s guide related to the call for projects lasted only 5 days, and the call for projects was published just 3 days after the closing of the public consultation. The time from the moment the call for projects was published by the Intermediary Body and the moment the project was filed stood at just 7 hours.
  2. The applicant’s guide was published in the Official Journal over a month after the call for projects was published and the winner was announced, in violation of the provisions of law no.24/2000 on legislative norms concerning the drafting of legislative acts.
  3. SRI was the only applicant.
  4. According to the applicant’s guide, SRI does not meet the eligibility conditions required to receive financing as part of this call for projects.
  5. The project flagrantly breaks the constitutive documents of the European Union, namely the right to private life and the protection of personal data (Article 7 and 8 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights).

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