Romania’s Justice Minister Tudorel Toader discussed in Brussels on Wednesday with First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans recent developments in the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and its prospects, a package of justice laws, and the broader, strategic perspective of improving and adapting the Romanian legislation, pursuant to clarity and predictability.
The meeting is part of an ongoing dialogue with the European Commission for a common agreement on the most appropriate ways of meeting the recommendations contained in the latest report of 25 January 2017 on the progress made by Romania under the CVM and a successful closure of the mechanism, the Ministry of Justice (MJ) informs.
According to the Ministry of Justice, Minister Toader reaffirmed the objective of Romania fulfilling the obligations under the CVM and presented measures taken since the last verbal report of the Commission of 12 July: the drawing up and adoption of a code of conduct for members of the government, launching a transparent procedure for the selection of prosecutors in order to make the nomination for the vacant position of deputy prosecutor-in-chief of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism and the conclusion of a protocol for legal education in schools.
“The minister of justice also stressed that the reform approach is made at a certain pace, rhythm and order of precedence by measures on the short, medium and long term. They include harmonising the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure with the rulings of the Constitutional Court, the transposition of European directives on the rights of victims and extended powers of confiscation, the modernisation of the laws of the judiciary to improve its stability, the transposition of the obligations of the ECHR pilot decision concerning conditions of detention, the legislation on the enforcement of sentences, the pardon law, the evaluation of the enforcement and operation of the new codes,” reads the MJ statement.
Also presented at the meeting were items in the calendar of the Romanian Government for drawing up and passing pieces of legislation regarding these measures. “In this respect, the minister stressed the transparent approach based on consulting the institutions of the judiciary and other stakeholders through public debates. The contributions received this way will be analysed and included in draft legislation to be submitted to Parliament in ordinary legislative procedure,” the MJ says.
According to MJ, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans “praised Romania for its major progress with judicial reform and the fight against corruption, with the expectation that these progress will be continued.”
“He said continuity in the justice minister’s office tenure is a prerequisite for the continuation of reforms. The European Commission supports Romania’s efforts, as a partner, and the two officials agreed to continue the good cooperation between the commission and Romania for the common goal of meeting the CVM recommendations,” MJ points out.
In the coming period, this cooperation will be materialised in regular consultations on the envisaged legislative measures, as Timmermans highlighted the need to get all stakeholders involved in the drawing up of pieces of legislation.
Also attending the meeting in Brussels were Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission in charge with the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism Paraskevi Michou, and Romanian Secretary of State Marieta Safta.