US Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm stated that the discussions he had on Tuesday with Justice Minister Tudorel Toader were carried out in the spirit of cooperation.
He added that he and Minister Toader had a very complex talk this morning, in a positive spirit, as it should happen within the Strategic Partnership. He mentioned that during discussions, the Justice Minister talked about his vision and his responsibilities as minister.
He stated that on Tuesday, the US Embassy and the Justice Ministry are to send a joint statement.
Ambassador Klemm underscored that the talks were carried out in the spirit of cooperation and the two officials exchanged information and perspectives, mentioning he is looking forward to working with the Gov’t in the future.
When a journalist commented about the Ambassador not being too convinced following the meeting, the latter replied he is very convinced.
The meeting between Tudorel Toader and Hans Klemm took place at the Justice Ministry headquarters on Tuesday morning at the U.S diplomat request and lasted almost two hours.
Joint release by US Embassy, Justice Ministry: Tuesday’s meeting, good opportunity for open exchange of viewpoints
The meeting on Tuesday between the US ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm and the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was a “good opportunity for an open exchange of viewpoints”, a joint release of the US diplomatic mission to Romania and of the Justice Ministry informs.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader and the secretary of state in the relevant ministry Marieta Safta received on Tuesday morning the visit of ambassador Klemm.
“On this occasion, the Romanian-American cooperation was highlighted, based on partnership and collaboration on the Judiciary, with an accent on promoting exchanges of best practices in the joint interest areas. Today’s meeting was a good opportunity for an open exchange of points of view and a fruitful talk in the spirit of cooperation within the bilateral Strategic Partnership,” the release says.
JusMin Toader thinks about Senate proposing prosecutor general, after US model
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader stated on Monday, referring to the concerns voiced by US Ambassador Hans Klemm regarding the draft law amending justice laws, that he might take into account that Romania’s prosecutor general be proposed by the Senate, just like in the US.
“Perhaps he is concerned with the fact that (…) we didn’t propose the most democratic system, from the US, through which the prosecutor general is appointed by the Senate. And then, if we are to scatter the concern, I am thinking about proposing that Romania’s prosecutor general be proposed by the Senate, so that we have an equivalence of procedures and strive for the same standard of democracy,” Toader told Antena 3 private television station, announcing he is to meet on Tuesday morning with Ambassador Hans Klemm, this being the third meeting between the two.
The Minister added that, in his opinion, it’s not that important who proposes or appoints the prosecutor general, but what it’s essential is that the person taking the office be completely independent.
Third meeting between Toader and Klemm
The U.S. ambassador’s request to meet the Justice Minister came after the U.S. embassy stated last week, in regard to the proposed amendments to the judiciary laws, that the U.S. took note of them with concern for the independence of the judiciary and that the rule of law needs a strong and independent judiciary.
“The United States took note, with concern for the independence of the judiciary, of the Justice Ministry’s proposals of August 23. We urge all executive, legislative and judiciary actors in Romania to cooperate, so as to continue this country’s fight to ensure the credibility of its institutions”, a release of the U.S. Embassy last Tuesday informed.
According to the cited source, the United States-Romania Strategic Partnership is rooted in a commitment to democratic values, good governance and strengthening the rule of law, as these are the foundation for increasing our shared security and prosperity.
The U.S. embassy’s communique did not go unnoticed, with reactions coming from both the Justice Minister and PSD and ALDE leaders.
PSD MP Liviu Plesoianu asked that U.S. Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm be “expelled,” saying he got much too involved in the parliamentary and governmental activity of Romania.
“Given the repeated interferences in the internal affairs of my country, I ask for the immediate expelling of Ambassador Hans Klemm. If we are indeed an independent and sovereign state, if we respect the Constitution and ourselves, we cannot tolerate the involvement of this Ambassador in the parliamentary and governmental activity of our country, in our domestic politics as a whole. How we decide to build our own legislative framework is not Ambassador Hans Klemm’s business, nor the business of any ambassador,” wrote Plesoianu on his Facebook page.
Moreover, the member of the Lower House blamed the U.S. ambassador not only for his stand regarding the justice system, but also for his participation in anti-governmental protests.
On the other hand, PSD President Liviu Dragnea said he was concerned with the fact that “some ambassadors” in Romania have the audacity to forbid the right to debate the judiciary laws.
“I too was concerned when I saw in the media and I read what happened yesterday at the CSM (Supreme Council of Magistrates). I too am concerned when I see some ambassadors to Romania daring to deny us the right to start a debate. They will deny us our right to think next”, said Dragnea.
JusMin Toader on U.S. Embassy’s reaction to package of amendments to judiciary laws: Concerns should be justified too
Commenting last Thursday on the reaction of the U.S. Embassy to the recent proposed amendments to the package of judiciary laws, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said that an expressed concern should normally be justified too.
“Normally, expressing a concern should be motivated, but in the presentation of this concern I haven’t seen the grounds, the reasons for this statement of concern. I don’t think (…) that the concern arises from the fact that the term in office for management positions will change from 3 to 4 years. … This does not imply the extension of the current terms in office, because there’s a general constitutional principle stating that a law that amends another law does not modify the current terms in office. (…) Nor do I think the concern may be related to the fact that a magistrate who retires today obtained during his professional activity accommodation in an apartment in downtown Bucharest for a rent of 50 lei or a maximum of 94 lei. … There’s a time for everyone, the residential benefit is passed down to the surviving spouse and after that to the children. I hardly believe this can be a reason of concern,” Toader told Romania TV private television broadcaster.
The JusMin termed as “tough” the word “concern” used by U.S. Embassy representatives in the public message released on this subject.
Tariceanu: I’m surprised and deeply disappointed with the U.S. Embassy’s attitude
Senate Speaker and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) President Calin Popescu Tariceanu expressed his disappointment with the position adopted by the U.S. Embassy, which warned about the risks Romania exposes itself to by modifying the judiciary laws.
“We permanently have judiciary abuses, excesses, we are first in the EU when it comes to lawsuits lost at the ECHR. What better proof that there’s a huge problem with the judiciary? We’ve ended up being a republic in which prosecutors dictate,” Tariceanu stated in Mamaia, where the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition’s meeting took place.
“A parallel system of power has formed in Romania,” Tariceanu added, stating that “certain forces are desperately trying to keep the positions obtained in the last decade.”
“Of course, I can’t help but refer directly to the attitude of some embassies and ambassadors. I’m surprised and deeply disappointed with the attitude of the American embassy, because, just like other Romanians, I too looked up with admiration to an America that is by essence the country of freedoms. If a Romanian dignitary was to promote a Romanian company, he would immediately be accused of influence peddling. But, in their overture to promote their companies and interests, foreign embassies saw that there is no better ally than the DNA. They no longer have to do anything but enter this market in which all Romanian companies have been decapitated, all sent packing, there is no longer an important Romanian public works company, all public works contracts are won by foreign companies,” Calin Popescu Tariceanu added.
Maior, on statements triggered by U.S. Embassy’s reaction to judiciary laws: Trenchant statements compromise dialogue
Romanian Ambassador to the United States of America George Maior stated on Saturday, with respect to Romanian politicians’ statements triggered by the U.S. Embassy’s reaction to the proposed amendments to the judiciary laws, that “trenchant” statements compromise the dialogue between the two sides and it would be a “pity” to start a polemic.
“I believe it is important to have our own debates and I believe that nobody interferes in our own debates, if we are smart and analyse things from this perspective. (…) The entire world wants predictability, efficient legislation and solid states in terms of the manner in which they control the corruption phenomenon and I believe that it is in our interest to be such a state. I believe that only through dialogue we can make the American side or the Romanian side understand what are the implications and premises here. Trenchant statements can only compromise dialogue, regardless of the side that makes them. They compromise this dialogue and we made huge progress in this respect. (…) It’s too bad that at the level of discourse we start such polemics that do no good to anyone”, Maior told TVR1 public television broadcaster.