US Ambassador Klemm: The progress made by Romania in fighting corruption can be quantified

The US Ambassador in Bucharest, Hans Klemm, on Friday stated in an interview granted to AGERPRES, that the progress made by Romania in fighting corruption can be quantified, while the current proposals to modify Justice laws could drag down the judiciary institutions of the country, to a point where the county didn’t look so good in terms of anti-corruption fight and the rule of law.

“He is correct. I do not have a formal legal training. However I do have formal training in economics (…) very much a work based on fact and statistics; our concern about the progress of the rule of law in Romania is not just based on feeling, nor is it based on a lack of knowledge of what has occurred in Romania,” said the diplomat.

Klemm also underscored that the “progress that has been achieved in Romania regarding the country’s fight against corruption, regarding its efforts to ensure the independence of the judiciary, regarding its work to consolidate its institutions of democratic governance, but also of the rule of law is very much appreciated by the United States.”

“And this progress can be quantified,” he pointed out.

“The World Bank, for example, maintains indicators on governance for every country that is part of the World Bank, including Romania. And if you look at their world governance indicators – there are six of them, but two of them have direct bearing on this question, one of them being they monitor control of corruption, and they monitor the rule of law. And if you look at the World Bank statistics over the period 2004 to 2015, the latest that they have, Romania’s position under control of corruption has increased by 20 percent. On strengthening the rule of law, it has increased by 30 percent,” said Klemm.

He also talked about Transparency International, a highly respected international NGO based in Berlin that conducts an annual survey on perceptions people have regarding corruption in the country, noticing that Romania has managed to jump 30 places in this ranking. “Romania’s rank jumped 30 places during this time; it has improved 30 places. There is only, I think, two or three other countries that have a similar increase. So, this is a quantification of the substantial improvement in Romania’s fight against corruption and the strengthening of the rule of law,” said the American official.

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