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October 16, 2018

JusMin Tudorel Toader on EP debate: Discussions held in politicking manner

Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader on Wednesday evening stated in Strasbourg that he was not pleased with how the debate went in the plenum of the European Parliament regarding the modifications of justice laws in Romania, saying that “discussions were held in a politicking manner” and also that European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourva’s statements “were probably not hers.”

“How can I be pleased when everybody could see with their own eyes (…) the fact that it was politicking that dominated the debate, with the legal content just a mere pretext. (…) Some of the MEPs spoke about the justice laws without knowing anything about the content of the respective laws,” said Toader, adding that he will make “an inventory of the untruths that were told” at the debate in the European Parliament.

He also stated that he was “firmly convinced nobody wanted to find out the truth,” while also accusing the fact that the leadership of the European Parliament denied him a speech.

“It was a state of confusion that was induced from the very start, for the pretext of the debate today was the bill on modification of justice laws, but instead they talked about corruption. Or – and the speakers should have known this – the rule is that when you don’t know what you’re talking about, it is better you just shut up, for thus you cannot be wrong,” said the Minister of Justice.

“I am convinced that this was no more than politicking, with a legal pretext to the core of which the speakers did not want to reach. For many speakers know nothing about and they don’t want to know about the justice laws in Romania, probably they aren’t even interested,” said him.

Toader also said that Vera Jourova, the European Commissioner for Justice, who spoke at the debate on behalf of the European Commission, “knows the justice system in Romania, but her statements were not in fact hers, for otherwise I believe it was impossible for her to make such statements.”


Commissioner Vera Jourova reiterates in EP plenary sitting call on transparency and consensus in justice laws amendments in Romania


European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova reiterated on Wednesday in the European Parliament plenary sitting in Strasbourg the European Commission’s call that Romania’s Parliament open the debate on the modifications to the Justice laws in line with the recommendations of Brussels and obtain consensus.

She also said that Romania’s President has a key-role to play in this process.

In a debate in the European Parliament plenary sitting in Strasbourg, Vera Jourova also said that the community executive is prepared to continue dialogue with the Romanian authorities and offer help.

After ten years of continuous efforts, Romania had one of the best judiciary systems, said Jourova, who also brought to mind that in December 2017, in the latest Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report, the European Commission voiced concern with the modifications to the justice laws, and since then the debate has escalated.

The European Commissioner added that it is a ‘crucial moment for Romania.’


EU Council voices hope Romanian authorities will address European Commission’s concerns


The Council of the European Union reiterates the importance for the Romanian authorities to lay emphasis on strengthening the institutional system and give a response to the concerns expressed by the European Commission within the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), Monika Panayotova, Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council, said on Wednesday in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“The common values – democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights – are the basis of the EU. Each member state must respect, protect and promote them.” The rule of law and the separation of powers have always been in the Council’s attention. We believe that dialogue and cooperation are necessary to ensure the best standards and conditions for our citizens in all member states,” said Monika Panayotova in the EP’s debate on ‘threats to the rule of law caused by the reform of the judiciary in Romania’.

“The Council hails the fact that Romania has taken a number of positive measures and encourages this country to take advantage of the impetus of these reforms, especially in terms the independence of the judiciary and the fight against corruption at all levels. The Council reiterates the importance of laying emphasis on strengthening the institutional system and responding to all the concerns expressed by the Commission in the CVM. We hope that the communication between the Romanian authorities and the European Commission will continue to be effective, allowing Romania to remedy any existing problem,” she added.


Toader meets LIBE Committee S&D Group representatives, Justice laws approached, among others


Justice Minister Tudorel Toader met on Wednesday with representatives of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the Justice Ministry said in a release.

At the meeting, the Romanian JusMin showed full openness to dialogue, making a distinction between the amendment of the Justice package and the amendment of the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code; he also elaborated on the track followed by the laws amending and supplementing Law No. 303/2004 on the judges and prosecutors statutes, Law No. 304/2004 on judicial organization and Law No. 317/2004 on the Superior Council of the Magistrates, presenting the current stage of these pieces of legislation as well as the constitutional control mechanisms.

Another subject tackled was the observance of the rule of law principles and Romania’s European track.

Tudorel Toader underscored that it is highly important for the public perception to be consistent with reality.

Attending the meeting were Claude Moraes – LIBE Committee chairman; Joseph Weidenholzer – vice-president of the S&D Group responsible for civil liberties, democracy and rule of law; Birgit Sippel – coordinator of the S&D Group in the LIBE Committee.


Compiled from reports of Agerpres special correspondent to Strasbourg


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