The National Liberal Party (PNL) chairman Ludovic Orban said on Thursday evening, in connection with the statements made by the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, that Europe is “watching” Romania and that if the representatives of the parliamentary majority do not understand that, Romania will still be treated as a “special case”.
“The first thing I want to say – and I do not know if the colleagues in the majority have understood it – is that Europe is watching us and even if for some time there was not much attention to the involutions in Romania, due to the fact that there was a rather positive path, for a while what has been happening in Romania has made Europe to be very interested in. If our colleagues do not understand or if they pretend not to understand, that means they want to harm Romania deliberately (…) If they continue on this path, we will still be treated as a special case, we will be held somewhere in a corner,” Orban told private broadcaster Realitatea TV.
He argued that Romania had “moved away” from meeting the conditions for lifting the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).
“This is transmitted very figuratively through the message of the first vice-president of the European Commission (EC), who said ‘run, run, but be careful to run towards the finish’ and now, when you are getting close to finish, you are running in the wrong direction. This clearly expresses the EC’s clear perception of the fact that we are recording involutions in terms of the judiciary, the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law in Romania,” Orban said.
First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, stated in Bucharest, on Thursday, that a great deal has been done over the past 20 years regarding the consolidation of the Romanian justice system.
“A great deal has been done in 20 years in terms of strengthening the justice system, creating a truly independent justice system in Romania. A great deal has been done in the past 11 years since Romania joined the European Union, with the CVMin effect. It is like running a marathon and now we are on the last stretch of that marathon. My message for today is: keep running, but not in the wrong direction! Continue to the finish of the marathon, because almost you have almost got there. There are just a few Commission recommendations that still have to be met, but do not stop, for God’s sake, do not start running in the opposite direction!”, Timmermans told a news conference.
EC First Vice President Frans Timmermans after tour of force through Romanian institutions: Keep running, but not in the wrong direction. Recent public attacks on justice have created a negative image for Romania