On Thursday, in Brussels, Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu talked with European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans about the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and the risks to democracy and the infringement upon citizens’ rights that the Romanian Intelligence Service’s (SRI) protocols with judicial system institutions represent.
“The two officials discussed about the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, about the risks to democracy and the infringement upon the rights and freedoms of citizens generated by the protocols concluded between the Romanian Intelligence Service and judicial system institutions, and about the need to observe the decisions of the Constitutional Court respectively. The Senate Speaker broadly presented the negative effects generated by the protocols concluded between the Romanian Intelligence Service and the judicial system institutions: from the standpoint of both the hijacking of the anticorruption fight and the backsliding registered in the protection of the rights and freedoms of the citizens and of the fundamental right to a fair trial. Mr Calin Popescu-Tariceanu expressed his confidence that there will be, on the part of the European Commission, a public message of condemnation of the protocols,” reads a communique released by the Romanian Senate.
The Senate Speaker also talked with the First Vice President of the EC about the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, stating that the CVM risks becoming inefficient and it is time for it to be lifted.
“Romania has entered a marathon and each time it got close to the finish line the rules changed and we had to start all over. We started off with four recommendations and now we have 12. Consequently, we ran the marathon thrice and we are asked to run another extra distance. On one hand, I believe the mechanism risks becoming inefficient and, on the other hand, I believe the time has come to admit that the CVM has fulfilled its purpose and should be lifted,” Tariceanu stated during his meeting with Timmermans.
Calin Popescu Tariceanu told the European official that Parliament is the institution that has the legitimacy and responsibility to act to make sure that such undemocratic practices will no longer repeat, namely to adopt laws that ensure the independence of the judiciary and the observance of the rights and freedoms of the citizens.
In this context, the ALDE leader emphasised that the legislative amendments in the judicial domain, including the modification of the Criminal Codes, will be set in line with the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), with the European directives on the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, and with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.
Tariceanu also told the First Vice President of the EC that he is concerned about President Klaus Iohannis’s delay and in fact his refusal to enforce the Constitutional Court’s recent decision, “which represents a negative signal in what concerns the support for the rule of law and the constitutional order.”
Thursday’s meeting with EC First Vice President Frans Timmermans, which took place at the headquarters of the European Commission, was occasioned by Senate Speaker Tariceanu’s presence at the informal summit of the leaders of the political parties represented within the European Parliament’s ALDE Group.