DIPLOMACY JUSTICE POLITICS

European Commission after wave of accusations from Bucharest: CVM is meant to help, not punish. We have no political agenda on this topic

The European Commission points out that the CVM is meant to help, not punish, and the institution has no political stripes and no political agenda on this topic. The EC’s reaction comes against the backdrop in which PSD-ALDE leaders have claimed that the CVM report is subjective and politically influenced.

“Firstly, as First Vice President Timmermans has stated, the CVM is meant to help, not punish. The objective and the motivation are, of course, to make progress in order to end the CVM. As I said at the presentation, the European Commission will report on the progress made during this mandate. The Commission does not have political stripes. We always try to present an analysis as balanced and objective as possible on the situation in the two member states (Romania and Bulgaria – editor’s note),” an EC spokesperson stated for MEDIAFAX.

The EC representatives add that the observations included in CVM reports over the years are backed by the conclusions of the Council of Europe. The European officials also recall the analyses made by the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and by the Venice Commission.

“The observations made in our reports were strongly backed by the conclusions of the member states of the Council over the years. Likewise, you can see the analyses made by GRECO or by the Venice Commission – they all point in the same direction. We do not have any political agenda on this topic. We are fulfilling the mission entrusted upon us the moment Romania joined the European Union,” the mentioned source concluded.

The adoption of the judicial laws and the pressures on the independence of the judicial system, especially on the DNA, have generated doubts regarding the irreversibility of the progress made by Romania, the European Commission announced at the presentation of the CVM report, recommending the suspension of the procedures in the case of high-ranking prosecutors.

In the last 12 months, Romania has taken certain measures to implement the recommendations made by the European Commission in January 2017.

“Nevertheless, the assessment report of January 2017 was permanently conditioned by the avoidance of negative measures that may call into question the progress made in the last ten years. The coming into force of the judicial laws, the pressures on the independence of the judiciary in general, and on the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in particular, and other measures that undermine the fight against corruption have generated regress or questions regarding the irreversibility of the progress made,” reads the report authored by the European Commission as part of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).

Senate Speaker and ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated, after the CVM report was published, that at this moment the European Commission is entering a political area that is not justified, that the report is mostly technical.

At the same time, House Deputy Speaker Florin Iordache (PSD) stated on Wednesday that the Government can challenge the CVM at the Court of Justice of the European Union. The House lawmaker added that the Parliament and Justice Minister Tudorel Toader will analyse the juridical and political arguments included in the European Commission’s report.

On the other hand, Justice Minister Tudorel Toader has said he has not discussed with anyone about challenging the CVM report at the CJEU and that, after he sees the reasons for this overture, he will represent the Government if he is minister at the time.

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