Gunther Krichbaum, CDU MP and chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on European Union affairs, called on Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to back Laura Codruta Kovesi for the position of head of the European Prosecutor’s Office.
Explaining that former Chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi is on the first position of the shortlist, followed by a candidate from France and a German one on the third spot, Krichbaum said that Mrs. Kovesi’s competence is beyond doubt and she is practically predestined for this position. I could imagine, for instance, that Germany and France could reach a compromise and find a mutually agreed solution in favor of the Romanian candidate. I also addressed a request to the Romanian Justice Minister to support the Romanian candidate, because she has good chances and her bid for a high European position would practically be snagged a bit by her fellow nationals, Krichbaum told a press conference in Bucharest on Thursday.
The German official said that at the meeting with the Bundestag delegation, the JusMin had said that it wasn’t him, but the President who had removed Kovesi from office as anti-graft chief prosecutor.
We know how things worked in Romania, and it would be simpler – to use a plastic example – make a camel go through the eye of a needle, than for the Venice Commission to accept such a violation of the rule of law, Krichbaum said, and went on to cite Tudorel Toader textually saying: “It would please me if Mrs. Kovesi would do to you what she did to us here in Romania,” noting that such a blunt statement had actually left him exposed. Everything that Mrs. Kovesi has done was to fight for the rule of law, to combat corruption and she actually deserves support and not something else, Gunther Krichbaum told the news conference.
We are the Committee on European Affairs of the German Bundestag. We came to visit the country that has just taken over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but in the case of Romania there is also a second theme, namely rule of law and democracy. We arrived Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning we were supposed to have a meeting with the Minister of Internal Affairs, who however did not consider it necessary to attend and handed over the chairmanship of the meeting to a Secretary of State. One of the subjects approached were the August 10 events and the fact that the context has not yet been elucidated, then we had a meeting with Foreign Minister Melescanu and a lunch with representatives of the German business environment. One of the German companies deplored the fact that the legislative amendments, for instance through emergency ordinance, challenge the business environment which is unable to make due preparations, said the official.
The CDU MP cited as an example the political decision to transfer social contributions from the employer to the employee at the end of the previous year, and argued that German companies are unable to include the additional costs arising in the product cost, while deliveries still must be honored, which is why some companies are concerned and contemplate their possible departure from Romania.
Gunther Krichbaum also said the members of the Bundestag Committee had met with their peers from the Romanian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee, and then had a discussion with former Prosecutor General and former DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi.
This morning we had a more engaged discussion with Minister of Justice, Mr Toader, followed by a meeting with the President of the Constitutional Court, Mr. Dorneanu, then we visited the Magurele-based ELI project, an impressive project that would have deserved much more international attention, added the German official.
“Romanian citizens are European, have rights, that’s why EC monitors their observation”
Deputy Gunther Krichbaum (CDU), chair of the European Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag, said on Thursday that Romanian citizens are also European citizens and as such, they have rights, that is why the European Commission and the European institutions watch over their observation, and this is not about interfering with internal affairs.
Asked, in a press conference, how would he assess Romania, currently holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council, he replied that it is not an evaluation. We are all in the EU as equal partners, it is about shared values and European standards to be further observed. In this context, maybe we must reiterate these things from time to time. It is not a question of interference in internal affairs, but the fact that Romanian citizens are also European citizens and, as European citizens, they have rights, and that is why the European Commission and the European institutions are watching over their observation, he said.
The German official said that, from the point of view of the content of the rotating presidency program, things must somehow be distinguished. We have to admit that external factors are not simple, we have topics such as Brexit, elections to the European Parliament, (…) it is clear that there is already an electoral campaign . (…) Another big challenge is the Multi-Annual Financial Framework. A presidency can only be evaluated at the end of it, added Krichbaum.
Detlef Seif, another member of the delegation, said in turn that the rule of law within this presidency is a very important topic, but infrastructure is equally important. I cannot understand how no progress has been made in the economic field in this respect, as infrastructure is essential for companies. We are not here to give lessons, but as friends, he said.
Krichbaum, ForMin Melescanu address EU eastern vicinity, Black Sea region
The Romanian chief diplomat Teodor Melescanu on Wednesday had a meeting with a delegation of the Committee for European Affairs with the German Parliament, headed by president Gunther Krichbaum, the talks aiming to the EU eastern vicinity and the Black Sea region’s developments, a release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) informs.
Gunther Krichbaum and the German delegation expressed their support for a successful term of Romania at the helm of the EU Council, and for achieving the objective of a very implicated European Union in promoting stability and security in its neighbourhood.
The sides have emphasised Romania’s support, as well as Germany’s, for maintaining the active involvement and commitment of the EU towards the partner states within the Eastern Partnership, says the source.
The Romanian dignitary reiterated the need that through a joint action at EU level, be further supported the partners’ efforts to get closer to the EU, with a view to strengthen a more stable, wealthy region.
The talks have revealed the common interest of developing the cooperation in the Black Sea area, as well as in what regards the EU strategy for the Danube Region, underlining the priority attention Romania’s presidency at the EU Council gives to these files.