Laura Codruta has won the vote within the LIBE Committee, obtaining 26 votes. Jean-Francois Bonhert, nominated by France, has won 22 votes, while Andres Ritter (Germany) has won one vote.
According to official LIBE Committee data, the distribution of the votes was as follows:
Laura Codruta Kovesi – 26 votes
Francois Bonhert (France) – 22 votes
Andres Ritter (Germany) – 1 vote
At the same time, there was also one blank vote.
“I will send a letter to the chairman of the Conference of Presidents, saying what the result of the vote is. Based on the mandate of the conference of presidents, I will enter negotiations with the Council, in order to reach a mutual agreement for the appointment of the new Chief European Prosecutor. The next meeting, on March 11,” LIBE Committee Chairman Claude Moraes stated at the end of the meeting.
On Tuesday evening, Laura Codruta Kovesi also won the vote within the Committee for Budgetary Control (CONT), with 12 votes, followed by Bohnert (11 votes) and Andres Ritter (1 vote).
The members of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee cast secret ballots for the candidates for the office of Chief Prosecutor of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, starting at noon, after Laura Codruta Kovesi won the vote within the CONT Committee on Tuesday evening.
The European Parliament and the EU Council will appoint the Chief European Prosecutor, by mutual agreement, and the Conference of Presidents will be informed about the result of the hearing before its next meeting scheduled on March 7.
Laura Codruta Kovesi won 12 votes within the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee (CONT), which voted on Tuesday evening on the candidates for the office of Chief European Prosecutor. Francois Bohnert was second, with 11 votes, while Andres Ritter won one vote.
The CONT Committee’s vote was non-binding.
The three candidates were heard on Tuesday by the LIBE and CONT committees.
During the hearing on Tuesday evening, Laura Codruta Kovesi stated she meets all criteria to run for the office of Chief European Prosecutor, pointing out that she did not collaborate with the secret services in the sense of engaging in political police.
“At the moment of the candidacy, I precisely verified all the criteria that must be met, I am meeting them all. And as regards the professional rank, Article 54 is the one that regulates the criteria. There are four conditions: seniority of 15 years – I have 15-year seniority, no collaboration with the services, no disciplinary sanctions in the last three years, and obtaining the ‘very good’ mark in the latest evaluation. I was appointed prosecutor general and chief prosecutor of the DNA without having the professional rank for the prosecutor’s office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice,” Laura Codruta Kovesi stated.
The former DNA chief pointed out she did not collaborate with the intelligence services in the sense of engaging in political police.
Kovesi before living from Brussels: I’m very glad. I thank all those who backed me
Former DNA Chief Prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi stated on Wednesday, for G4media, following the LIBE Committee’s vote on her nomination as Chief European Prosecutor, that she is very glad, thanking all those who backed her.
“I’ve just found out I came out on top. I’m very glad. I thank all those who backed me,” she stated before leaving for Bucharest.
Kovesi on her arrival to Bucharest: EP vote is a vote for the Romanian judicial system, for all European magistrates who work under pressure
On her arrival in Bucharest on Wednesday, Laura Codruta Kovesi stated that the vote of the European Parliament’s committees is a vote for the Romanian judicial system, for all European magistrates who work under pressure. She was welcomed at the airport by Resist protesters who congratulated her and offered her flowers. Kovesi said she thanks all those who backed her, adding that she did not enjoy the Romanian Government’s support. She pointed out she is by the side of her fellow prosecutors and judges who are protesting against GEO no.7.
“I’m very honoured for this vote, I’m very glad. This vote is not just for me, it’s for the whole Romanian judicial system, for the Romanian citizens who have supported the rule of law and the fight against corruption in recent years, it’s a vote for all European prosecutors and judges who work under pressure. I thank all those who backed me and I’m waiting for the decision of European decisionmakers,” Kovesi said.
She pointed out she did not enjoy the support of the Romanian Government.
“I signed up for this procedure on my own, I signed up as prosecutor, as professional, I did not have the support of the Romanian Government, I did not ask for it, I did not expect it, nor do I expect it. I’m honoured to have finished first following the interview before the technical committee, I’m honoured for today’s vote, but we must wait for the decision that will be taken by politicians. It will be a political decision, following negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament. So, I have done what was up to me. Once again, I thank all those who backed me. The encouragements, the messages were very important,” Kovesi added.
PNL: Romania has scored remarkable victories via the vote given to Laura Codruta Kovesi for the office of Chief European Prosecutor
National Liberal Party (PNL) President Ludovic Orban stated on Wednesday that Romania has scored “remarkable victories” through the vote that Laura Codruta Kovesi has won at European level for the office of European Chief Prosecutor. The PNL President demanded that the Government cease any demarche meant to block subsequent procedures.
“Yesterday (Tuesday – editor’s note) and today (Wednesday – editor’s note), Romania scored two remarkable victories at the level of the European Parliament, through the vote within the CONT Committee and the vote within the LIBE Committee, which was given to Romanian candidate Laura Codruta Kovesi for the office of Chief Prosecutor of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. I congratulate PNL’s parliamentarians and our EPP partners for the remarkable effort they have made to contribute to this success. I hereby point out that today (Wednesday – editor’s note), within the LIBE Committee, five PNL MEPs who represented the EPP exercised their vote in favour of the Romanian candidate even though they are not members of the LIBE Committee,” Ludovic Orban stated on Wednesday at the Palace of Parliament.
The Liberal leader demanded that the Government and PSD-ALDE cease any demarche that would block subsequent procedures.
“I firmly condemn the attitude of sabotage adopted by the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition, which betrayed Romania and orchestrated at the level of the EP a campaign of denigration via disinformation against the Romanian candidate for the office of Chief European Prosecutor. I command the Government and the ruling coalition to cease any overture at the level of the Council and at the level of the EP in what concerns subsequent procedures. (…) It is necessary, at least in the 12th hour, for all Romanian actors to mobilise in order to maximise the Romanian candidate’s chance to win the office of Chief European Prosecutor,” Orban concluded.
Dan Barna after LIBE Cttee vote: Kovesi has high chances to become Chief European Prosecutor
Save Romania Union (USR) President Dan Barna stated on Wednesday, at the Palace of Parliament, after the vote within the LIBE Committee, that Laura Codruta Kovesi has high chances to become Chief European Prosecutor and that the former head of the DNA has showed that she is “a professional, trustworthy prosecutor.”
“I have seen, with satisfaction, the vote within the LIBE Committee. This shows that for the whole of Europe, for European institution professionals, for European-level politicians, Mrs Kovesi is a professional, trustworthy prosecutor who now has high chances to become European prosecutor, and this is something we Romanians should be very proud of. In this context, I would say that this is a slap that the PSD-ALDE majority and this Government which has been embarrassing Romanians for two and a half years is receiving once again, from European partners, for the way Romania has chosen not to support its candidate for a prestigious position at European level. It is good news for Romania, in my opinion, and it is a message that shows that the rule of law and the fight against corruption continue to have support, and this is the most important thing,” Dan Barna stated at the Palace of Parliament.
Asked whether the vote within the LIBE Committee was politicised, the USR leader pointed out that “politicisation is what has happened with GEO no.7 (on the judicial laws – editor’s note).”
“There has been a desperate attempt, for two and a half years, since December 2017, since PSD-ALDE took over power in Romania, to transform all institutions into private-interest services, and this is the true politicisation,” the USR leader added.