EC asks Romania to strengthen the high level anticorruption fight, criticizes justice reform delays

Publish date: 05-02-2008
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Romania must speed up efforts regarding the high level anticorruption fight, according to the European Commission's preliminary report on the justice reform and the anticorruption fight.

The document notes in its first year as a European Union member, Romania continued to remedy some deficiencies in applying the law and the European programs and policies. Nevertheless, in key areas such as the high level anticorruption fight the country failed to obtain convincing results. Both Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU on January 1, 2007.

The EC preliminary report speaks of delays in implementing a coherent recruitment strategy within the justice system. The document emphasizes the need for legislative and institutional stability, within the country's anticorruption efforts.

The preliminary report shows Romania has a deficit of 572 prosecutors and that many magistrate positions were occupied without a procedure that would control the personnel's training. Regarding these aspects, Romania must draft a strategy on human resources recruitment which should be released in January 2009.

EC expects better results concerning Romania's justice reform, until the final justice report which will be released in June this year, in order to avoid the activation of the safeguard clause, EC spokesman Mark Gray said today.

The EC official noted the report issued today is preliminary and that is why it does not refer to the safeguard clause. Yet, the official emphasized it is expected for both Romania and Bulgaria to improve their efforts towards reforming the justice area.

The EC report hails the activity of the National Anticorruption Department (DNA) and criticized the fact that the high level anticorruption files were sent back to prosecutors due to procedure errors.

In the last report on justice, release in June 2007, EC was not satisfied with the fight against corruption. The authorities in Brussels voiced satisfaction over DNA's activity and criticized the fact that its activity was not backed by that of the courts.


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