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The European Commissions report on Romania, due to be published January 30, appears to turn the page of an extremely difficult 2012 year for EU-Romania relations, according to an advance copy seen by EurActiv.
The 10-page special report, much shorter than regular reports published on Romania since its 2007 accession, says the country could soon be back on track, if it continues to fulfill the European Commissions recommendations. The change of tone is striking if compared to the 18 July speech of Commission President Jos Manuel Barroso, who said that Romania had shaken EUs trust.
At the time, the coming into power of the leftist USL coalition of Prime Minister Victor Ponta had led to challenging judicial decisions that the EU executive said were undermining the constitutional court, overturning established procedures and removing key checks and balances. Barroso questioned the government's commitment to respect the rule of law.
On 12 July Barroso handed Ponta a so called 11 points to-do list, in the midst of a political crisis seen by the Romanian opposition as a coup dtat. The new report says that Romania has implemented several - but not all - of the Commission's recommendations aimed at restoring the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The message appears to be that the new Romanian authorities have done part of the job but not implemented the most difficult parts, especially those related to the independence of the judiciary and the integrity issues remain largely questionable.
In particular, the Commission says it continues to be concerned with the persistent pressure on judicial institutions and lack of respect for their independence. The Commission received numerous reports of intimidation or harassment against individuals working in key judicial and anti-corruption institutions, including personal threats against judges and their families, and media campaigns amounting to harassment, the report says.
The Commission also warned of public campaigns orchestrated by media owners who use their outlets to wage personal wars or to pay lip service to the government against other advantages.
Brussels also highlighted another major setback - a report by the National Integrity Agency against ministers and senior officials under criminal investigation, published in November, which did not lead to their resignations. Three ministers in the current government have kept their jobs even though they are under investigation, according to Romanian watchdog groups.
Related News in English
Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά