EC experts to start second justice evaluation mission in Romania

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Experts of the European Commission (EC) are staring today the second mission to monitor the progress recorded by Romania in the area of judiciary reform, the findings of which will be included in the European Commission’s country report on Romania expected out this July.

The expert evaluation will focus on Romania’s progress with fighting against corruption in vulnerable sectors and in the local public administration.

The EC delegation is scheduled to visit the Romanian institutions involved in the implementation of the national strategy for the prevention and combat of corruption in vulnerable sectors and the local public administration in 2008-2010, including the Ministry of Administration and Interior, the Public Finance Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation.

During the first evaluation mission of May 5-8, the EC experts verified whether benchmarks 3 and 4 in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism were achieved that concern the fight against corruption at central and local levels.

The European experts called on the Public Prosecution Ministry, the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, courts, prosecution offices and local offices of the Ministry of Administration and Interior.

The expert team will be back to Bucharest early this June for their third mission to verify the observance of all the benchmarks included in the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

The Ministry of Justice and Citizens’ Freedoms (MJLC) reports in a press release that the European Commission experts are expected to held talks with all the relevant institutions in observing the benchmarks – MJLC, the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), the Supreme Court of Justice and Cassation (PICCJ), the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), the National Integrity Agency (ANI), and the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI).

The first two missions will be technical in nature and focused on aspects of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, a stage where MJLC is not directly involved. The third mission will be general in nature and seek to identify the progress with all the benchmarks of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

MJLC also says that in preparing each of these missions, the Romanian authorities submit to the European Commission reports on the progress made by Romania over the past year in order to provide a full picture of the realities in the Romanian judiciary, both at central and at local levels.

‘The results of the evaluation missions and the reports of independent experts participating in the missions will play an essential part in building up the conclusions in the summer report of the European Commission,’ says MJLC.

Minister of Justice and Citizens’ Freedoms Catalin Predoiu has recently stated that Romania made enough progress in the area of justice to be able to argue for abandoning the idea of the European Commission taking sanctions against Romania.

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