Minister Puscas disagrees with Romania being penalised for justice deficiencies

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Head of the Department for European Affairs (DAE), Minister Vasile Puscas, said on Wednesday in a press release that although some member states of the European Union are more critical about Romania’s progress with reforming its judiciary, any penalties would be disputable in terms of efficiency and timeliness.

Puscas’s statement came after the Dutch Government issued a critical report on the Romanian judiciary.

‘The Netherlands have been a constant supporter of Romania’s efforts, both within the European Union and at a bilateral level, to advance progress in the reforming of the judiciary and the fight against corruption, and Romanian authorities continue to count on Dutch support in these fields,’ says Puscas.

Puscas mentions that the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification was established under a decision of the European Commission dated December 13, 2006 in order to achieve specific benchmarks in the field of the reform of the judiciary and the fight against corruption as a result of
Romania and the European Commission having identified deficiencies in the functioning of the state of law, particularly the judiciary and the fight against corruption in Romania.

Under this arrangement, Romania pledged to continue the measures necessary to reform its judiciary and step up the fight against corruption, while the European Commission and the EU member states assumed a joint effort for cooperation and support to Romania in its actions.

Puscas argues that the report of July 22, 2009 of the European Commission on the progress recorded by Romania under the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification reflects improvements and highlights areas where efforts in relation to four specific benchmarks have to be continued.

‘The fact that Romania is under the scope of the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification still indicates the existence of weaknesses in the functioning of the state of law, and it is in the interest of Romania and its citizens that Romania eliminates the deficiencies concerned.

Romania wants to get out of the scope of the mechanism by obtaining the expected results, first of all for its citizens, as far as the functioning of the sate of law, justice and the fight against corruption are concerned,’ Puscas concluded.

Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu on Wednesday decided to cancel his scheduled visit to the Netherlands, deeming as ‘inimical’ the action of the Dutch Government to submit to the Dutch Chamber of Representatives a public assessment ‘with radical accents’ concerning the functioning of the state of law in Romania as well as what he calls ‘excessive interpretation’ of the European Commission’s report on the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification.

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