EC Report: Anti-corruption strategy needs clear support from political class

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Public controversies have continued to place under a question mark the leadership capacity of the judicial system to respond adequately to the problems of integrity and accountability inside this system, reveals the draft progress report on the Mechanism of Cooperation and verification (MCV), set up on Romania’s EU accession, which will be presented on Wednesday, in Brussels.

Also, the EU Executive believes that tackling the deferred cases should be followed by additional measures, to ensure that decisions in the high-level corruption cases discourage illegalities.

Favorable reactions to the National Anti-corruption Strategy project „must be supported by a clear confirmation by the political class, in the aim to maximize the effectiveness of this strategy”.

According to the document, in terms of deterrent measures, excluding a politician from his party, once a high-level corruption investigation was launched against him, in November, was recognized as a good example of effective public accountability. However, six other members of the Parliament also sentenced in corruption cases remain in office.

The deterrent effect of penalties will be increased substantially through the adoption in the proposed form of the bill on extending the sphere of application of the confiscation of assets, currently under debate in the Parliament.

The document notes that some recent criminal cases, in which important judges have been involved, affected public confidence in the ability and capacity of CSM to safeguard integrity and accountability of the judiciary.

”In a case of alleged high-level corruption, the judicial authorities failed to remove the respective judge from a management position. Disciplinary investigations have been opened in this case, but they were later suspended on grounds of an ongoing criminal investigation. This case showed clear gaps in the management capacity of the judiciary, to take action when faced with serious risks at the address of the judiciary system”, the quoted document also says.

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