Romania seeks to reassure EU over governance

Thu, Jul 19, 2012, 01:00

ROMANIA HAS sought to assuage European Union concerns that it is failing to protect the rule of law or combat corruption and organised crime.

The country’s government has come under heavy fire over its campaign to oust Romanian president Traian Basescu, which an EU report said raised questions about its commitment to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

After Crin Antonescu – who is interim president following parliament’s suspension of Mr Basescu – earlier criticised the EU for claiming the government was pressuring the courts, his ally Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta yesterday insisted that Romania wanted to meet EU norms.

“Crin Antonescu and I are interested and ready to make any personal and political sacrifice for Romania to be considered a viable partner abroad – a serious partner and a country that respects all democratic rules,” Mr Ponta said.

“The European Commission report is balanced. Romania will draw the necessary conclusions in order to continue its efforts to build an independent and efficient justice system.”

Mr Ponta’s government this week bowed to EU pressure by scrapping plans to change rules for a July 29th referendum on Mr Basescu’s impeachment.

He has also toned down criticism of the constitutional court, which his allies have accused of doing Mr Basescu’s bidding.