Romania further restricts fight against corruption
Romania's government has issued an emergency ordinance that amends the already approved judicial reforms. The required number of years of professional experience for prosecutors in the in the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), the general prosecutors' office and the anti-organised crime agency has been raised retroactively. This means that around 50 prosecutors will have to suspend their activities. A bitter blow for the country's fight against corruption, commentators criticise.
Investigations have been crippled
The DNA's activities in many cases will be put on hold for the time being, the news website G4 Media predicts:
“The emergency decree could allow the lawyers of defendants to contest certain cases in court because the investigators of the anti-corruption agency DNA no longer fulfil the legal requirements for being appointed. ... What would you do from now on if you were an investigator? Would you risk doing months or even years of investigative work for nothing? ... You surely wouldn't take any risks until your legal position in the DNA had been clarified. But as far as the activities of the institution are concerned that means a long break. The DNA is in a state of paralysis and complete chaos, and that won't change anytime soon.”
Government hijacking key institutions
Brussels should watch Romania very closely now, Digi 24's news website demands:
“The EU must be aware that the logic according to which it accepted the political games in Bucharest can't lead to anything good. The fact that the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition is 'rummaging around' in the law texts to suit its own personal interests should give it food for thought. Contrary to what the government says in its official discourse, what it is doing now is not just a 'parliamentary procedure'. ... This is about crippling key institutions that could have blocked the abusive legislative procedure.”