Can Kövesi lead the EU's public prosecution?
The new European Chief Prosecutor is to take office in 2020. The leading candidate for the post is the former chief prosecutor of Romania's anti-corruption agency (DNA), Laura Codruța Kövesi. But in Bucharest attempts to foil her bid for the office are underway, including investigations for abuse of office, corruption and perjury. Commentators see Romania in a battle with the EU.
The point isn't to prevent Kövesi in particular from becoming European public prosecutor, Digi 24 believes:
“In fact the real targets are those who put Kövesi forward for the post of European chief prosecutor. This is another attempt to challenge the EU Commission, the European People's Party, numerous key European politicians as well as Germany, France and the US. The real targets are all those who take it upon themselves to insist that certain red lines must not be crossed. Kövesi is just a pretext, a symbol for the influence of the EU states and the US in Romania: one they perceive as a mortal danger.”
The EU will baulk at this
This could be the end of the story for Kövesi, Moise Guran fears on his blog moise.ro:
“The European Union's public prosecutor isn't given immunity. That means that the criminal investigation against Kövesi would continue even if she is appointed. The MEPs and those representatives of the Council of the European Union [who decide whether she is appointed] will be confronted with the following problem: is it good for a European public prosecution to get off to a rocky start with a person who is under investigation for who knows what?”
Regime is downright obsessed
Bucharest only has itself to blame for the fuss over Kövesi, writes the Romanian service of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle:
“The prosecutor wouldn't have attracted attention as a competent professional. All she tried to do was fulfil her duty, namely to rid the state of rampant corruption. But because of the stubborn persistence of the Dragnea regime Laura Codruţa Kövesi has turned into an affair of European dimensions, an emblem. ... She stands for the fight for fairness, justice and the rule of law. [Justice Minister] Tudorel Toader's obsessive and paranoid attacks on the rule of law have made him look so ridiculous that his hitherto patient fellow citizens are rebelling. More than 500 lawyers, computer scientists and other graduates of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iaşi have signed a letter demanding that Tudorel step down as the university's rector.”
Romanians left their hero in the lurch
Kövesi's success at the EU level has a bitter aftertaste for Romania, journalist Moise Guran writes on his blog Biziday:
“Laura Codruța Kövesi turned the [anti-corruption authority] DNA into the only public institution in Romania that delivers results. She showed us that we can have such institutions. She showed us that we can beat corruption and that we can change our ways. And what did we do? We voted in 2016 for Liviu Dragnea [the leader of the PSD who is widely seen as corrupt], and left Kövesi in the lurch when she was removed from office with the collusion of other institutions - the Constitutional Court, the parliament, the government and the president's office. Yes, even the president took part, the man backed by 6.2 million votes who had 'no other choice' but to have his spokesperson announce her replacement.”