Power struggle over EU chief prosecutor

The European Parliament has chosen the former director of the Romanian anti-corruption agency, Laura Kövesi, as its top pick for EU chief prosecutor. Kövesi received more votes than the French contender Jean-François Bohnert in the parliamentary committees, however the latter is the favourite among the EU member states. Bucharest has taken the lead in trying to block Kövesi's bid for the top post at the new European agency. Who will prevail?

Open/close all quotes
Financial Times (GB) /

No one is better suited than Kövesi

The EU leaders should make Laura Kövesi EU chief prosecutor, the Financial Times demands:

“There are several excellent arguments in favour of Ms Kövesi, not least of which is that Romania's government, fast becoming a serial abuser of EU norms and values on the rule of law, fiercely opposes her appointment. Doubtless the two other candidates for the job, one each from France and Germany, would do it well. But neither has Ms Kövesi's frontline experience of conducting a struggle, arduous and sometimes lonely, against deep-rooted political corruption in her homeland. … Her tireless work earned her the respect of Romania's partners.”

Kapital (BG) /

Fighting corruption versus diplomacy

EU politician Svetoslav Malinov from the conservative opposition party Democrats for a strong Bulgaria [DSB] comments on Facebook, as cited in Kapital:

“I don't believe there will be a happy ending for those who voted against Kövesi this time. If it comes to a vote in the plenary, the European Parliament will confirm the decision of the committees, I'm quite sure, and then either the council or the parliament will have to yield. The 'Kövesi case' will show whether the member states are prepared to vote for a person who is genuinely fighting corruption or whether they want a more moderate, more diplomatic, more compromising chief prosecutor, like the French candidate. I am convinced that it must be Kövesi and it doesn't surprise me one bit that she is not being backed by the Romanian government.”

G4Media.ro (RO) /

Bucharest making a spectacle of itself in the EU

The vote for Kövesi is a slap in the face for the Romanian government, comments the website G4 Media:

“In trying to undermine the chances of the Romanian candidate the Romanian government has behaved ridiculously and stupidly. This sort of attitude marks a shameful moment in the history of the state which is treating its own citizens like enemies. How does a state go about sabotaging its chances of winning more influence on the European stage? For the PSD-Alde coalition this is typical though. Its ultimate aim is the destruction of the justice system and the rule of law.”

Gândul (RO) /

Like a fairy in a fairytale

Kövesi is being idolised by her supporters at home and abroad, notes Gândul critically:

“Every difficult question, every criticism of Kövesi is immediately seen as an attack: it is simply not tolerated. Everybody's hopes are pinned on Kövesi to the point of idealisation. ... This is not only happening because of the boorish and amateurish way in which the PSD and Alde are governing the country, but also because the population is insufficiently informed. Yet when there is a lack of information politicians and state functionaries become symbols, angels or demons, their political activities the stuff of fairies and dragons. People who know little about the European institutions believe that the European Public Prosecutor will be something like a larger version of the [Romanian anti-corruption directorate] DNA, which will save Romania from the PSD.”