Romania: 20 years of the DNA anti-corruption agency
The DNA, Romania's anti-corruption agency, was founded in 2002 as a judicial tool for making Romania fit for EU accession. It last made headlines when the government and influential circles tried to oust its director Laura Kövesi, who now heads the European Public Prosecutor's Office. Romania's press takes stock of its performance in the 20 years since its launch.
The enthusiasm of past times has faded
The Directorate is no longer receiving any genuine political support, writes Deutsche Welle's Romanian Service:
“From the results of the past 20 years we see that the DNA has taken 15,000 people to court, including 400 mayors, 160 judges, 60 members of government, two heads of government (Victor Ponta and Adrian Năstase) and 1,000 police officers. ... Record results were achieved during the years it was led by Daniel Moraru (2005-2013) and Laura Codruța Kövesi (2013-2018). Today's anti-corruption prosecutors lack the enthusiasm of their predecessors because there is no longer any political support for the fight against major corruption.”
EU mechanisms compensate for national deficits
Has the Directorate achieved its goal? asks journalist Dan Tapalaga in G4media.ro:
“Partially yes. The efforts were not in vain, even if Romania failed to establish a functional and coherent DNA over several election cycles. In reality, the DNA only worked at full capacity for around ten years, so there was not enough time to develop a real anti-corruption culture in society. ... Brussels has now created enough mechanisms to make the receipt of European funds contingent on the functioning of the rule of law, and there is also the European Public Prosecutor's Office led by Kövesi.”