THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION SANCTIONED THE LACK OF PROGRESS OF ROMANIA IN THE REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY AND FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
The European Commission confirmed once again, in the Monitoring Report published on the 20th of July, the existence of „important shortcomings in Romania’s efforts to achieve progress under the CVM”.
This conclusion reiterates the signals formulated repeatedly by TI-Romania in the last years and the findings of the five consecutive reports under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) which, aside from a softer or more sever tone, all reach the same conclusion: the lack of reforms and concrete results.
The period covered by the Report was dominated in Romania by the concentration of the Government’s actions on counteracting the economical crisis „at any price and by all means”, and by a constant decline of citizens’ trust in public institutions, with a direct and immediate consequence in the depreciation of the entire public integrity climate. The aggravation of these issues is also registered by the harder-line of the Report.
The judiciary system continues to register limited performances in the fight against corruption, the statistical data being insufficient to determine its background causes: the insufficient instrumentation of the files by the prosecutor’s offices, the poor capacity of courts or the lack of structural reforms in the human resourcing within the system. In this regard, the lack of systemic analysis and the lack of evaluation of the impact of the measures that have been proposed for the reform of the judiciary and the fight against corruption are recurrent issues, on which TI Romania formulated several recommendations and requests for solutions, remained with no answer on behalf of authorities.
An emblematic situation in this concern is the adoption of the new Codes, with no impact analysis to provide a clear view on the manner in which their enforcement shall impact on the whole society or on the capacity of the judiciary to solution causes. Within this context, generated by the adoption of the procedural codes and of the laws on the application of the civil and criminal codes, TI Romania requests an in-depth evaluation on the necessary reorganization of the judiciary so as to meet these needs. TI-Romania also requests the immediate elaboration of a law, drafted after the consultation of the stakeholders and of the professional associations, on the necessary structural adaptations of the judiciary system to the new provisions, before noticing the lack of administrative capacity of the system to enforce the new codes, as it was the case with other legislative acts.
Similarly, the Law on the National Integrity Agency which was revised due to the decision of the Constitutional Court from April was declared again unconstitutional on July the 19th 2010. TI Romania appreciates that the lack of a real and consistent debate on the background of the problem lead to uncertainty and legislative void and is of nature to make the institutional framework for the implementation of a coherent policy in the matter of conflicts of interest, incompatibilities and assets control extremely vulnerable.
TI Romania recommends the Government to take into account, during the process of reformulating the Law on the NIA in the light of the new decision of the Constitutional Court, the principles agreed by the representatives of the majority of the political parties, as well as by the Ministry of Justice and the civil society. Those principles were discussed within the debate “Public policies for ensuring the continuity of the National Integrity Agency”, organized by TI Romania in April 2010, and represent the fundamental elements for ensuring a viable and coherent legislative framework for the NIA.
These principles, together with a series of recommendations addressed to the executive power in December 2008 and December 2009, with the scope of providing remedies for the existent gaps and reducing the risks of corruption within the public sector, especially within the vulnerable areas, are included within the set of measures TI Romania recalls publicly to the authorities from Bucharest.
Transparency International Romania asks to the authorities from Bucharest responsibility and integrity in governing and requests the adoption of urgent measures to stop the degrading if the public integrity climate at national level, and to resume the thread of reforms, by closing the vulnerabilities of the entire system.
Assuring the rule of law and the fight against corruption are national priorities that Romania cannot afford to ignore, especially under the economical crisis conditions, when the costs of corruption can bring Romania on the edge of institutional and economical failure.