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EU vice president calls on Romania to respect democracy, rule of law



EU vice president urges Romania to respect democracy, rule of law


Timmermans made the remarks in Bucharest at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, which was awarding him a honourary doctorate.

“If the Rule of Law is put under threat, if the media are curtailed in their free reporting, if democracy is reinterpreted as the winner takes it all, then almost automatically corruption increases,’’ Timmermans said.

In recent months, the European Commission has criticised Romania, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, for backsliding on commitments to uphold judicial independence and tackle corruption.

Timmermans was afterwards planning to discuss with Social Democratic Prime Minister Viorica Dancila the fight against corruption, in which he said there had been “no progress’’ in Romania.

On Tuesday, he is set to hold informal talks with the EU ministers for European affairs.

A decree, passed February by Dancila’s cabinet, changed the procedure of appointing magistrates.

It also limits the power of the chief state prosecutor who has opposed the justice reform that the government pushed through in spite of criticism from the EU.