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Radio France International: Romania to escape safeguard clause in June 27 EC report

Luni, 25 iunie 2007, 0:00

Radio France International reports today that Romania will dodge the application of a safeguard clause sanctioning it over its progress in the field of justice and the fight against corruption when the European Commission publishes its report on Romania and Bulgaria on June 27.

However, there is a major warning referring to the way in which the Romanian justice system treats big corruption cases. Lack of results in such cases seems to be the major concern of the European officials, RFI adds.

Brussels officials, as quoted by RFI, warn that tolerance is out of the question in the fight against corruption.

The document criticizes the fact that the pronounced decisions so far, in cases instrumented by the National Anticorruption Direction are not sufficiently discouraging and that there still is an unacceptable number of suspended verdicts.

Moreover, the motives of such a decision must be well sustained, shows the report, because a prolonged situation would negatively affect not only the registered progresses but also the public perception regarding the will of the politicians to fight against corruption.

The report has every chance to be adopted on in Brussels on Wednesday and triggers the attention to some events which have affected the justice system - including the dismissal of Monica Macovei, former Romanian Minister of Justice.

Other such undermining events are the decriminalization of bank frauds, Parliament intent to shorten the maximum period of a criminal investigation and a request by new Justice minister Tudor Chiuariu for the resignation of an important member of Romania's National Anti-corruption Department.

Overall, the judicial progress registered in terms of high level corruption is still insufficient, shows the report. The document also refers to the law regarding the founding of the National Integrity Agency - ANI which still presents its gaps, regarding the Agency’s independence and its efficiency in investigations or in its authority to impose sanctions against corrupt officials.

The substantial progress made by adopting the ANI law still needs to be confirmed through practice, warns another conclusion of Brussels officials.

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