The Social Democratic deputy speaker of the German Bundestag Susanne Kastner told Deutsche Welle this weekend that a vote of distrust Romanian Justice minister Monica Macovei received in Parliament last week might prompt a “last minute” activation of safeguard clauses against Romania.

The safeguard clauses are tools the European Union has introduced to prevent Romania from leaving the path of reform in the Justice sector and other fields once it joined the European Union on January 1, 2007. One misstep from Romanian authorities - and a safeguard clause may be applied, limiting Romania’s rights as a EU member state.

In an exclusive statement for DW, Kastner firmly condemned the vote against Macovei in the Romanian Parliament last week and deplored the fact that it sanctioned the very minister who got involved most in the fight against corruption in Romania.

The opposition parties which had tabled the motion against Macovei said after their success that Macovei should be dismissed as work between the Parliament and the Government was impossible with her still in office. Macovei refused to resign and the government has not yet asked her to.