The European Commission spokesman, Mark Grey, declared on Thursday that the amendments changing the procedures for naming chief-prosecutors in anti-graft institutions come against the European Union demands. The statement comes after the Senate's Juridical Commission adopted an amendment that strips Romania president from his privilege to name the chief prosecutors in the Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA), the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations Department (DIICOT) and the Prosecution Office of the High Court of Justice and Causation. In an unprecedented violent TV intervention on Realitatea TV, the head of the Senate commission, Sergiu Andon, burst out saying that :"This European Commission spokesman gets more and more impertinent".
Sergiu Andon's statement comes as a follow-up in the latest statements and positions adopted by the Conservatives and the far-right Greater Romania party.
Romania committed itself not to modify the naming and revoking procedures for the DNA and DIICOT chief-prosecutors, within the checking and cooperation mechanism of the European Union. The Romanian authorities are perfectly aware of this demand, Mark Gray said in an interview.
"Our position was constant throughout the entire process, namely the maintaining of the existing procedures in naming and revoking the Prosecutor General and of the DNA and DIICOT chief-prosecutors are included in the reference target number 3, a point that was thoroughly and repeatedly explained to the Romanian authorities and that may be found in all our reports", said Mark Gray, referring to the amendment adopted on Thursday.
Asked whether this amendment will cause the activation of the safeguarding clause on Justice, Gray said that the Romanian authorities are perfectly aware of this benchmark and of what they were asked to do. The European authorities have an eye on Romania after several controversial decisions were adopted in August, even though some of those decisions hold an interim title. One of the decisions Gray refers to is the replacement of the DNA chief-prosecutor, Daniel Morar, with his former counselor, Monica Serbanescu.
According to the amendment adopted on Thursday by the Senate, the chief prosecutors in the Anti-Graft Prosecution Office (DNA), the Organized Crime and Terrorism Investigations Department (DIICOT) and the Prosecution Office of the High Court of Justice and Causation will no longer be named by Romania president Traian Basescu, but by the Supreme Council of Magistrates, after a suggestion made by the Justice Ministry.
Participating in the Juridical Commission debates, Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu said that the law draft "looks normal" as long as the Justice Minister has his say in naming the chief-prosecutors.