European Commission President Barosso met Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu in Brussels on Tuesday for talks on EU evaluations of the Romanian justice sector. According to EC spokesman Mark Gray, Barosso underlined during the meeting the need of renewed efforts to fully implement the four benchmarks Romania agreed with the EC when it joined the Union. But a press release of the Romanian Government says the mechanism of checks and cooperation with the EU was not included on the agenda of the talks, which also referred to the expert-level mission due to make the next evaluation of the Romanian Justice sector, which will be published in early 2009.

The implementation of the four benchmarks refers, among other, to the continuation of professional and unbiased investigations in high level corruption cases and insuring the legislative and institutional stability of the anti-corruption framework, especially by maintaining the current procedure to name and revoke the Prosecutor General of Romania and other top investigators.

This comes as the Senate adopted on September 16 a bill deciding that the naming of top prosecutors would be made by the Superior Council of the Magistrates, at the proposal of the Justice Ministry, and not by the President of Romania. In response, the President may send the bill back to Parliament or challenge it at the Constitutional Court.