European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said on Thursday that Brussels was worried of a possible weaker role for Romania's National Integrity Agency - ANI, the body in charge with the wealth statements of public officials. ANI needed a legislative framework that would guarantee full independence and possibility to pursue inquiries, Barosso said following talks with Romania President Traian Basescu in Brussels on Thursday. For his part, Basescu assured that Romania would comply with its promises and would have a functional integrity agency.
ANI's role was threatened this month by a Constitutional Court decision that key articles in the law on the functioning of the agency were unconstitutional.
Romania must strengthen its efforts to report progress in fighting corruption and in the reform of the judiciary and the EC was concerned about a possible weaker role for ANI, according to Barroso.
He underlined that an agency for integrity in a country where serious corruption problems have been identified was a priority.
For his part, President Basescu assured the European official that Romania would comply with its promises and would have a functional integrity agency able to reach its purpose of checking the wealth of dignitaries and their source, after ANI was simply dismantled by a Constitutional Court decision.