US Ambassador to Bucharest Mark Gitenstein issued a statement on Wednesday saying the passage of a new law governing the National Integrity Agency (ANI) - a key body keeping in check the wealth of Romanian public officials - was "an important step towards ensuring the existence of a functioning" such body.

Ambassador Gitenstein's statement:

  • I would like to commend the Parliament on the passage yesterday of the new law governing the National Integrity Agency.  Romania has taken an important step towards ensuring the existence of a functioning body to monitor the assets of public officials. This crucial component in the fight against corruption addresses Romania's obligations as a member of the European Union and provides the necessary transparency expected by American and other foreign companies doing business in Romania, as well as by average Romanian citizens.
  • I was encouraged that the President, the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary leaders - from all parts of the political spectrum - worked together to enact a new law that will save and strengthen ANI while meeting the requirements of the Romanian Constitution.  Their continued leadership has been instrumental in creating an ANI structure that meets international expectations and at the same time serves their citizens well.
  • I was heartened by the Constitutional Court's July 19th decision that rejected the previous bill that would have severely weakened ANI, and I hope that this new bill will meet the Court's standards.
  • The Parliament also deserves credit for passing yesterday a number of additional measures which will improve the fairness and efficiency of the legal system while facilitating the trial and conviction of those who are guilty of corruption and other serious crimes.