The FINANCIAL -- Romanian
government ministers and elected MPs should stop clouding democratic
processes with judicial probes where the whiff of corruption remains,
the European Commission said Wednesday in its latest report on
harmonisation with western European norms for the ex-Communist EU
As EUbusiness said, six years after Romania's accession, the European Union is still struggling to see its easternmost outpost as a natural fit -- with Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso repeating "serious concerns" that need addressing with elections keeping President Traian Basescu and arch-rival Prime Minister Victor Ponta locked in a simmering power struggle.
Basescu on Friday refused to confirm the appointment of a new anti-corruption prosecutor, seen as key to boosting the country's anti-graft credentials.
In Wednesday's six-monthly report, the Commission stressed "the importance of nominating the new prosecutor general ... who would enjoy public confidence and demonstrate the independence, integrity and professionalism needed to deliver effective results in fighting corruption."
It noted that "while the respect for the constitution and the decisions of the Constitutional Court has been restored, the lack of respect for the independence of the judiciary and the instability faced by judicial institutions remain a source of concern."
The onus was placed on ministers and lawmakers to act to reduce conflict over these issues, a news release on the report stated, adding that "the Commission's recommendations also underline the responsibility of ministers and parliamentarians to set an example in terms of respect for integrity."
"Steps have been taken to address the serious concerns we raised in July and our report explains clearly where further progress is needed," Barroso concluded in the report.
The Commission said it will "monitor progress closely" ahead of a further report before the end of 2013.