Romania could be sent to the European Court of Justice if it does not respect the independence of the judiciary, European Commissioner Frans Timmermans said on Monday night in Strasbourg.
“If the laws of the judiciary and the codes are adopted without change, it would affect Romania’s ability to fight corruption. It would mean a serious backlash against the Commission’s assessment in January 2017. The Commission is calling on Romania to rethink the course it took. The Commission will assess very carefully the laws adopted and their compatibility with European legislation” said Frans Timmermans in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties.
MEPs, meeting in extraordinary session, debated the situation in Romania on Monday evening before another debate to be held in plenary on October 3rd.
Frans Timmermans also criticised the decision and procedure by which the former head of the National Anticorruption Directorate Codruta Kovesi was forced out of her job.
DNA activity, Timmermans said, “was an important element in the positive points that were given to Romania in the Monitoring and Control Report of January 2017,” but the situation has deteriorated since November 2017, he said.
“There have been questions about the collaboration between intelligence services and the anti-corruption prosecution office,” Timmermans said, adding that Parliament should oversee the work of the services.
On Wednesday the European Parliament’s Socialists & Democrats group met with Viorica Dăncilă, where MEPs rebuked the Prime Minister for calling for a referendum on the definition of the family aimed at banning same-sex marriages, with MEPs saying that such ideas do not belong to the European socialist family.
“Prohibition of same-sex marriages in the Romanian Constitution is incompatible with a party belonging to our family. We have to bear in mind that many LGBT organisations rely on us and consider our defenders within the EU,” said an MEP.
Timmermans also gave his views on the upcoming referendum saying that while the constitutional definition of the family is the sovereign right of each member country, Timmermans said that “I am a believer in the family. I’m a dad and a husband, I have four children. But I do not want the family to become a weapon to justify homophobia.”