‘Romania is ready’ for EU presidency, says prime minister

19 Nov 18

Romania’s prime minister has said the country is ready to take over the European Union presidency next year, despite criticism about its judiciary reforms.

This comes after Brussels raised concerns last month that Romania’s proposed changes to the judiciary could mean a backslide on its progress in tackling corruption

Last week, the country’s president, who has been fighting the overhaul of the system, said the country was “not prepared” to take over the EU rotating six-month presidency in January. He also called for the country’s prime minister Viorica Dăncilă to step down.

But Dăncilă said: “I assure you that Romania is ready… logistically and from an organisational point of view.”

The European Commission has called on the government to suspend the implementation of new judicial laws and appointments of prosecutors, which is part of the overhaul that some fear could undermine the anti-corruption fight. 

The European Parliament passed a resolution last week recommending that Romania strike down measures “which would decriminalise corruption in office”.

In response, the prime minister said the report was “profoundly unfair” and politically motivated.

The EU fears that Romania is going the way of Hungary and Poland, which are facing legal action from Brussels over alleged moves by their populist governments to weaken the rule of law.

Dăncilă was appointed prime minister in January. 

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