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Ambassadors voice concern over justice reform bill considered by Parliament

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
tudorel toader

Ambassadors of nine states have "shared" with Romania's Minister of Justice Tudorel Toader, "their opinions and their concern" over a justice reform bill considered by the Romanian Parliament, according to a press statement released by the Justice Ministry. Representatives of the nine countries - Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, the United States and Canada - had a meeting with Minister Tudorel Toader and State Secretary Marieta Safta on Wednesday at the Ministry of Justice.

"The ambassadors shared their views and concerns about the bill on justice reform considered in Parliament, as well as their firm desire for Romania to continue the process of strengthening the rule of law, judicial independence and the fight against corruption, recognising the progress made since 2007. The ambassadors of the EU member states voiced their wish that Romania should create the necessary framework to enable the objectives of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism to be achieved and to avoid any decision that could make this objective more difficult to achieve. At the same time, they stressed the importance of a broad and open consultation process with all stakeholders, including asking the Venice Commission for an opinion on some basic aspects of the justice reform."

According to the Justice Ministry, the meeting is part of the ongoing dialogue that the Ministry of Justice and Minister Tudorel Toader have with all the parties involved in the reform of the judiciary, both nationally and internationally. During the meeting, issues related to recent legislative developments, the latest developments in Romania achieving the twelve recommendations mentioned in the European Commission's Report to the European Parliament and the Council on Romania's progress under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism, the balance and separation of state powers, the structuring of the rule of law, as well as cooperation in the field of justice.

The statement comes after Toader said at the end of his meeting with ambassadors that freedom of lawmaking or the need to amend justice legislation in line with constitutional requirements were not challenged, and he assured that there was no reproach from the diplomats on the subject.

"As a first conclusion, no one challenges the freedom of lawmaking, no one denies the need of amending the justice legislation in accordance with the constitutional requirements, according to European standards, and no one denies the need to adopt equitable solutions for the justice legislation," Toader said.

Asked if the diplomats voiced any reproach during the meeting, Toader replied: "No. I can assure you that there was no reproach. That was an absolutely constructive discussion, a clarifying discussion, a discussion that is normal and necessary to take place between the institutions."



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