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CVM Report/ EC Representation chief Buchiu: We would have liked it not to witness any negative steps

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The Report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) adopted on Tuesday by the College of Commissioners shows that "the key institutions of Romania need to collectively demonstrate a strong commitment to judicial independence," and also that these are "negative steps," stated the interim chief of the European Commission Representation to Romania, Cristian Buchiu.

"The key institutions of Romania need to collectively demonstrate a strong commitment to judicial independence and maintaining a balanced judiciary system. This is a long road and we would have liked it not to witness any negative steps, but we remain confident that the Romanian authorities could give a new momentum to fulfilling the objectives of the CVM," said Buchiu.

He also brought to mind "the efforts made by the Romanian authorities in June 2019." "We believe that these efforts must be doubled by concrete measures both in legislative and administrative terms. (...) And by this I mean more the legislative approach, which is the one that it's essential. Also, at administrative level, the European Commission grants 125 million euros to Romania for projects related to its judicial reform," said the interim chief of the EC Representation.

"The evolution of the situation in the first months of 2019 was a source of great concern for the Commission. As a result, the Commission had to inform the Romanian authorities in May 2019 that if the necessary improvements were not made, or if further negative steps were taken, the Commission would take steps under the rule of law framework, beyond the parameters of the CVM," showed the report adopted by the College of Commissioners on Tuesday

"The Commission regrets that Romania did not engage with the additional recommendations made in November 2018, which were fully in line with the positions of the other institutions. These recommendations need to be followed if the reform process is to be put back on track and the path towards the conclusion of the CVM, as set out in the January 2017 report, resumed. The Commission is confident that Romania could give a new momentum to fulfilling the objectives of the CVM, and stands ready to help the Romanian authorities to this end. The Commission will continue to follow developments closely through the CVM," shows the same release.

The Commission welcomed the fact that in June the Romanian government expressed a wish to reset the approach. It notes that an effort has been made to invest in new consultation and dialogue with the judiciary.

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