EU pressure tames the Romanian Presidency
As mentioned in a previous edition of the Vulcan View, the European Parliament recently nominated Laura Codruta Kovesi, to become the European Union’s first Chief Prosecutor. Since her nomination by the European Parliament, she was charged with bribery, abuse of office and false testimony in her home country Romania.
The indictment barred Kovesi from leaving Romania or speaking to the media about the case. On Wednesday, the ban was lifted on Kovesi. If the ban stayed in place, she may have been unable to take part in further application steps for the EU chief prosecutor post.
President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani voiced concerns over the charges against Kovesi; “Ms. Kovesi remains our candidate and continues to enjoy our respect and support.”
During Kovesi’s term as the Chief Prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate in Romania, hundreds of elected officials were convicted of corruption offenses. While her work drew praise from the EU, many members of Romania’s political class accused her of overstepping her mandate. The ruling Social Democrats ousted her from office last year and have since opposed her candidacy for EU chief prosecutor.
Romania currently holds the Presidency of the European Council was warned on Wednesday against reversing anti-corruption reforms Kovesi introduced and said it would take swift action if it found that Bucharest was undermining the rule of law. “In particular, I want to warn over any governmental actions that would disrupt the Romanian judicial system by creating a systemic de facto impunity for high office holders who were sentenced for corruption,” First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said. “Such a move would compel the commission to act swiftly.”