November 13 (SeeNews) - The European Parliament said on Tuesday it is 'deeply concerned' about the reform of the Romanian judicial and criminal laws, which risks undermining separation of powers and the fight against corruption.
Romania's capacity to fight corruption is at risk after revamp of judicial and criminal laws, the European Parliament said in a resolution wrapping up the plenary debate held on October 3 with Romanian prime minister Viorica Dancila.
The European Parliament also stressed the need to reinforce parliamentary control over the intelligence services and condemned the violent and disproportionate police response to public protests on August 10 in Bucharest.
On August 10, some 100,000 people gathered in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest to protest against government policies that in their opinion will shield criminals and slow down the fight against corruption. Several hundred people were injured while protesting against the government after getting caught in clashes between football fans and the riot police.
The resolution, passed with 473 votes to 151 and 40 abstentions, points to the new legislation on the status of judges and prosecutors, on judicial organisation and on the Superior Council of the Magistracy.
In line with the warnings from the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the Venice Commission, the European Parliament cautioned that the new legislation could have an impact on the independence of the judiciary, its efficiency and its quality, including negative consequences in the fight against corruption.
The changes to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code - many of which the Romanian Constitutional Court considers unconstitutional- are another source of concern for the members of the European Parliament (MEPs), as they have additional effects on the capacity to combat corruption, violent crimes and organised criminality.
Also, the role of the Romanian Intelligence Service and its alleged interference in the activities of the Romanian judiciary lead the European Parliament to suggest reinforcing Romania’s parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services.
The European Parliament resolution comes shortly before a new assessment from the European Commisssion on Romania's fulfilment of obligations under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), which is due to be released on Tuesday evening.