EC Report Praises Romania's Progress, Demands More on Corruption

Bulgaria in EU | July 20, 2011, Wednesday // 15:38|  views

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Romania has made progress in combating corruption since July 2010, but it needs to take more significant steps to achieve greater results.

One way of doing this is by stepping up efforts in the sphere of confiscation of unjustified assets, according to the European Commission's fifth report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

The EC document, released Wednesday, comprises 17 recommendations grouped together in five categories - reform of the judicial system; accountability of the judicial system; effectiveness of judicial action and integrity and fight against corruption.

The EC paper on Romania's post-EU accession progress urges the country to take urgent action to accelerate high-level corruption trials and to prevent their termination due to expiry of statute-barred periods.

EC recommends that the fight against corruption should remain a top priority, amid support from Parliament, and the country should urgently address the recovery of illegal assets, the investigation of cases involving money-laundering, conflict of interest, misuse of public funds and EU funds fraud.

According to the report, Romania needs to ensure the smooth entry into force of its four new judicial codes and take steps to further restructure the judicial system against a backdrop pf improved training and recruitment standards. It also needs to analyze and iron out the existing imbalances of workload in the system.

EC experts further stress the importance of transparent and objective management decisions within Romania's judiciary.

According to them, the country needs to consolidate its anti-corruption policy and deliver dissuasive sanctions for incompatibilities.

The findings are aimed at helping Romania focus its efforts in preparing for the Commission's overall assessment of progress in Romania under the CVM in summer of 2012.

On 1 January 2007, the Commission established a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism to assess the progress made by Bulgaria and Romania in the areas of judicial reform, fight against corruption and – for Bulgaria – organized crime.

The two countries entered the European Union in 2007.

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Tags: Romania, European Commission, cooperation and verification mechanism, CVM, judiciary, illegal assets, confiscation, confiscation of assets, corruption, EU funds fraud, conflict of interest

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