Dismissed PM says verification mechanism betrays discrimination against Romania, Bulgaria

Dismissed Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Tuesday that the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), under which the European Commission verifies Romania's and Bulgaria's progress with judiciary reform and the fight against corruption, "betrays discrimination against Romania and Bulgaria." Dancila said in Botosani that the monitoring process to which Romania and Bulgaria have been subjected has to be either abolished or extended to all the member states of the European Union. "When you are a member of the EU - and you know that I am a pro-European through and through - you have opportunities and also have obligations that you have to meet. The CVM is applied only to Romania and Bulgaria while the other member states are not subjected to this mechanism. Either a decision is made to implement this mechanism to include all the member states - and we hope that the President of Romania will ask for equal treatment for all the member states- or, if not, the mechanism should also be abolished for Bulgaria and Romania and replaced with other kind of monitoring," said Dancila. At the same time, she pointed out that the her cabinet has not interfered with the judiciary, voicing conviction that in the next CVM report President Klaus Iohannis will be the one to be chided. "As far as I know, the activity of the Government was a good one. We did not interfere with the judiciary, we did not take any justice measures and every time I asked for politics to be left out of the judiciary. I did not issue any emergency ordinance and you saw that I actually critiqued when someone interfered with the judiciary. I think beyond this I saw the statement of President Iohannis of May 9, at the European Summit in Sibiu, that he will take all the steps for the lifting of the CVM and for Romania joining the Schengen area. I saw that was left a mere promise. Moreover, I consider that in his capacity as an attendee of the European Council he could have talked about Schengen with other countries, he had that opportunity. As far as the CVM goes, we see that President Iohannis (...) said he would make every effort to have the CVM lifted, as that is a mechanism that I think betrays discrimination against Romania and Bulgaria (...) but did nothing to that effect. I believe that in the next CVM report, President Iohannis will be the one to be chastised, considering that he has asked for the resignation of the head of the DIICOT [Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terror], and the dissolution of the Special Section [in charge with considering criminal offences by member of the judiciary]. I do not say whether or not these are good things, but I believe that these things must be done by the members of the judiciary, by magistrates; and neither the president of Romania, nor the prime minister, nor anyone else should interfere with the judiciary. AGERPRES (RO - author: Cristian Lupascu, editor: Karina Olteanu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Rodica State)

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