EU insists on respect for law in Romania

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed EU concerns Friday over political developments in Romania, insisting there can be no compromise on respect for the rule of law.

Barroso “made it clear” to Romanian President Traian Basescu that the EU “will not compromise on the need for all member states to respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the respect for constitutional rulings”.

A statement issued after their meeting said Barroso stressed “the importance of a stable political and legal framework for Romania’s credibility and economic and financial situation.”Both the government and opposition, with elections due in December, should “act with responsibility and restraint and set their focus very firmly on the urgent need to restore institutional and political stability,” he added.

Romania has been in turmoil since the centre-left government coalition led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta tried to remove Basescu, a centre-right politician, in July.

A referendum on his ousting failed as voter turnout fell short of the required 50 percent threshold, with both sides manoeuvring for advantage in the aftermath amid widespread concern that the rule of law was under threat.

Basescu was reinstated after a decision by the Constitutional Court in August and earlier this month he claimed that the country’s democratic institutions had proved to be solid through the crisis.

Barroso is due to meet Ponta on Monday.

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