Romania Senate Decision Worries EU

The European Commision has expressed concern about a Senate decision to ignore a verdict of the Supreme Court.Romania’s upper chamber, the Senate, on Tuesday ruled that Mircea Diaconu, an MP from the ruling coalition, should retain his position in parliament at the end of his mandate in November despite a ruling from the Supreme Court.

In June, Diaconu resigned as Culture Minister following a court decision that banned him from holding public office for three years.

He was punished because he held the position of manager of a public theatre while being a Senator, contrary to Romanian law.

The European Commission on Tuesday expressed concerns following the Senate’s decision.

“It is important for Romania to to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law. The Senate decision comes in contradiction to EU recommendations so we’ll have to further follow this case,” Mark Grey, a spokesperson of the European Commission, said on Tuesday.

In its last Report on Progress under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism, CVM, in Romania, the Commission urged Romania to comply with “the adoption of procedures regarding the resignation of Members of Parliament with final decisions on incompatibility, conflict of interest and high-level corruption”.

The CVM was put in place when Romania joined the EU in 2007 to help put in place an impartial, independent and effective judicial system similar to those of other member states and capable of meeting the obligations of EU membership.

Since then Romania has been criticised by the European Union and human rights groups for failures in its judiciary system, including shortcomings in judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

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