Communique of the Embassies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden in Romania

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We, representatives of European Union partner countries, wish to reaffirm our common destiny with Romania based on shared values, especially the rule of law.

We recognize that Romania has made significant progress in building a track record and implementing credible judicial reforms over the last decade. Yet, it is our belief that the recently passed laws on justice reform in their current form, as well as the latest draft amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes, risk jeopardizing this progress.

The European Union has adopted on 12 December Council conclusions on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), which address judicial reform and the fight against corruption in Romania. The conclusions underline in particular “the need for predictability, full transparency and inclusive consultations” on justice reform, as set out in the European Commission’s report on the CVM. Furthermore, the Council calls on Romania to avoid taking any step backwards.

In this context, we call on actors involved in the judicial reform project to refrain from any action resulting in a weakening of the independence of the judiciary and of the fight against corruption, and to seek without delay the necessary advice of the Venice Commission in order to ensure that the independence of the judiciary is preserved and the reform process in general remains intact.  

We trust that all political actors involved will give due consideration to these legitimate concerns consistent with our joint European commitment, and we continue to stand ready to support Romania in her efforts to reaffirm this commitment.