Two Romanian former prosecutors, Monica Macovei and Laura Codruța Kövesi who have been in the spotlight for spearheading anti-corruption initiatives in Romania (a little too successfully, some say) seem to be heading for new adventures in a project set to clean-up neighbouring Bulgaria and Moldova.
Macovei is a Member of the European Parliament, formerly with EPP group and currently ECR, which is unlikely to be re-elected. Macovei has over the years built strong ties with the EPP controlled Budget Control Committee (CONT) of the European Parliament. Kövesi, is the former chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate of Romania (DNA). After a protracted battle, in early 2018, Kövesi was sacked.
Justice Minister Tudorel Toader proposed her dismissal as DNA chief prosecutor after presenting a report on her managerial activity at DNA based on 20 categories and facts. Among the accusations were: excessive authoritarian and discretionary behavior, involvement in other prosecutors’ inquiries, prioritization of the files according to the media impact, contesting decisions of the Constitutional Court of Romania. Following a decision from the Constitutional Court of Romania that upheld the Justice Minister’s decision, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis signed her dismissal from office.
The two women, workaholic and looking for the next step in their careers in public service, are now attempting enter a new round of serving justice. This time in their home country’s neighbours: Bulgaria and Moldova. Indeed, Kassandra has learned that certain quarters of the European Parliament close to Angela Merkel are working for the financing of a new initiative of MEP Monica Macovei for securing her post-Parliament career. To this effect a year ago, upon invitation of the President of the Supreme Court of Cassation of Bulgaria Lozan Panov, Macovei spoke in a conference in Sofia and said that the example of “cleaning” Romania must be used for Bulgaria and presented her initiative to launch a non-profit organization, Coordinating Anticorruption Policies for Bulgaria and Moldova. In this noble endeavor, Kövesi will participate.
According to EU sources, the project will be funded through the European Parliament with the support of certain German MEPs close to CDU party and the scope of this initiative, prima facie looks noble: to fight corruption. Yet if it succeeds – which is questionable as paradigms for fighting corruption are very difficult to replicate in different landscapes – the target will the ruling government of Bulgaria which on certain political matters is known to be quite tough.
This scheme under discussion, which has rattled Bulgaria’s secret services, may be one of the many to be discussed at the sidelines of the European’s People Party Congress in Helsinki on 7-8 November. Though Romania’s anti-corruption efforts had the seal of approval of European and American interlocutors, its exportation to Bulgaria and Moldova does not seem to (yet). It may eventually, however, have some Brussels financing.