The European Commission could invoke article 7 of the EU Treaty against Romania – just as it did against Poland on December 20.
According to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, amendments to justice laws in Romania could send his country on the same path as Poland.
Iohannis also said Justice Minister Tudorel Toader was avoiding him. “You must be fallen from the moon” to think that there will be no effects if these laws are adopted, the president said.
As reported by Romania Insider, the president also said he had not yet spoken with Laura Codruţa Kovesi, head of the Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), or other chief prosecutors about the justice laws. The justice minister should do this, Iohannis said.
Iohannis has said he plans to step in “at the right moment”, adding that a referendum was not his only option.
While the senate approved several changes to the justice laws earlier this week, Iohannis has the right to reject and return the bills to parliament for review. But he can do this only once.
Meanwhile, Joseph Daul, president of the European People’s Party (EPP), issued the following statement following Romania’s decision to overhaul its justice laws: “Today is a sad day for Romania and for all the Romanian citizens who demonstrated in the streets to defend the independence of justice.”
“The changes to judicial law and the amputation of the National Anticorruption Directorate are alarming,” he said. “By tightening their grip on Romanian institutions, the socialists may increase their powers, but it is weakening Romania. The stability and the credibility of the country are at stake. And we want to express all our support to the magistrates, judges, prosecutors and people who fight corruption, who strive for a fair and independent judiciary in Romania. A weaker judiciary means more corruption, and more corruption means more poverty for the ordinary people.”