Major Partner Countries Call Upon Romania to Consider Potential Negative Impact of Criminal Law Amendments

On behalf of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States please receive the statement below:

We, Romania’s international partners and allies, call on all parties involved in amending Romania’s criminal and criminal procedure codes to avoid changes that would weaken the rule of law or Romania’s ability to fight crime or corruption.  Romania has shown considerable progress in combatting corruption and building effective rule of law.  We encourage Romanians to continue on this path.  EU partners also recall the Council conclusions on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism of 12 December 2017 calling on Romania to focus its efforts on further consolidating progress made, avoid taking any steps backwards, and safeguard the independence of judges and prosecutors.  We are following closely the changes to the criminal codes and remain concerned that several are likely to impede international law enforcement cooperation and negatively impact the fight against violent crime, transnational organized crime, financial crimes, and drug and human trafficking.  We encourage all parties involved to reconsider feedback provided by domestic legal experts such as the Superior Council of Magistracy, and to seek support from international legal experts such as the Group of States Against Corruption and the Venice Commission.