Top EU officials warn Romania over rule of law

The warnings were issued by both Tusk and Juncker

Photo: EPA European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The European Union warned Romania on May 9 it could face firmer action over the government’s legal changes that the bloc has said threaten the rule of law.

The EU’s executive European Commission has repeatedly said laws brought in by Romania’s ruling Social Democrats - including moves to reduce statutes of limitation that would close some ongoing graft cases - have reversed decades of reforms. Asked whether further measures were needed to ensure Romania adheres to the bloc’s standards, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters: “Yes, Romania does deserve particular attention, that’s something we’ll be doing in the coming days and weeks.”

“The rule of law must apply to everybody and we will continue in this way,” he added as EU leaders met in Romania, which holds the rotating EU presidency.

In the meantime, European Council President Donald Tusk also insisted on Thursday that rule of law was central to the bloc, as he attended talks with EU leaders in Romania.

“There is no Europe without rule of law. Not because of some ideological doctrines, this is the quintessence of Europe as political entity,” Tusk told a news conference.

The EU’s executive has repeatedly said judicial changes made by Romania’s ruling Social Democrats have reversed decades of democratic reforms and weakened the country’s ability to fight corruption.

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