Published On: Mon, Dec 17th, 2018

Romania Attacks EU Shortly Before The Beginning Of The Presidency

On 1 January, Romania will take over the presidency of the EU from Austria. The government in Bucharest, is discriminated against by Brussels.

Romania Attacks EU

Shortly before assuming the EU Presidency, the Romanian government is on a confrontational course with Brussels. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and the leader of the ruling Social Democrats, Liviu Dragnea, accused the EU of discriminating against their country on Sunday.

Dancila denied criticism from Brussels of her government and called on her party “not to accept these attacks”. Dragnea complained that other countries in the EU were “even more corrupt” than Romania, but were less criticized.

On 1 January, Romania is scheduled to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months, according to schedule. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) wants to visit Bucharest on Friday to symbolically pass the staff to the local government.

The policy of the government in Bucharest is receiving a lot of criticism from Brussels: The EU accuses her of not doing enough against corruption. In addition, she fears a weakening of the independence of the judiciary through the judicial reforms of the Romanian government.

Prime Minister Dancila said at a congress of her party on Sunday that the EU’s critical stance was “solely because Romania is an East European country.” She is a “convinced pro-European, but I demand that this country be respected.”

Party leader Dragnea, who is considered a strong man behind the government, said: “Romania will no longer accept being treated as a second-class member state.” His country insists on the “right to represent one’s own opinions”.

Romania, like Bulgaria since joining the European Union in 2007, must regularly assess its efforts in the fight against corruption and organized crime. In its most recent report, the Commission deplored developments in the wrong direction: “However, recent developments have reversed progress.”

Romania’s government had previously deposed the head of the independent anti-corruption agency. She is planning a controversial amnesty for corrupt politicians and officials. The party leader Dragnea convicted of corruption would probably benefit from this.

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