The European Commission or EU member states may ask for the introduction of a sector-based safeguard clause against Romania unless the Bucharest Parliament approves a law on the control of elected officials’ wealth in the terms set by European bodies, Romanian Justice minister Monica Macovei said during an unprecedented online talk with the readers of the Romanian-language edition of HotNews.ro on Monday.
Macovei was recently the target of a successful motion tabled by the opposition in Parliament, which asked for her resignation from the Government. She’s long been at loggerheads with Romanian MPs from both the opposition and the governing parties due to several of her initiatives aimed at reforming the Justice system.
One such initiative was a EU-supported bill establishing the so-called National Integrity Agency-ANI, which would monitor the wealth of elected officials to prevent graft. But the bill was modified seriously and repeatedly in the Parliament, where MPs removed provisions that would guarantee the right of prosecutors to check their wealth statements.
Macovei told HotNews.ro readers that the version of the bill currently debated by the Senate Judicial Commission is closer to her initial one than the one previously adopted by the House of Deputies. But she warned that ANI attributes to control possible incompatibilities between various activities of elected officials was yet to be removed.
She also said the draft of the new Criminal Code will be posted on the Justice Ministry website (www.just.ro) this week and will be subjected to public debated
She defended her refusal to resign at Parliament pressure because the motion against her was based on false opinions which she opted not to counter in court because “I have never sued anybody, either journalists or politicians who lied about me or insulted me”.
“I do not consider myself a victim because that would mean to accept defeat. Any reform involves resistence and that’s what we are experimenting today, as long as some politicians are concerned”, she said.
HotNews.ro, Feb 26, 2007