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Romania opposes the idea to link European funds with judicial reform

Klaus Iohannis

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The restricting European funding due to lack of rule of law will in turn be a violation of European laws, according to the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
On Wednesday, he was on a visit to Brussels where he spoke with European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk. Klaus Iohannis shared Romania’s position that judicial reform and the rule of law should not be included in the discussions on the next budgetary framework as a condition for receiving European funding.
The idea of ​​the link was presented by the EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova. The measure will most likely affect the countries of Eastern Europe, which are also the biggest beneficiaries of European funds. At the same time, Brussels has concerns about how reforms are being carried out in this region, as well as respect for the basic right of court independence.
The Romanian president is categorical that his country is not worried about the introduction of this rule. “Nobody thinks that for some reason the judiciary will stop working in Romania”, said Klaus Iohannis.
However, the country is covered by mass protests against recent changes in legislation. People fear that corruption will remain unpunished for them.
“The rule of law is vital for Romania and Europe”, added Klaus Iohannis.
The suspicion of judicial reform is the reason why the country is outside Schengen, the Romanian president also admits, but adds that a well-functioning court benefits first of all for Romanian citizens, not for anyone else.
Support for the reform in Romania was also expressed by Jean-Claude Juncker.
“The rule of law has made remarkable progress in Romania, and we do not accept or foresee that it has so far advanced the rule of law, it can go back, and I have full confidence in the Romanian judiciary”, said the European Commission President.