ICDS: Corruption Undermines Romania’s Credibility During Its Presidency of the Council of the EU

It’s been a while since we talked Romania’s presidency here, and that’s mostly because of my lack of time, but also because it’s become increasingly difficult to track the many ways in which the Romanian government is undermining its own goals for this chair stewardship.

Most notably, former DNA chief prosecutor Laura Kovesi was recently shortlisted for the position of chief prosecutor of the to-be-established European Public Prosecutor’s Office, a body which will investigate cases of large-scale corruption involving EU funds. This has arguably been one of the triggers for PSD/ALDE’s frantic scramble to take over the judiciary; Liviu Dragnea himself is involved in a high profile case currently with DNA, but which the Section for Investigating Magistrates has been trying to take over. The coalition’s fear is that an EPPO headed by Kovesi would have a vendetta against the people who dismissed her.

No matter who is appointed, the government will still be a target for the EPPO due to the high number of politicians involved in corruption cases. However, Kovesi would also serve as a rallying figure for Romanians who oppose PSD/ALDE and want a society based on the rule of law and firmly anchored in Europe. The effect of the symbolism of having the former DNA chief heading a major EU legal body is hard to underestimate.

But if you’ve been out of the loop and want to catch up, Estonia’s International Center for Defense and Security has an excellent analysis out, probably the best English-language piece I’ve seen so far, which I highly recommend you read in full here to get up to speed: source.