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EU Commissioner Vera Jourova met PM Ciolos and JusMin Pruna in Bucharest


Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Monday morning had a meeting with visiting European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova to discuss cooperation between Romania and the European Commission in the areas of justice, the fight against corruption and the lifting of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM). 

"In their conversation, the two officials discussed cooperation with the European Commission in the areas of justice, the fight against corruption and the closing of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism as well as consumer protection policies, gender equality, the social inclusion of the Roma and a proposal for the establishment of the European public prosecutor's office," the Romanian Government reports in a press statement. 

European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova stated on Monday, after the meeting with Romanian Justice Minister Raluca Pruna, that Romania and Romanians have made great efforts to combat corruption and defend the independence of justice.

"We have seen a good track record of the judiciary and this is very encouraging. We have discussed in particular how the justice system can be strengthened further. Another important topic was how justice can contribute to the fight against terrorism and strengthen security. The Commission recently made several proposals to improve judicial cooperation across Europe. One proposal already on the table for the discussion of EU ministers regards the exchange of criminal records of non-EU citizens, the system is called ECRIS. I look forward to receiving the support of Romania on these files," Vera Jourova said in a press conference.

She emphasized that the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) will help tackle cross-border fraud and showed gratefulness for the Romanian Government's supportive demeanor on this matter.

"Finally, we touched up on a legislative proposal adopted recently by the Commission, namely regarding contract law rules for online sales. E-commerce offers many opportunities to both sellers and consumers but currently in Romania, the same as in many EU member-states, too few consumers or companies buy or sell online, especially cross-border. With our digital contract proposal we are trying to bring more trust, by giving more rights to consumers buying online while, at the same time, lowering the cost for businesses and facilitate their access to new markets across Europe," Jourova concluded.

JusMin Pruna: CVM - priority zero, judiciary working on fully internalizing latest report recommendations

Justice Minister Raluca Pruna on Monday said that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) is a priority zero and efforts are made "to fully internalize the recommendations of the latest report," so that Romania be able to prove it has a mature society and its judiciary has attained a level of professionalism where it can integrate all the benchmarks.

After the meeting with European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova, JusMin Pruna underscored that it is important for Romania that such a dialogue exists in Bucharest, too, and not only in Brussels.

"I have spoken with Mrs. Commissioner Jourova about Romania's further priorities in respect to justice reform. We talked about the CVM, included, reiterating that to me, personally, as a minister, and to Romania's Government, making progress particularly as regards the benchmarks and recommendations is a priority zero. We are working on fully internalizing the recommendations made in the latest report, so that we can prove that the Romanian society is a mature society and that Romania's judiciary has reached a professionalism level where it can integrate all these benchmarks," Raluca Pruna said.

The Minister showed that Romania is prepared to assume self-assessment under mechanisms of its own, which are mainly given by the strategy for the development of the judiciary, but also by the new National Anticorruption Strategy.

"We discussed the European agenda and the files promoted under this agenda. Romania is a traditional supporter of instruments promoting a strengthened area of justice, freedom and security, we have mainly talked about the projects regarding the European Public Prosecutor's Office, as Romania favors a very ambitious institution and approach in this respect, but also about other projects on the European agenda, which are related to an enhanced security for the European citizens, such as the projects on combating terrorism or money laundering," Raluca Pruna said after the meeting with Vera Jourova.

The Romanian Minister believes that the recent project promoted by the European Union concerning online commerce is an important instrument which will promote the advancement of the European internal market and will help it reach the potential it was created for.

"I believe Romania's national interests and the EU's interests converge as far as the freedom, security and justice agenda is concerned," Justice Minister Pruna underscored.

In turn, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova on Monday said the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) will be kept in 2016, as the recently released report includes both progress registered by Romania and things that still need to be worked on. 

"I know that the prime minister and other representatives proposed the gradual reduction, that would lead to the completion of the CVM. I shall not comment upon this aspect now, I only want to say that this year we shall continue to monitor the situation here and next year a decision will be made whether to continue this mechanism or choose another instrument to monitor the situation in Romania," Jourova said at the European Commission Representation in Bucharest.