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Gunther Krichbaum (Bundestag) Asked Justice Minister Toader to support Romanian candidate for EU Public Prosecutor

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Gunther Krichbaum, CDU MP and chairman of the Bundestag's Committee on European Union affairs, called on Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader to back Laura Codruta Kovesi for the position of head of the European Prosecutor's Office.

Explaining that former Chief prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Laura Codruta Kovesi is on the first position of the shortlist, followed by a candidate from France and a German one on the third spot, Krichbaum said that Mrs. Kovesi's competence is beyond doubt and she is practically predestined for this position. I could imagine, for instance, that Germany and France could reach a compromise and find a mutually agreed solution in favor of the Romanian candidate. I also addressed a request to the Romanian Justice Minister to support the Romanian candidate, because she has good chances and her bid for a high European position would practically be snagged a bit by her fellow nationals, Krichbaum told a press conference in Bucharest on Thursday.

The German official said that at the meeting with the Bundestag delegation, the JusMin had said that it wasn't him, but the President who had removed Kovesi from office as anti-graft chief prosecutor.

We know how things worked in Romania, and it would be simpler - to use a plastic example - make a camel go through the eye of a needle, than for the Venice Commission to accept such a violation of the rule of law, Krichbaum said, and went on to cite Tudorel Toader textually saying: "It would please me if Mrs. Kovesi would do to you what she did to us here in Romania," noting that such a blunt statement had actually left him exposed. Everything that Mrs. Kovesi has done was to fight for the rule of law, to combat corruption and she actually deserves support and not something else, Gunther Krichbaum told the news conference.

We are the Committee on European Affairs of the German Bundestag. We came to visit the country that has just taken over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but in the case of Romania there is also a second theme, namely rule of law and democracy. We arrived Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning we were supposed to have a meeting with the Minister of Internal Affairs, who however did not consider it necessary to attend and handed over the chairmanship of the meeting to a Secretary of State. One of the subjects approached were the August 10 events and the fact that the context has not yet been elucidated, then we had a meeting with Foreign Minister Melescanu and a lunch with representatives of the German business environment. One of the German companies deplored the fact that the legislative amendments, for instance through emergency ordinance, challenge the business environment which is unable to make due preparations, said the official.

The CDU MP cited as an example the political decision to transfer social contributions from the employer to the employee at the end of the previous year, and argued that German companies are unable to include the additional costs arising in the product cost, while deliveries still must be honored, which is why some companies are concerned and contemplate their possible departure from Romania.

Gunther Krichbaum also said the members of the Bundestag Committee had met with their peers from the Romanian Parliament's European Affairs Committee, and then had a discussion with former Prosecutor General and former DNA head Laura Codruta Kovesi.

This morning we had a more engaged discussion with Minister of Justice, Mr Toader, followed by a meeting with the President of the Constitutional Court, Mr. Dorneanu, then we visited the Magurele-based ELI project, an impressive project that would have deserved much more international attention, added the German official.

He also said on Thursday in Bucharest that if all the sentences handed down in the last four years by Romanian courts were declared as non-compliant following an appeal for annulment, and would consequently be referred to retrial, there would be a "jamming of the cases" in the dockets that would even result in the lawsuits being barred under the statute of limitations.

Noting that Romania has a very high economic potential, Krichbaum said prospects should be created for the young generation, while on the other hand he remarked that recent developments in Romanian justice are aimed at relativizing the situation of the rule of law and rule of law standards. He went on to cite the recent example of the appointments to the supreme court judge panels, where the magistrates were appointed by random draw, yet without considering the role of the president. If all the rulings handed down in the past four years were declared as non-compliant following an appeal for annulment, and would all enter retrial, there would be a jam of the cases in the courts' dockets and this would even end in the lawsuits being barred under the statue of limitations, Krichbaum told a press conference delivered after a meeting earlier in the day with Justice Minister Tudorel Toader. According to Krichbaum, it is clear who would benefit from such a situation.

In other news, referring to certain statistics according to which some 6 million Romanians are living abroad, he said this brain drain must be reduced, as replacing a Romanian with a Vietnamese cannot be a long-term solution. We need to make Romania attractive, for the people from abroad to return home and maybe others come to Romania too, said the chairman of the Bundestag's Committee on European Union affairs.



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