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Iohannis: I've explicitly agreed to make granting of European funds conditional on rule of law

President Klaus Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Palace on Wednesday that he was "explicitly in agreement with the condition that European funds be granted to respect for the rule of law" and that, together with the Executive, he wanted efforts to be made to make our country "an example to follow" in this regard.

"We agree and have explicitly agreed to make the granting of European funds conditional on respect for the rule of law. In Romania we are determined - both I, the Government, and the democratic parties - to make it so that the rule of law is respected very well, to become an example to follow for others. So, yes, I agree that European funds should be conditional on respect for the rule of law. How this can be done - surely, by analysis, by study, by voting, in the end," the president said.

He also spoke of the first report on the rule of law in the EU, published by the European Commission on Wednesday. In this respect, he stated that he preferred this assessment of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), so that Romania and Bulgaria would no longer be discriminated against.

"I appreciate the appearance of this report. It is the first report to examine the situation of the rule of law, freedom of the press and so on in all the Member States of the European Union. Romania has long maintained that this is what we need instead of the CVM which discriminates in some way Romania and Bulgaria. It is very good that we have this report. It is very good that in this report things are said just as we see them," the president pointed out.

In this respect, he gave as an example the assessment of the Laws of Justice and the rule of law in the document.

"It is clearly said: between 2017 and 2019, the evolution was very problematic. In 2020, the government in office is trying to revalidate, restart the process to balance what went wrong. So things are very good. At the same time, some of the issues that have also appeared in the CVM reports are also being recalled, and all these things will be reflected in the projects that will be presented this very evening by the Minister of Justice. There are draft laws to repair the Laws of Justice, which will go into a large debate, a public debate, in a different manner than the PSD did, which arranged them there, somewhere, in a room from the party or from Parliament, no one knows, went out with them, pushed them with force and almost ruined all of our democracy," he said.

Iohannis asserted that "this kind of report is useful because we can figure out where more action is needed in the European Union, where there are examples of good practice, how to intervene to make Justice stronger, more independent".




Thursday, October 1, 2020