In a report published today, the Council of Europe anti-corruption body (GRECO) expresses concern about the use of emergency procedures to amend legislation in Romania instead of using proper parliamentary process.
GRECO has followed closely recent developments in Romania related to the amendments (subsequently withdrawn) to its criminal legislation in connection with Romania’s obligations as a party to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption. GRECO considers that such far-reaching initiatives should be thoroughly examined and scrutinised by Parliament. It also alerts the authorities to the need to be mindful of the country’s commitments regarding incriminations against corruption and of the relevant GRECO recommendations in any future legislative initiatives.
The report evaluates progress made by Romania in implementing GRECO´s previous recommendations on the criminalisation of corruption and the transparency of political funding. GRECO concludes that Romania has so far implemented satisfactorily fifteen of the twenty recommendations it issued in the first evaluation report on these topics adopted in 2010. Two recommendations remain not implemented and three recommendations have been partly implemented.
Concerning the criminalisation of corruption, GRECO had concluded in previous compliance reports that, with the entry into force of the new Criminal Code in 2014 and some other amendments, the incriminations of bribery and trading in influence of Romania, as they now stand, comply to a large extent with the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173).
In the report, GRECO points out that Romania has taken significant steps to strengthen transparency of political funding. It welcomes the adoption in 2015 of amendments to the law on the financing of political parties and election campaigns, and of new methodological norms to facilitate its practical implementation. Moreover, the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA) was given central responsibility and resources to supervise political financing.
GRECO calls on the Romanian authorities to take all the necessary steps to fully comply with outstanding recommendations concerning both the criminalisation of corruption and the transparency of political funding.