Following a May constitutional court ruling that the president, rather than the prime minister, should represent Romania in EU meetings, the government in July stripped the court of its powers to overrule parliamentary decisions, replaced the ombudsman with a party loyalist, and took control of the official gazette that publishes court decisions and laws, in order to delay Constitutional Court rulings coming into effect.
In July, the European Parliament, European Commission, and CoE criticized these actions as contrary to the rule of law, with Commission President JoséManuel Barroso referring to possible infringement proceedings. A July European Commission report raised serious concerns about Romania’s commitment to the rule of law. It called on the country to reverse measures impacting judicial independence and appoint an ombudsman with cross-party support.
Unabridged version of the HRW World Report 2013 available HERE.