State Department spokesman: US is deeply concerned about the Romanian Govt.’s recent measures

Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_State.svgThe recent measures taken by the Romanian Government undermine the rule of law and put Romania’s international credibility and attractiveness for investment at stake, according to US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, quoted by Associated Press.

“The US is profoundly concerned about the Romanian Government’s recent measures, which undermine the rule of law and weaken the responsibility for financial or corruption crimes,” Toner said,Hotnews.ro reports..

Hans Klemm, the US Ambassador to Romania, said today that the US hoped that Romania would consolidate the rule of law. “It is the hope of the United States, and this is not confined to Romania, but it also includes Romania, that our partners, our allies, our friends consolidate the rule of law, and strengthen the fight against corruption, and not take steps to weaken that fight,” the ambassador said, quoted by Digi24.ro.

The Romanian Government passed on Tuesday evening an emergency ordinance decriminalizing some corruption offences. The European Commission alongside many of Romania’s international partners reacted to the bill, expressing concern about the country’s ability to keep the anti-corruption track-record it has been noted for recently, says Romania-Insider.com.

The European Commission reacted to the Romanian government’s decision by saying the fight against corruption needs to be advanced in Romania, not undone.

USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada signed on Wednesday a letter stating that the government’s recent actions “undermined Romania’s progress on rule of law and the fight against corruption over the past ten years.” The British and Swedish Embassies in Bucharest also issued statements of concern regarding the matter.

Gunther Krichbaum, the president of the European Affairs Committee of the German Parliament (Bundestag), said Romania risks losing the right to vote in the EU if the current government doesn’t withdraw the bill amending the Criminal Code. In his turn, European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans urged the Romanian government to reconsider the recent measures and said that the legislation could affect the disbursement of European funds in Romania.

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