According to Article 2 of the EUT the European Union and its Members are based on fundamental values, including democracy and the rule of law. In case of clear risk of violation of these values by a Member State the Council may take action according to Article 7.
In Romania such a risk presently exists after the new socialist Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, has openly defied the conservative President Traian Basescu and the Constitutional Court on Romania’s representation at the June 28/29 meeting of the European Council, which the PM attended against the declared ruling by the President and the Constitutional Court.
Since then the dispute has escalated further:
- The socialist party and its liberal ally have sacked the opposition speakers in both houses of parliament.
- They have threatened to replace several judges of the Constitutional Court.
- They have called for a vote in Parliament on a possible suspension of President Basescu that may be a a first step towards an impeachment procedure.
These steps have raised concerns by EU and US representatives about the state of democracy and the rule of law in Romania.
Adding to these internal power disputes the pressure on PM Ponta to resign because of charges on plagiarism raised by the prestigious UK journal “Science” and the desperate economic situation of the country, it seems urgent for Romania to return to impeccable democratic and legal standards.
The EU should therefore not wait long before clarifying the situation and starting the procedure foreseen by article 7 of the EUT.Author : Eberhard Rhein