Franco Frattini, a vice president of the European Commission and an EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, is to arrive to Bucharest today in order to talk to several Romanian officials.
He is to meet with Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu first and then deliver a speech at the Conference of Central and Eastern European Schools of Magistracy. The EU officials is also to talk to the interior minister Vasile Blaga, the Justice minister Monica Macovei, the general attorney Laura Codruta Kovesi and the DNA (national Anti-Corruption Department) chief Daniel Morar. The last meeting scheduled for this afternoon is with the President of Romania Traian Basescu and it is to take place in Cotroceni Palace.
Commissioner Frattini's visit occurs at difficult times for Romanian politics, just when authorities are elaborating the first monitoring report on Justice and the fight against corruption. The European Commission is to release the report by the end of the month. If the Commission concludes Romania hasn't carried out its commitments concerning the modernization of Justice and the fight against corruption, the application of the safeguard clause may be recommended.
It is to be noticed that German MP Gunther Krichbaum has warned that the application of the safeguard clauses may strike back unless Romania hurries with reforms. One month ago Social-Democrat Susanne Kastner, a vice president of the German Parliament, warned in her turn about Romania's poor capacity to handle EU funds, claiming that the postponement of elections for MEPs in Romania might do harm to the country's image abroad.
As for Bucharest, the Romanian President is up to some surprise. He invited the heads of parties to consultations on a solution to the ongoing crisis. (G.D., R.A.)