According to a Freedom House report, 2007 meant political instability in Romania, where the Justice reform took a step back. The conclusion is that courts avoided sentences in major corruption cases and they preferred procedure tricks to postpone a decision. There is mentioned the severe split between the electors and their representatives in the Parliament of Romania, emerging once with the referendum meant to suspend President Traian Basescu.
The report goes that after joining the EU in 2007 the political class in Romania got to neglect the commitments made so that the country would reach the European structures. The conclusion is that the trend is positive in Bulgaria in terms of the democratic evolution, whereas Romania is going the wrong way. So the Freedom House mentions the red flag meant to warn the country not to deviate from the democratic process too much. The comments belong to Jeannette Goehring, editor of the report.
"Nations in Transit 2008" was released yesterday in Washington and Bucharest. It consists in an analysis of the stage of reforms in all the ex Communist states in Europe and Eurasia and it is grounded on data collected last year. The general idea is that from 2006 till 2007 Romania had a negative evolution in terms of Justice structure and independence and in terms of national governing as well. There is noticed that civil society, the electoral process and the local governing stayed the same. (...)
2007 was a step back in the reform of Romanian Justice. There is mentioned that after justice minister Monica Macovei had been dismissed in February 2007, although enjoying appreciation from both public opinion and the European Commission, her successor tried, but failed to dismiss a prosecutor working for the National Anti-Corruption Department and even to dismember the latter institution.
There is added that Romanian prosecutors went on charging important politicians and they were encouraged by independent organizations of magistrates. Despite magistrates' efforts, the repeated attempts of the government and of some MP to make Justice obey and put an end to investigations on corruption committed by some politicians were a constant threat against the independence of Justice. So the evaluation got to 3, 75 from 4.
As far as corruption is concerned, the report notices efforts to dwindle it. Still there is emphasized that the activity of the National Anti-Corruption Department just underlined the government's flaws and the lack of will to continue efforts to counter corruption after minister Macovei was dismissed.
The positive part played by the press is mentioned as well, given the corruption cases it disclosed. And public opinion is described as aware of how spread corruption is. And the evaluation sticks to 4.