On his visit to Bucharest, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth called for greater Romanian commitment in the EU and for the Government to cease its controversial anti-corruption legislation.
The Government’s controversial legislation (Emergency Decree no. 13) was the focus of the Minister of State’s talks with Laura Kövesi, head of the Romanian National Anti-corruption Directorate. Roth also held discussions on this issue with representatives from civil society.
The German minority: “bridge-builders and role models”
In his speech at the conference entitled “Romania and Germany – New Opportunities for Europe?”, the Minister of State for Europe emphasised the countries’ very close and friendly relations which he said were not only based on cultural and economic, but also on countless personal ties.
“The members of the German minority played and still play a major part as bridge-builders and role models. The same is true for the many Romanian citizens who live in Germany and enrich our relations. This daily interaction between Romanians and Germans is clear proof of the fact that diversity is part of Europe’s identity.”
In his talks with President Klaus Werner Johannis and Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Meleşcanu, Roth called for Romania to have a stronger voice in Europe. In view of the many crises and uncertainties, the support of such an important pro-European partner at the heart of Europe was particularly valuable, emphasised Minister of State Roth.
Criticism of emergency decree on anti-corruption legislation
Roth held frank and intensive talks with Liviu Dragnea, Chairman of the PSD party, which is the strongest ruling party. The Romanian Government had come in for criticism at the beginning of the year on account of controversial anti-corruption legislation. Massive protests among large parts of the population were the result.
“Friends must also be able to deal with criticism. Emergency Decree no. 13, issued at the end of January, greatly troubled the German Government and many other international partners, affecting their confidence in the Romanian Government’s desire to persevere in its path to success. We hope that the Romanian side will dispel all such doubts once and for all”, said Minister of State for Europe following the meeting.