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Romania must make progress in fighting corruption: EC president

[JURIST] European Commission (EC) [official website] President Jose Manuel Barroso [official profile] on Monday said that the commission needs to see more results [speaking points, PDF; video] from Romania's effort to fight corruption and reform the judiciary, during a press conference with Romanian President Traian Basescu [official profile] and Prime Minister Emil Boc [official profile, in Romanian]. Romania is currently subject to increased scrutiny from the commission as a result of the country's failure to address the problems since joining the EU. If the commission is not satisfied with the progress made by Romania, it could be subject to a freeze in financial support. Recent criticisms stem in part from the country's inability to lift the immunity on corruption charges against former prime minister Adrian Nastase [official profile, in Romanian]. During the briefing the Romanian officials said that the government hopes to have all scrutiny removed [EU Observer report] by the end of 2009.

Romania has remained a target for criticism from the EU on corruption issues since it joined [JURIST report] in January 2007. In June 2007, the EC issued a progress report [JURIST report], saying that Romania needed to do more to achieve judicial reform, and combat corruption and organized crime. In July 2008, Romania was again criticized [EU report] for its failure to address the same issues.

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