The President of the European Commission, His Excellency Jose Manuel Barroso
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Her Excellency Viviane Reding
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Her Excellency Cecilia Malmstrom
To the Secretary General of the European Commission, Ms. Catherine Day
Bucharest, July 3rd , 2012
Civil society warning: the rule of law under unprecedented attack in Romania
Dear Mr President
This is the third warning in less than two months, issued by a list of reputable Romanian civil society organizations, since the current Socialist-Liberal ruling coalition took power. The drift towards a non-democratic regime has continued, with serious steps taken in the last few days which will potentially affect the independence of institutions and the separation of powers.
On top of all, Mr Crin Antonescu, senator, president of the National Liberal Party and co-president of the ruling coalition, has declared publicly on July 2nd that all institutions that are "blocking the coalition from ruling", and in particular the Constitutional Court, must be changed.
These are serious threats against the underlining elements of a rule of law state. Therefore we, Romanian civil society organizations, ask the European Commission to strongly urge the Romanian government and ruling coalition to stop their current actions against the rule of law and separation of powers. We emphasize that the EU institutions have vigorously reacted previously, in the case of Hungary. We believe similar actions are necessary in our case. One such action would be to consider starting infringement procedures against Romania, based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 47.
We also want express our strong belief that the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (MCV) should continue, as an effective instrument for preserving democracy in Romania.
Group for Social Dialogue (GDS)
Expert Forum (EFOR)
Freedom House, Romania
Romanian Center for European Policy (CRPE)
Romanian Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH)
ActiveWatch - Media Monitoring Agency (MMA)
Romanian Independent Journalists' Association (AZIR)
Center for Independent Journalism (CJI)
The Assistance Center for NGO Assistance (CENTRAS)
Resource Center for Public Participation (CeRe)