Bucharest source of “concern”
By Nathalie Vandystadt | Friday 06 July 2012
After Viviane Reding, it is now the European Commission as a whole that has expressed “concern” over the political crisis in Romania (see
Europolitics 4459). In the EU institutions’ corridors, there are whispers of a possible ‘coup’, after the centre-left coalition that is in power accelerated, on 6 July, the discharge of the centre-right President, Traian Basescu.
José Manuel Barroso is set to meet the Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, on 12 July.
The EU executive has made no secret of the means of pressure it can use on Romania (and Bulgaria): its annual report on the country’s progress in terms of justice and the fight against corruption. The report also functions as a barometer for the EU countries that have long been hostile to the integration of Sofia and Bucharest in the Schengen area without border control. The Netherlands would potentially withdraw its reservations based on these reports, expected in the second half of July. Recent developments could compromise the progress made over the last five years, the Commission warned. Paris, Berlin and the US ambassador to Romania also voiced their concerns.
Ponta tried to be reassuring, declaring: “Romania will remain a stable country where the rule of law, the constitution, European and international standards will be respected”.