Commenting on the outcome of the referendum in Romania on the impeachment of President Basescu, which failed due to a below-threshold turnout, Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit said:
"After the outcome of this farcical referendum, it is time to draw a line under the political circus in Romania and the power struggle between prime minister Ponta and president Basescu. Both sides must move on and demonstrate a commitment to European democratic values. This implies guaranteeing the rule of law and judicial independence, and general respect for EU democratic principles (1).
“Instead of this pointless party political theatre, Romania’s government should be united in tackling the real problems the country and its citizens face: notably combating corruption, strengthening the judicial system and further developing democratic checks and balances, as well as tackling its economic problems. No time can be wasted in implementing the necessary reforms highlighted by the European Commission in its monitoring report on the progress of Romania as an EU member (2). This monitoring must of course continue and the EU needs to develop a systematic approach to monitoring fundamental rights in its member states beyond the initial post-accession period.
"The European Parliament, for its part, must follow-up with its own assessment through the relevant committees ahead of a plenary debate scheduled for September. The first steps towards launching a procedure under Article 7(1) of the EU treaty must be taken and the Greens will push for this. This implies sending a fact-finding mission to Romania to assess the respect of democratic values and the rule of law.
"It is also crucial that threats to democracy in EU member states - whether Romania, Hungary or elsewhere - are treated as priorities for the Union as a whole. We must not become bogged-down in a tit-for-tat between centre-left and centre-right political families who are blinded by perceived loyalty to members of their clans."
(1) See Greens/EFA press release from 9 July 2012 http://www.greens-efa.eu/romania-7795.html
(2) See Greens/EFA press release from 18 July 2012 http://www.greens-efa.eu/romania-7865.html