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CCR judges are no longer willing to participate in MCV assessments

de Razvan Diaconu , 26.3.2018

The President of the Constitutional Court (CCR) has communicated to the European Commission (EC) delegation the fact that “the Court plenary expressed its wish not to be involved in the program of the EC delegations in the MCV context,” according to a document published on the institution’s website.

CCR has invoked the imperative of having a “neutral position in the relations between public authorities and that imposes a reserve obligation on expressing views that are the subject of public debates with possible political connotations.”

Another CCR argument is that “it is not targeted by the issues /objectives pursued by MCV. In the discussions on achieving MCV objectives, the Court cannot engage in assessments of institutions referred to in the MCV reports, in the sense of analysing and assessing their activity.”

CCR says that on Thursday, March 15, 2018, the CCR received the visit of the European Commission (EC) delegation under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (MCV) in the judiciary field. The EC Delegation was headed by Julien Moesnier and comprised Jeanne De Jaegher, Ingo Weustenfeld, Irina Stefuriuc and Maria Arsene.

Participants on behalf of the Constitutional Court were Valer Dorneanu, the President of the Court, Claudia-Margareta Krupenschi, Head of President’s Cabinet, Magistrate Chief Assistant, and Benke Károly, Magistrate Chief Assistant.

CCR also states that:

“At the beginning of the meeting, the President of the Constitutional Court forwarded his and the Constitutional Court members’ greetings to the European Commission delegation and expressed his appreciation of its work and the quality of its reports on Romania’s progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (MCV), characterized by accuracy, objectivity and analytical depth, while also appreciating how some aspects of the Constitutional Court’s activity are reflected.

The President then informed the members of the delegation on the opinion of the Constitutional Court Plenary regarding the continuation of his participation in these meetings. Starting from the role, place and attributions of the Constitutional Court within the rule of law, which obliges it to have a neutral position in the relations between public authorities and imposes a reserve requirement in expressing views which are the subject of public debates, with possible political connotations, the Plenary of the Court expressed its wish for him to not be involved anymore in the European Commission delegations’ program in the MCV context. As a matter of fact, the Constitutional Court is not targeted by the issues/objectives pursued by MCV. In the discussions on achieving MCV objectives, the Court cannot engage in assessments of institutions referred to in the MCV reports, in the sense of analysing and assessing their activity.

The members of the delegation appreciated this position of the Court and stressed that they never regarded the meetings with the Court members as a way of monitoring or controlling it,” CCR does not forget to mention.

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