Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International and Transparency International Romania and Transparency International Ukraine welcome the government of Romania’s withdrawal of emergency laws that appeared to weaken the fight against corruption and call for full implementation of the current the anti-corruption legislation.

The Romanian government must reconfirm that it will not introduce laws that would grant immunity to public officials but rather commit to strengthening its efforts to prevent corruption.

“The world is watching. Hundreds of thousands of Romanians are protesting. Transparency International is watching. The government must not weaken its fight against corruption. There should be no impunity for corruption including for public officials or business leaders. No new laws should try to introduce anti-corruption loopholes,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

“The Romanian government should focus on strengthening efforts for preventing corruption including introducing stronger corporate ethics standards and implementing the anti-corruption legislation that already exists. It should not reduce sanctions for corruption and there should be no ceiling on what corrupt officials or companies can get away with. This sends the wrong message,” said Victor Alistar, executive director of Transparency International Romania.

“Events in Romania is a good example for Ukraine. They show us that fight against corruption is a long and systemic way which give results over time and due to active work of new authorities and public attention to this fight. This example illustrates that even if we get rid of 1250 corrupt officials, the system will try to resist and that is why it requires public protection. Therefore, we express solidarity with our colleagues from Romania in the fight against the corrupt system,” emphasized Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine.

The current protests are against executive orders signed late in night that could have been adopted with no respect for proper public debate and accountability standards. The legislation will now be debated in parliament.

Abuse in office is illegal in Romania, based on a special law that remains unchanged. It applies to any abuse that generates private benefit for public officials.

Transparency International Romania is also calling for the government to confirm that it will not reduce the prison sentences for these offences and that any debate in parliament about these laws is made public.
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