Romania braced for huge protests amid ‘big step backwards’ on rule of law

big step

Romania is taking the biggest step backwards on the rule of law since it joined the European Union, a former justice minister has warned before what could be the biggest street protests in a year this weekend in Bucharest.Monica Macovei, who was an architect of Romania’s anti-corruption policy when she was justice minister from 2004-07, said changes introduced to bring the country into the EU were being dismantled. She said recent changes to the judicial system and the proposed decriminalisation of some corruption offences constituted an unprecedented assault on the rule of law since Romania joined the EU in 2007. “There has been backwards and forwards, but this is worse.” Macovei, now an MEP, was speaking to the Guardian at her offices in Brussels before Romania lost its second prime minister in seven months this week. Viorica Dăncilă has been named as prime minister designate, following the sudden departure of Mihai Tudose, who fell out with the leader of the ruling Social Democrat party.(theguardian)…[+]