This morning the European Commission presented its 12th progress report for Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), which looks at progress in anti-corruption and judicial reform. The report has a more positive spin since the last scathing report in July (see our previous post here), but continues to find that anti-corruption measures are not up to scratch.
While some progress has been made in Romania, there is still much room to put in the place the necessary safeguards and tackle impunity for corruption-related crimes. This is all the more important because six years after joining the EU, widespread corruption is steadily eroding citizen’s trust in their institutions.
Transparency International has identified three key problems in Romania:
- Non-compliance with legislation on corruption prevention and transparency;
- Corruption in public procurement – particularly the lack of transparency and accuracy in reporting the use of public resources;
- The lack of effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies.
The experience of Romania and Bulgaria has also meant a thorough rethink of the EU accession process with welcome steps to address corruption earlier on. Croatia will become the 28th EU Member state in July, and while it is arguably in much better shape than previous entrants, a new proposed law on “strategic investments” (see unofficial English translation here) is ringing alarm bells. If adopted, this new law could open up new corruption risks and a second round of robber-baron privatization in Croatia.
NB: For more information on Romania’s integrity system see the TI Romania study from last year.
Picture by Aleksander Dragnes (flickr)  Creative Commons BY