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The Struggle for the Rule of Law in Romania as an EU Member State:
The Role of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

Author:

Radu Carp

Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, RO
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Abstract

This article analyses the relations between the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, the rule of law, and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality in relation to Romania as an EU Member State. The European Commission has not provided a definition of the rule of law, but only a theoretical one. Despite this, the way it has influenced in practice many non-EU Member States that have a strong relationship with the EU is significant. The article raises the question whether the EU may demand from EU Member States like Romania that they respect the rule of law. The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) was established in 2006, based on Romania’s Treaty of Accession. It monitors, by means of periodical Reports, compliance with the rule of law standards. The article analyses two Reports from July 2012 and January 2013, by relating their contents to the principles of proportionality, subsidiarity and the EU obligation to respect the constitutional norms of Member States. The conclusion is that the way the CVM works does not contradict these principles. These CVM Reports also mention the Constitutional Court and the People’s Advocate (the Romanian Ombudsman) because these institutions are considered by the European Commission to be fundamental for compliance with rule of law standards – combating high-level corruption and ensuring the independence of the judiciary. The conclusion is that the rule of law is not only a theoretical concept with different meanings at the national level, but that there is also an EU rule of law acquis, which is a specific part of the EU acquis.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.252
How to Cite: Carp, R., (2014). The Struggle for the Rule of Law in Romania as an EU Member State:
The Role of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism. Utrecht Law Review. 10(1), pp.1–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.252
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Published on 31 Jan 2014.
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