The CVM Report highlighted several remaining shortcomings around judicial independence, judicial reform, the integrity framework and the country's anti-corruption measures which need to be resolved before Romania can complete the CVM process and have the mechanism lifted. The EU-Romania Business Society agreed with the findings and also the response and analysis the report is generating in the international community.
Yesterday also saw the release of Transparency International's Corruption Index, in which Romania moved up just one place to number 57. We of course welcome all progress but we had hoped that stronger progress might have been made in 2016, especially given that Romania had the guidance of last year's CVM Report as a target to work towards.
The EU-Romania Business Society welcomed comments today from MEP Iveta Grigule in response to the CVM report. Speaking from Brussels, Ms Grigule commented: "The findings of the report seem reasonable and Romania can clearly see the areas where the country must improve before they may have the CVM lifted. The report says that corruption represents a reputational risk for the country and acts as a deterrent for foreign investment. We all hope that the country's new government can work towards setting new standards. Last year was a damaging year for the country in terms of their reputation with foreign investors, with authorities seizing the assets of Kazakh energy investors KazMunayGas, and losing court battles with the Czech Republic's CEZ, Italy's ENEL, Germany's E.on and of course Austria's Raiffeisen group. Romania has such great potential, especially around helping Europe with energy security and diversity of supply. 2017 could be the year for the country to improve, both on rule of law and in its treatment of foreign investors."
We also welcomed the words of the European Commission's First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans when he said yesterday: "The speed of this process depends how quickly the Romanian authorities are able to take the remaining steps in an irreversible way, in a way that does not call into question the progress made so far. I hope in 2017 we will see the speed, determination and internal safeguards needed to complete the necessary reforms and ensure the irreversibility of the results."
SOURCE EU-Romania Business Society