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Romania heads for clash with EU over legal sovereignty

Monday, July 5, 2021

Significance

After accentuated rule-of-law erosion during 2017-19, the new government encouraged hopes that such violations would become a thing of the past. However, last month, the government sacked the ombudsman, while the Constitutional Court declared void a judgement of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) defending judicial independence.

Impacts

  • Recent developments erode hopes that last month’s positive CVM report will lead to Romania’s Schengen zone accession later this year.
  • Failure to replace the ombudsman will not affect the coalition parties electorally, given the politicisation of rule-of-law issues.
  • Subnational courts will be left confused whether to apply the Constitutional Court or the CJEU ruling to legal disciplinary cases.
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