Thursday

20th Sep 2018

Romania to hold corruption referendum

  • Tens of thousands have protested against the government's efforts to water down anti-graft legislation. (Photo: Paul Arne Wagner)

Romanian MPs have backed a proposal for a referendum on how to fight corruption, after two weeks of mass protests against the government's efforts to water down existing legislation.

The referendum was suggested by president Klaus Iohannis, a centre-right politician and opponent of the centre-left government. He will now have to frame the question and set the date of the vote.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Romania has seen the largest street protests since the end of communism, after the government tried to pass a decree that would have made corruption punishable only if the damages exceeded €40,000.

The decree would have halted the trial of Liviu Dragnea, the leader of Grindeanu's Social Democratic Party, who is accused of abuse of power.

The government withdrew the decree more than a week ago, but protests have continued every night since.

Tens of thousands of people have been gathering outside the government headquarters at Victory square.

Romania joined the EU in 2007, but it is still dogged by corruption, according to a report by the European Commission in January.

Analysis

Why Romania erupted in protest

Current anger over corruption laws can be traced back to a night-club fire in 2015, when many died because of lax safety standards. Romanians then realised that corruption can kill.

Opinion

Romania, the endless anti-corruption race

Romanians take to the streets in anti-government protests due to a proposed amendment to the country's anti-corruption legislation. But will this have any effect?

New Romanian PM tries to reassure EU

"Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past," said the new Romanian prime minister, Mihai Tudose, in Brussels amid EU Commission warning on corruption.

News in Brief

  1. UK's Brexit plan 'won't work', says EU's Tusk
  2. Austria ex-chancellor hints at running for Juncker's job
  3. Greece to move asylum-seekers from overcrowded Lesbos camp
  4. Transatlantic soya trade soars due to trade wars
  5. EU tables strategy for connecting Europe and Asia
  6. Bulgaria backs Hungary in dispute with EU
  7. Trump urged Spain to build Sahara wall to stop migrants
  8. EU-Arab League summit proposed for February in Egypt

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  4. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  5. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  6. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  7. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  8. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  9. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  10. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us