Sunday

24th Sep 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Quiet showdown in Barcelona

Thousands of Catalans have taken to the streets, in protest against the Spanish government's efforts to prevent the independence referendum. Both sides know that violence would go against their cause.

EU 'embarrassed' by Catalan 'taboo'

Faced with the growing tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments, the member states and EU institutions would prefer not to get involved.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel wins fourth term, exit polls say
  2. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  3. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  4. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  5. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  6. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  7. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  8. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel