The chief of Romania’s anti-corruption agency has stepped down due to what she describes as a “hostile environment”. The move comes at an awkward time for the country: it has just commenced its EU presidency.
Anca Jurma was appointed to the role after the former head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) was pushed out by the government in the summer. Jurma said, “All this time I did my best to ensure the DNA functioned well, despite the hostile environment in which the institution had to work”.
Romania’s EU presidency started this year against a backdrop of critical comments both from Brussels and its own opposition parties. Brussels is clear it wants the country’s recent judicial reforms scrapped.
The former chief, Kövesi, is challenging her dismissal at the ECHR.
Under Kövesi the DNA made major strides, leading to a serious backlash from the political class who claimed it was abusing its remit and overstepping its jurisdiction.
These developments cast a serious shadow, once again, on the ability of the EU to maintain due standards across the bloc. Stamping out corruption really must be a key focus for the EU with a particular focus on its newer members states.
If an anti-corruption agency is not upsetting the political class then it’s not doing its job properly.