The rise and fall of Liviu Dragnea

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Liviu Dragnea (photo: Flickr, Social Democratic Party, CC BY 2.0)

Two conflicting demonisations had been taking place în the last two years and a half în Romania – one against the justice and the other – against the jailed leader of the Social Democratic Party

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 4 June 2019 on the site of the Bulgarian newspaper ”Word”. It is published here in its complete form. 

Romanian politics is more dynamic than the Bulgarian one and often manages to mobilise public action. While the last ten years pass in Bulgaria under the aegis of the so-called “stability”, at the northern neighbours there are constantly turning points in political life. Such a turning point were also the European elections on 26 May 2019.

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Codru Vrabie: The pre-2017 ”golden era” of anti-corruption in Romania was falsified

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Codru Vrabie (photo: Vlad Stanciu, Asociation INK)

An interview with the expert of good governance about the false dilemma that Romania would be either the country of the prosecutors, or the country of the corrupted politicians, about the hope for social and judicial modernisation in Romania today, about the phenomenon Laura Köveşi, about the role of the future European prosecution in Eastern Europe and about the way Romanian anti-corruption looks like, when seen from Chişinău

Vladimir Mitev

Codru Vrabie is a civic activist, trainer and consultant on topics related to good governance, transparency, accountability and integrity in the public sector. He has contributed to many reforms in the judiciary and public administration of Romania. Vrabie has BAs in legal and political sciences (Romania, Bulgaria, the USA) and MAs in administrative sciences and European affairs (Romania, Netherlands, Spain). He has been working for various Romanian civil society organizations since 1998. In 2010, Vrabie started working with the “Leaders for Justice” programme, which was replicated in 2017 in the Republic of Moldova. In April 2018, Codru joined the team of the telegraful.net website, where he works on the podcast series ”Hypotheses” – a project of the ”Courage Ahead” Association (Curaj Înainte).

This article was published on 17 March on the Romanian section of the site „The Barricade”. 

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Will Romania give up on its anti-corruption fight?

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Liviu Dragnea and Klaus Iohannis (foto: CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0)

After Donald Trump entered the White House the northern neighbour is one of the territories of global fight between pro-German and anti-German powers

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 5 June 2018 on the site and in the paper ”Word”. 

Has the end of the Romanian anti-corruption fight come? The question has probably passed through the head of many people, as the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) stipulated on 30 May 2018 that the urge of the minister of justice Tudorel Toader for resignation of the chief of the anti-corruption fight DNA is legitimate (because according to the court prosecutors are subordinated to its ministry). The CCR also defined the president Klaus Iohannis` rejection to sign the order for Laura Koveşi`s resignation as unconstitutional deed. In other words the Constitutional Court said that Iohannis, who is considered a pillar of anticorruption, must literally cut a part of his political body, signing the order for Koveşi`s resignation.

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Codru Vrabie: Romanian anti-corruption may take a new form, but it would hardly cease

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Codru Vrabie (photo: Vlad Stanciu/Asocaţia INK)

The expert on good governance talked with Baricada about the evolution of anti-corruption fight in Romania, about the deficits of the current discourse on potential union with the Republic of Moldova and about the need for concrete steps for better communication and closer ties between Romanians and their neighbours

Vladimir Mitev

Codru Vrabie is a civic activist, trainer and consultant on topics related to good governance, transparency, accountability and integrity in the public sector. He has contributed to a lot of reforms in the judiciary and public administration of Romania. Vrabie has BAs in legal and political sciences (Romania, Bulgaria, USA) and MAs in administrative sciences and European affairs (Romania, Netherlands, Spain). He has been working for the Romanian civil society since 1998. Starting in 2010, Vrabie works with the „Leaders for Justice” programme, which was replicated in 2017 in the Republic of Moldova. In April 2018, Codru joined the team of the site telegraful.net, where he works on the podcast series ”Hypotheses” – a project of Association ”Courage Ahead” (Curaj Înainte).

Baricada talked with Vrabie about Romania`s anti-corrupion`s direction of movement, after a member of the parliament from the ruling Social Democratic Party proposed in April 2018 changes to the penal legislation, which are believed to be beneficial for those accused of corruption and to make the work of prosecutors more difficult. Ever since 2017 there has been a tendency for redefinition of Romanian fight against corruption. Another imporant issue in the interview is Vrabie`s criticism towards the current discourse on unification between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Vrabie also shared his thoughts on regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe and on Romanian-Bulgarian relations. 

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Vladimir Mitev: A redefinition of Romania’s anti-corruption fight takes place

The founder of the blog “Bridge of Friendship” analyses the context in which the European Commission published its report for the progress of judicial reform in Romania in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio

On 18 November 2017 the founder of the blog “Bridge of Friendship” Vladimir Mitev gave an interview for the emission “Saturday 150” of the Bulgarian National Radio. The interview was about  the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification report of the European Commission on progress of Romania’s judicial reform.

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Georgi Vasilski: The attacks against DNA aim at undermining the external trust in Romania

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The former correspondent of the Bulgarian Natioanal Radio in Bucharest has been interviewed in the emission “Saturday 150”, in which he addressed the developments in the Romanian anti-corruption fight in the last months

The Romanian anti-corruption fight has become an export resource of Romania. That is why it has been scrutinized under lenses not only to the north of the Danube, but to the south of it, and in other countries such as Republic of Moldova. On 27 July 2017 the blog “Bridge of Friendship” has posted the article “The Romanian anti-corruption fight as Game of Thrones”, in which the recent events in anti-corruption, the external and the internal context, that influence it, have been analysed. This article was referred to as Georgi Vasilski – the former correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio, has been interviewed on 29 July 2017 in the emission “Saturday 150”.

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The Romanian fight against corruption as Game of Thrones

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The chief prosecutor of DNA Laura Koveși (foto: YouTube CC-BY via Wikipedia Commons)

The renewed attack against the chief of the anti-corruption prosecution Laura Kovesi and the recently appeared tendency for conditional liberation or conditional condemnation of people sentenced for corruption in Romania show that the system reacts to the changes in the external and the internal political balances

Vladimir Mitev

This article appeared on 28 July at the site ”The Barricade”.

The Romanian fight against corruption reminds of the series “Game of Thrones”, where all the relations between the protagonists are those of power. They either kill one another, or practice war in the form of intimate relationships, but at the end of the day everything they do is to participate in the eternal fight for power. Anticorruption to the north of the Danube is often presented as a clash between good and evil. In fact it represents the current balance of forces between the participants in the political game.

The events of the last months show that perhaps there is an ongoing redefinition of the Romanian fight against corruption, through which it sets itself for the new external and internal political conditions of Romania. The process became more visible even in Bulgaria in the last weeks after different Bulgarian media discovered with a delay of one month that audio recordings have appeared in Romania, showing how the chief of the Romanian anti-corruption prosecution DNA Laura Kovesi “orders” a criminal investigation against the prime minister Sorin Grindeanu.

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