WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:
THE ROMANIAN ANTI-CORRUPTION PROCESS: SUCCESSES AND EXCESSES
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Senate Visitors Center (SVC)
Since the fall of Communism, Romania’s greatest challenge has been the fight against corruption. This fight has largely succeeded, with powerful national-level prosecutors (the National Anticorruption Directorate) getting public support and scoring large numbers of convictions ranging from the level of local politicians to former Prime Ministers.
However, two worrying trends have developed recently. First, in what was seen as an attempt to exempt government officials from prosecution, a move by the government to pardon government officials whose abuse of office caused damages of less than $47,000 led to the largest mass protests since 1989. Second, there are indications that some elements of the Romanian state, including possibly the security services, are using the necessary and popular fight against corruption as a pretext, in a few cases, to punish political opponents and expropriate business interests.
The hearing will examine the current state of the Romanian anti-corruption process with goal of understanding its successes and excesses and how best to respond. The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Ambassador Mark Gitenstein, Special Counsel, Mayer Brown
- Heather Conley, Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- David Clark, Foreign Policy Commentator and Consultant
- Philip Stephenson, Chairman, Freedom Capital