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Projects of Freedom House Romania and Expert Forum, praised in the CVM's Technical Report of the European Commission

The Technical Report attached to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism's Report, published by the European Commission on January 28th 2015, mentions several projects developed by Freedom House Romania as best practice examples, in partnership with other non-governmental organizations, most notably Expert Forum, with official institutions – the Ministry of Justice, the Superior Council of Magistracy, the National Institute of Magistracy, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Anticorruption Directorate, the National Council for Solving Complaints, the National Integrity Agency, together with HotNews.ro and EurActiv platforms, and the National Association of Specialists in Procurement (ANSA).

As seen in the Report, a subchapter of Chapter 4, in which the role of civil society in fighting corruption is described, the series of seminars “Media and Justice”, developed by Freedom House Romania and Expert Forum within the Initiative for a Clean Justice.

The seminar “Media and Justice - respecting the red lines, preserving the freedom of information”, which was financed by the United States Embassy in Bucharest, is also mentioned in the Report. 14 journalists and 12 anti-corruption prosecutors were present at the event, which was in congruence with the exposition of the new communication rules between magistrates and journalists, published by the Superior Council of Magistracy. 

The Technical Report of the European Commission also mentions the “Fighting Public Procurement Criminality” program, an international and ample project, developed by Freedom House Romania, in partnership with 17 public institutions and non-governmental organizations, co-financed by the European Commission, and financially supported by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – Rule of Law program South East Europe, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Romania and the British Embassy in Bucharest.  

The Technical Report  of the European Commission mentions the training of 122 magistrates, as well as judicial police officers and financial investigators, within the scope of the project, in 2014.

Another subchapter underlines the “important role in raising awareness about corruption, as well as identifying specific cases. A project called The Public Procurement files [section developed in partnership with Hotnews.ro and EurActiv Romania] was launched in April 2014, to raise awareness of public procurement corruption and to identify the loopholes used.”(p. 33), as the cited document shows. “The results have been used in prosecutions involving prejudice of several millions euro. It has also brought to light specific practices which can help to identify or dissuade other cases. (…) The platform was launched as part of the project “Fighting Public Procurement Criminality. An Operational Approach”, coordinated by Freedom House Romania Foundation, with important institutional partners in Romania, France and Germany.”(p. 33) 

The document that complements the CVM Report also mentions the project developed by the General Anticorruption Directorate – “Development of the civil society involvement in drafting, implementing and assessing anti-corruption policies” – of which Freedom House Romania is a partner, together with Expert Forum, Asociatia Pro-Democrația(Pro-Democracy Association), Centrul pentru Jurnalism Independent (Center for Independent Journalism), Institutul pentru Politici Publice (Institute for Public Policy).

An assessment report on Civil society organisations’ involvement in drafting, implementing and monitoring anticorruption policies in Romania, as well as a Manual of cooperation best-practices were issued, giving specific examples from Romania, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and from other Member States.

NATIONAL PROJECTS

WATCHDOG

07-07-2017

The Romanian Fiscal Agency's Raid on RISE Project – An Attempt to Intimidate the Press

The Romanian Fiscal Agency's Raid on RISE Project – An Attempt to Intimidate the Press

We are deeply concerned about the Romanian Agency for Fiscal Administration's (ANAF) raid on the reputed investigative journalism platform RISE Project, which we feel was an attempt to intimidate and silence the press. The context in which this “random” ANAF inspection took place (on Thursday, July 6th, exactly on the day when the journalists were announcing the publication of a new episode from their investigative report series regarding the PSD leader and the second day after Liviu Dragnea had publicly cast doubt upon the sources of RISE Project’s financing), as well as the unconvincing explanations of the ANAF leadership indicate that we are dealing with a show of force meant to pressure journalists and the free press through a state-run body. Such practices are often met in the former Soviet space controlled by Vladimir Putin and in Recep Tayyp Erdogan’s Turkey and they are incompatible with the values of a member state of the European Union and of NATO.

Freedom House Romania is an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.

 

Freedom is possible only in democratic political systems in which the governments are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of minorities and women, are guaranteed.

 

Freedom ultimately depends on the actions of committed and courageous men and women. We support nonviolent civic initiatives in societies where freedom is denied or under threat and we stand in opposition to ideas and forces that challenge the right of all people to be free. Freedom House Romania functions as a catalyst for freedom, democracy and the rule of law through its analysis, advocacy and action.

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