On 31st of January 2017, Romanian Government has adopted a government (emergency) ordinance that changes a few articles in the Criminal Law:

The Romanian Government’s emergency ordinance to change the Penal Code decriminalizes or and reduces the criminal punishments for corruption offences such as abuse of office, conflict of interest, and negligence at work.

In layman's terms, they virtually legalized theft from public funds, as it is much harder to prove and the penalties are drastically reduced.

Some of its changes are applicable at once, others after 10 days. Anyway, massive protests started within all major cities.

Justice related process have always been a problem in Romania and, for several years, it is being monitored using Cooperation and Verification Mechanis (more details).

Several major powers have sent a disagreement message, as indicated here.

Question: what are the consequences that Romania can face from the European Union? (e.g. infringements, funding cuts). Can Romanians lose certain rights conferred by European Union membership?

1 Answer 1


I will try to answer my own question.

Firstly, according to this answer there is no mechanism to expel a country from European Union. Also, with about 65% of Romanians with positive attitude towards the EU, there is very little chance of a Roexit anytime soon.

Secondly, according to this article related to Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union, severe problems related to justice may trigger serious penalties. Triggers (my emphasis):

Article 2 - The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

Worst things that may happen (from Article 7):

the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of the Treaties to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons.

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