Just as her country assumes the rotating European Union Presidency, the head of Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) has quit over what she called a “hostile environment.” The resignation comes six months after her predecessor at the agency, which investigates and prosecutes suspected cases of corruption, was fired in controversial circumstances.
“I did my best to ensure the DNA functioned well, despite the hostile environment in which the institution had to work,” Anca Jurma told Euractiv. She didn’t elaborate on what she meant but attempts by the DNA to investigate corruption among local elected officials have raised the ire of many in the country’s political class.
Jurma was appointed to the role after the former head of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruța Kövesi, was pushed out by the government in July, 2018. She is challenging that firing to the European Court of Human Rights.
Romania has assumed the EU presidency despite sharply critical comments from officials, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, questioning whether anticorruption efforts have been moving in the right direction.
Juncker earlier said that Romania needs “an atmosphere and spirit of consensus,” because “pointless polemics could cause multiple problems internally and externally.”
He said a country holding the EU’s Presidency “should muffle or leave to one side the internal political problems. Romania shouldn’t create a shadow by exporting domestic problems to Europe,” suggesting the bloc, which has done almost nothing to rein in corruption, shouldn’t be an embarrassed during Romania’s tenure.