Participants from Croatia and Romania participating in the seminar on protective orders in civil law in Cologne
Participants from Croatia and Romania participating in the seminar on protective orders in civil law in Cologne

Legal Policy Situation

Romania has been a member of the EU since 2007. Accession took place after a lengthy period of approximation, which was supported intensively by various programmes, including those of the IRZ. Even after Romania’s accession, there is still a need for reforms in many areas of the judiciary. Romania’s progress in the judiciary and in the fight against corruption will continue to be monitored under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) by the EU Commission.

As part of a controversial judicial reform by the new government in the year under review, the intention was to implement drastic changes in the field of the judiciary which, among other things, directly affect the fight against corruption.

Overall Concept

Since 1999, the IRZ has been supporting Romania on their journey of judicial reforms. During this time, the IRZ has established excellent relations with the Romanian judicial institutions. Since 2012, cooperation has shifted to EU Action Grant projects dealing with various criminal and civil law issues (see also page 58). The IRZ plans to support the reforms in Romania as part of EU projects and to carry out joint projects with other partners also in the future.

Projects financed by the European Union

EU Action Grant Project: Cooperation between the EU Member States for the purposes of solving the civil cases regarding the wrongful removal or retention of a child

This project aims to improve cooperation between the relevant authorities in the EU Member States in regard to the implementation of the Directive 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility.

A seminar is planned for March 2018 that will rather take on the magnitude of a conference as regards the number of 150 participants. Representatives of the judiciary and other professional groups dealing with the implementation of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction are invited from all EU Member States. Partners in this project are the Croatian Judicial Academy, the Latvian Ministry of Justice, the German Federal Office of Justice and the IRZ, with the Romanian Ministry of Justice taking the lead.

Within this two-day conference, it is above all the following topics that shall be addressed in individual contributions: “Child abduction”, “Exercising parental custody” and “Enforcing a judgment on the return of a child by a court of another EU Member State”. Based on current scheduling, the project will terminate in spring 2018.

EU Action Grant Project: Training the judges in the field of securing the rights of the EU citizens within the criminal proceedings

This project was carried out in cooperation with the Romanian Ministry of Justice and the Croatian Judicial Academy. It had a budget of EUR 297,000, in which the IRZ was involved with EUR 10,000. The project began in February 2017 with a kick-off meeting and was completed in December 2017.

The aim of the project was to improve cooperation between EU Member States on the implementation of the EU Directive 2010/64 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings and on the application of Directive 2012/13 on the right to information in criminal proceedings.

The activities of this project comprised a kick-off meeting, an analysis of training needs, a working meeting of experts as well as six seminars held in Romania, Croatia and Germany. A handbook was also prepared based on the conclusions drawn from the discussions with the participants during the seminars. The project was concluded with a two-day conference in Constanta, Romania.

EU Action Grant Project: Protecting the Civil Rights of the European Citizens – Multidisciplinary Approach

In this project, the IRZ was a partner of the Craiova Court of Appeal, Romania. Another partner was the Rijeka Regional Court, Croatia. For the participation of German experts and participants, the IRZ had a budget of EUR 35,000 at its disposal. The project was implemented between July 2016 and June 2017.

The aim of the project was to provide the judiciary with multidisciplinary training on civil protection of EU citizens in cross-border cases. Both the EU Directive 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters and the Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States were addressed in the seminars.

Three seminars were held, one in Medulin, Croatia, one in Cologne and one in Iași, Romania, with a total of 75 participants. Moreover, a handbook was developed on the subject of the project, which is available in German, Croatian and Romanian and is being distributed in the participating countries.

Outlook

The plan is to continue to support Romania in its reforms as part of EU projects and to implement joint projects with further partners.