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National Integrity Agency expects legitimacy to be threatened again

Romania’s revived National Integrity Agency (ANI) - a state department which verifies the wealth declarations of public officials - expects its legitimacy to come under threat by the end of the year

October 2010 - From the Print Edition

“ANI will continue to be contested and continue to be challenged and its existence will be threatened again,” said ANI general secretary Horia Georgescu.
Once ANI restarts its activity, the Agency expects resistance against its existence to return around November, as this is when cases regarding new disparities in wealth declarations of important public officials will emerge.
In August, the Romanian Senate passed a law re-establishing the powers of the agency.
The successful functioning of ANI is one of the core demands the European Union placed on Romania, so the country could secure accession in 2007.
However many politicians and public figures in Romania deem ANI a threat to their privacy and personal business.
In May, the Constitutional Court ruled that many aspects of the law on ANI could be in breach of the constitution, especially regarding privacy laws.
In June, against international criticism and the will of President Traian Basescu, the Senate adopted new laws leaving the agency neutered.
But in July, the Constitutional Court declared the Senate’s move unconstitutional, opening the door for policy-makers to draft this new National Integrity Agency law, which has revived the agency’s powers.
Some analysts believe the good functioning of ANI is necessary for Bucharest to support as one of the ‘indirect measures’ Romania must introduce in order to assure widespread European support for its accession to the Schengen space in spring 2011.

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