Romania has the highest rate of serious and organized crime in the European Union. In 2013, 57% of the victims of human trafficking networks identified in the EU were Romanian citizens, and in 2015 the number went up to 6101 (40% of all victims).
Organized crime is "a multinational business". The Tandarei network has earned at least £40,000 per child trafficked every 3 months. In total, 1,086 children were taken abroad by the network members for at least 2 years. The cocaine capture in Constanta in 2016 was estimated at over €600 million and the Cannabis farm in Timiş (2017) at over €4 million.
Over the past three years Romania has proven it can be a reliable European partner in combating organized crime. The Emergency Ordinance no. 78/2016, approved by Parliament in May 2018, allows the Chief Prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) to reform this specialized structure. This makes criminal prosecution more efficient, by strengthening the ability to carry out financial investigations and by expanding the staff of the Directorate with judicial police workers.
The proposal of the Minister of Justice to appoint as DIICOT Chief Prosecutor a magistrate who lacks experience in investigating this kind of offences at a time of institutional reform (Emergency Ordinance no. 78/2016) is a covert way of halting the eradication of organized crime.
DIICOT should be led at the current time by a prosecutor who has a wealth of experience in this field; a prosecutor who will reform the institution in line with the real needs for abolishing organized crime networks operating in Romania.
As a result of Romania's EU Accession Agreement, signed with all Member States on 25 April 2005 in Luxembourg, Romania has made concrete commitments regarding the eradication of organized crime:
"Chapter 24: Justice and Home Affairs (Point 7) - Develop and implement a coherent multi-annual strategy against crime, including concrete actions to reduce Romania's status as origin, transit and destination country for human trafficking victims and provide annually reliable statistics on how this criminal phenomenon is being controlled."
Unfortunately, the Romanian authorities have not delivered on this commitment in the period following the accession to the European Union. The first and the last National Strategy for Combating Organized Crime was approved by the Government Resolution no. 1171/2005 for the 2004-2007 period. The idea of a strategy against organized crime is later found in the DIICOT annual report for 2015 and it is briefly mentioned in the 2016 report. Also, effective control and investigation of this criminal phenomenon can only be achieved through a real and responsible reform of the DIICOT , based on the provisions of the Emergency Ordinance no. 78/2016.
Given the bilateral obligations assumed by Romania through the Accession Agreement, the President of Romania, but also the representatives of the EU and the Member States directly affected by the cross-border crime phenomenon, should turn their attention to the Superior Council of Magistracy's (CSM) procedure of endorsement for the appointment of the proposed candidate for the position of DIICOT Chief Prosecutor . We are convinced that CSM's opinion will be a responsible one, in line with the current needs of DIICOT and Romania's obligations as a member state of the European Union.
Unfortunately, our confidence in the current Romanian Government is extremely low and the current attack of the PSD & ALDE coalition on the judicial independence appears to damage also the effective investigation of serious crimes and organized crime under the jurisdiction of DIICOT.