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Romania's new PM in Brussels amid judicial reform tensions

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Romania's new PM in Brussels amid judicial reform tensions

Romania's prime minister meets EU Council President Donald Tusk
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Romania's new prime minister - the country's third in seven months - has been meeting EU leaders in Brussels amid tensions over judicial reforms.

Viorica Dancila's arrival coming after the EU warned Bucharest to reconsider its moves, which critics say weaken judicial independence, and undermine efforts to combat corruption.

She didn't mention corruption in a media statement issued after meeting officials.

Reassurances given

Antonio Tajani, European Parliament President, commented: "I asked the Romanian government to continue with conviction the process of reforms supposed to enhance the rule of law, the fight against corruption, transparency and competitiveness. I have received from the prime minister reassuring answers and an availability to cooperate with the European Parliament."

But one German MEP told Euronews that she's not seen any backing down by the Romanian government, since being warned by the EU.

Reforms would 'legalise corruption'

"I am very worried about the situation in Romania because the laws changes that are partly proposed and partly already voted, they would put a serious threat to tackling corruption in Romania, would basically legalise corruption and would make it very difficult for the reformed justice system to go after corrupt people," said Ska Keller, from the Group of the Greens.

Thousands of Romanians have protested against the judicial overhaul. And they'll no doubt have been further angered by the prime minister's recent refusal to fire a key adviser, given a prison sentence for corruption and money-laundering.