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Romania’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office came to Budapest

Dana Manuela Ana of Romania’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, photo: TI Hungary

Dana Manuela Ana, a prosecutor with Romania’s Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (DNA), took part in Transparency International Hungary’s World Anti-Corruption Day event in Budapest on Wednesday. She delivered a presentation that was as shocking as it was impressive. Romania has been in the news in recent years for cracking down on corrupt public officials.

A quick glimpse at Romania’s anti-corruption work between 2007 and 2014 shows that its prosecutors have managed to indict:

  • 1 sitting prime minister;
  • 1 former prime minister;
  • 1 deputy prime minister;
  • 9 ministers;
  • 34 deputies; and,
  • 8 senators.

Of the politicians indicted during this period, the prosecutor’s office has successfully convicted:

  • 1 former prime minister;
  • 6 ministers;
  • 16 deputies; and
  • 5 senators.

And there are still more cases pending…

According to Dana Manuela Ana, 77 percent of the Romanian population support the DNA’s anti-corruption activities, making it the most popular of all of Romania’s judicial institutions.

Miklós Ligeti, director of legal affairs for Transparency International Hungary, says the anti-corruption situation in Hungary is quite different.

“For the past twenty-five years Hungary has been lacking in its ability to bring corruption cases involving politicians to court,” Ligeti said. “If we look at Hungary’s prosecutor’s office and other law enforcement agencies, we see that they have been able to step up quite successfully against parking meter attendants and police that purchase language exam certificates, but they haven’t had such great success cracking down on corruption involving high-ranking government officials. This situation has not gotten any better since 2010….Hungary also happens to be among the EU Member States that is very opposed to seeing the creation of a European Prosecutor’s Office. We have published numerous studies in recent years offering suggestions on changes that need to take place at the Hungarian Prosecutor’s Office.”

How could Hungary’s own prosecutor’s office crack down more effectively on corrupt government officials?

Ligeti continued: “In order for this situation to change, there needs to be complete rethinking of the institutional structure in which Hungary’s law enforcement operates. I wouldn’t bet my own house that this would happen under the current government.”

Benjamin Novak :