Presentiamo l'estratto dei capitoli 2 e 24 del rapporto della Commissione europea sui progressi della Romania nell'accesso all'Unione. Il testo è in inglese.

30/07/2002 -  Anonymous User

Estratti dal rapporto della Commissione europea sui progressi della Romania nell'accesso all'Unione europea
Chapter 2: Free movement of persons
In the area of free movement of persons no significant developments can be recorded during the reference period. No progress was made on mutual recognition of professional qualifications or on citizens' rights. As regards non-discrimination towards EU citizens in the field of education, tuition feesfor foreigners in higher education are set by a Government Ordinance at a fixed level. Fees for Romanian students are set by the University Senates on the basis of cost calculations providedby the National Council for the Funding of Higher Education. As a result, the fees for foreign students are considerably higher. In December 2000, the Romanian Parliament amended the law on the legal profession, which increased existing discrimination against EC legal firms. This represents a move away from theacquis and the provisions of the Europe Agreement.
As regards free movement of workers no significant developments took place. While the
1999 law on work permits was amended in October 2000, the changes have little consequencefor the free movement of workers and concern the preliminary visa requirements for work permits, and the taxes and fees applied. A bilateral agreement on free movement of workerswas concluded with Portugal in July 2001. Romania also signed a bilateral agreement on the exchange of trainees with Luxembourg in July 2001. No significant developments related to the co-ordination of social security systems occurred during the period.
Overall assessment
Alignment with the acquis has been limited in Romania. Steps have been taken to establish the
required administrative structures and these efforts will need to be maintained and institutionalcapacity strengthened in all areas. Measures to ensure mutual recognition of professional qualifications and diplomas should be
intensified, and the necessary administrative structures and education and training programmesintroduced.
It should be ensured that by accession there are no provisions in Romanian legislation whichcontradict Community rules, in particular with respect to nationality, residence or language requirements. Legislation on mutual recognition will need to include simpler procedures to allowthe provision of services.
With respect to professional qualifications obtained before harmonisation, Romania should introduce measures to ensure that all its professionals can, as from accession, meet therequirements laid down by the directives.
Although some progress has been made in the area of free movement of persons, in particularwith respect to equal treatment and work permits, further alignment with the acquis is needed.
This is particularly important with regard to the employment and residence of migrant workersand their families.
As regards future co-ordination of social security systems, Romania needs to develop the required administrative structures and to train the necessary staff. Romania is encouraged toconclude further bilateral social security agreements, in particular with Member States, as these normally rely on the same principles as the Community rules in this field.Steps will have to be taken to strengthen public employment services with view to future participation in the European Employment Services (EURES) network. A particular emphasisshould be placed on language training for staff.

Chapter 24 - Co-operation in the field of Justice and home affairs
Since the 2000 Regular Report, significant progress has been made in Romania in the fields of visa policy, border control and migration. However only limited progress can be reported onpolice co-operation and the fight against fraud and corruption.
Romania has not yet adopted legislation on Data Protection.
As far as visa policy is concerned, the conditions and criteria for obtaining visas have beenspecified in methodological norms implementing the new Law on Aliens and in common
instructions agreed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministryof Labour. The new Law on Aliens and the provisions on visas were adopted in April 2001.
Particularly strict conditions are applied to citizens of 86 countries with high migratorytendencies. Since 1 January 2001, visas can, as a rule, only be obtained from Romanian
diplomatic missions and consular offices. They are only issued at border posts in exceptionalcases. Since 1 July 2001, Moldovan citizens have needed to have a passport to enter Romania.
All visa applications are sent from the diplomatic or consular missions to the National VisaCentre, which takes the final decision on the issuing of a visa. The applications from nationals of countries with high migration tendencies are also sent, for a further check, to the Directorate forAliens and Migration Issues of the Ministry of Interior. A new Schengen-compatible type of visa application form has been introduced.
Significant progress has been made in alignment with, and implementation of, the acquis in thefield of control of external borders. Two emergency ordinances were adopted in June 2001,
one on the Romanian State Border and another on the organisation and functioning of theBorder Police. The former contains general provisions on the border regime and aligns
Romanian legislation in the field of border control with similar legislation in EU Member States.The ordinance on the Border Police establishes a new organisational structure and sets up the framework for co-operation between the Border Police and other agencies. It also containsprovisions on the competences of the individual border policemen.
A Government Decision was adopted in April 2001 on the exchange of existing passports for anew type of passport with additional security features.

As regards administrative capacity, a new organisational structure was introduced in June 2001.The hierarchical structure has been simplified and one regional level of command has been abolished. The number of Regional Directorates has been decreased to one for each landborder and one for the Black Sea. Significant numbers of personnel have been reassigned from administrative to operational tasks. The professionalisation of the border police, i.e. theprogressive replacement of conscripts with professional staff, has continued. The newly
recruited sergeants get initial training for a period of three months at regional Border Policetraining centres.
Several measures have been taken to fight corruption amongst the Border Police. Following the entry into force of the new law on fighting corruption (May 2000), a specialised service, theGeneral Internal Protection Directorate, was set up within the Ministry of Interior. This new structure, which became operational in January 2001, is one of the results of a recentlydeveloped anti-corruption strategy for the Ministry of Interior and its subordinate bodies. One
of the tasks of this new structure is to carry out preventive and ad hoc inspections of BorderPolice structures.
In February 2001 a co-operation protocol was signed between the Border Police and the National Office for Refugees with the purpose of carrying out joint controls at airports. Thecontrols focus on transit travellers coming from high-risk migration destinations.
To make controls of travel documents and visas more effective, a co-operation protocol wassigned in May 2001 between the General Inspectorate of Border Police and the national airline (TAROM). The protocol provides for special training programmes on the detection of false orforged documents for airline staff.
Training activities have been carried out as regards preparations for the Schengen Agreement.Otherwise there have been no significant developments in this area.
As regards migration, a new Aliens Law entered into force in May 2001, establishing the
conditions for entry and stay in Romania as well as the regime for expulsions. As indicated, theGovernment also adopted the 'methodological norms' to implement the above-mentioned law.
These norms contain detailed provisions specifying the procedures for applying the law asregards checking of documents, issuing visas, granting residence rights and expelling aliens.
Recently adopted legislation has also tightened the conditions for obtaining work permits inRomania. A necessary pre-condition is the possession of a work visa (i.e. persons having a student visa are therefore no longer allowed to obtain a work permit). The Government has signed an agreement with the International Organisation for Migration, toestablish a centre offering temporary protection for women victims of trafficking as well as managing programmes supporting their reintegration into society.In 1998, 2,830 foreigners were expelled for not complying with the conditions of entry and stay
in Romania. This number increased in 1999 to 3,431 aliens, but then decreased to 2,498 in2000.

As regards asylum, the Refugee law of 1996 was amended through a government ordinance inAugust 2000. In June 2001, Parliament definitively approved this ordinance after certain changes had been made. The amended law introduces new concepts in Romanian legislation onasylum in order to align it with the acquis, such as 'manifestly unfounded applications', 'safe third country', 'country of origin', and 'accelerated procedures'. 'Non-refoulement' is, inprinciple, guaranteed. The body responsible for dealing with asylum applications is the National Office for Refugees, whose decisions can be appealed against before a court of law. However,when Parliament adopted the government ordinance it eliminated the right to a second appeal in cases of accelerated procedures.
Following the new legislation, measures have been developed to ensure minimum standards ofreception for all asylum seekers during the whole procedure. As far as recognised refugees are concerned, they have a right to nine months of public financial support. Additional support isprovided for particular categories of refugees, such as unaccompanied minors, elderly people, and single women with children. Refugees basically enjoy the same rights as Romanian citizens,including the right to work. The National Office for Refugees has a modern accommodation
centre for asylum seekers located in Bucharest with a capacity of 250 places. However, due tolack of resources, accommodation centres for asylum-seekers are not fully equipped and have a shortage of staff.
According to the Romanian authorities, the number of people applying for asylum in Romaniadecreased from 1,667 in 1999 to 1,366 in 2000. Asylum seekers in Romania come mainly from
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. Most of the applicants (95%) apply forasylum as soon as they enter the country.

In the field of police co-operation and the fight against organised crime, the structuresdealing with organised crime within the General Inspectorate of the Police have been
reorganised and the Directorate for Combating Organised Crime has become a GeneralDirectorate for Combating Organised Crime and for Anti-drugs. The process of bringing the police under civilian control has continued and the police have received training courses on therespect of human rights. Police numbers at central level have been reduced and these posts have been transferred to operational levels (see Section B. 1.1, Democracy and the rule oflaw).
As far as the fight against fraud and corruption is concerned, a section for anti-corruptionand related organised crime at the General Prosecutor's Office was established in October 2000 (see section B.1.1. - Democracy and the rule of law).
In the field of drugs, after the adoption of the law on the fight against trafficking and illicitconsumption of drugs, no further important legislation has been adopted. However, in December 2000 secondary legislation for enforcement of the aforementioned law was adopted. An Anti-drug Squad was established in March 2001 within the General Inspectorate of thePolice. After a peak in 1998, drugs seizures decreased significantly during 1999 and 2000.
The current legislation on money laundering, has been supplemented with new legal acts (see
also Chapter 4 - Free movement of capital). The Penal Code and Penal Procedure Codehave been amended and the responsibility for judging crimes relating to money laundering has been passed to the tribunals (the second level of jurisdiction in the Romanian court system). TheNational Office for Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering Operations has carried out training sessions for its own staff and the personnel of the reporting entities.
In 2000, the National Office for Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering Operations sent130 reports to the General Prosecutor's Office. Investigations have been started in 87 cases and 3 cases have been sent to court for trial. Eight seizure orders have been issued in moneylaundering investigations on related properties to a value of €2.5 million. Although the National Office for Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering Operations is functioning well, thecriminal investigations and court proceedings in money laundering cases have not yet led to any convictions.
As regards customs co-operation, no mutual assistance agreements have been signed sincethe last report. An Anti-fraud Service was established in January 2001 in the Directorate for Customs Surveillance and Fighting Customs fraud within the General Customs Directorate.On judicial co-operation, no major conventions have been ratified since the last Regular Report. A Ministerial Order of November 2000 established the legal framework for a networkof judges to function as local correspondents in the field of international judicial assistance.

Overall assessment
While important legislation has been adopted recently, in particular on border control and on thealiens regime, much remains to be done on legal approximation and strengthening administrative capacity. Particular attention should be paid to speeding up the reform of the national police andthe recent anti-corruption law should be followed up by measures to strengthen the capacity to enforce the legislation.
Legislation on personal data protection, data protection and privacy in the telecommunicationssector, and on the ratification of the European convention on Data Protection, is pending in Parliament. It is envisaged that the Romanian Ombudsman will be the implementing andsupervisory body, although it is questionable whether the modest budget allocations will allow
the ombudsman to successfully carry out this additional responsibility.
Romania has also made significant progress in aligning its visa policy with that of the EuropeanUnion. There are 156 countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Romania, while nationals of 35 countries, including the EU Member States, are exempted from the visa requirement. Furtheralignment with the EU visa policy should continue, in particular with regard to the introduction of visa obligations for countries with high migration potential.
In order to improve identity checks and detect attempts to misuse visas, a Schengen-type visasticker will need to be developed and Romania should also rapidly implement the upgrading of existing passports. As regards external borders, the reorganisation and modernisation of theRomanian Border Police is ongoing and is yielding its first results in terms of improved efficiency and practices. However, inter-agency co-operation between border management agenciesshould be further improved and efforts to combat corruption increased.
The Border Police currently has 23,000 staff made up of both professionals and conscripts. The ongoing replacement of conscripts with contract staff is to be completed by the end of 2002.Plans to reform the training programmes for different categories of border police staff still need to be implemented.Considerable investments have been made in surveillance equipment and further investments are
foreseen. Border posts still need to develop an on-line connection to the central database onimmigration.
Romania should start the preparations for participation in the Schengen area and develop a
Schengen Action Plan.Romania has concluded readmission agreements with all Member States except the United
Kingdom and Portugal. These agreements are all in force, except the agreements with Finlandand Ireland, which have been signed but not yet ratified. In addition, 6 readmission agreements with candidate countries (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary andBulgaria) are in force. There are also agreements with Switzerland, India, Croatia and Moldova.
The Romanian Government has re-negotiated the readmission agreements with Sweden,Slovenia and Hungary in order to update and align them with the relevant EU recommendations
and standards. For the same purpose the agreement with Austria is in the process ofnegotiation.
The amended Refugee Law has considerably improved the alignment of the asylum legislation.
However the provisions on detention of rejected asylum seekers need to be further clarified.Romania also needs to develop country-of-origin information and there is still scope for improving accommodation conditions for asylum-seekers.
In the field of police co-operation and the fight against organised crime new legislation on Police Organisation and Operation and on the Statute of Policemen were approved by theGovernment and are pending in Parliament. This legislation will form the legal basis for the
demilitarisation of the police, which will be essential in order to increase the democratic controland the accountability of the police forces. Discussions with EUROPOL for concluding a co-operation agreement have not yet started. A prerequisite for the negotiations is the adoption of a data protection law.
Very limited progress has been made with the fight against fraud and corruption. Far greaterefforts are needed to create an efficient implementing capacity and to improve inter-institutional co-operation in this area.In order to ensure the protection of the financial interests of the European Communities
Romanian should, as a matter of priority, align its legislation with the 1995 Convention on theProtection of the Financial Interests of the European Communities and its protocols.
The Romanian authorities have applied for full membership of the OECD Working Group forCombating Corruption in International Commercial Transactions. The council of Europe Civil and Criminal Law Conventions on Corruption remain to be ratified. Romania is a party to all international conventions listed under the acquis in the field of drugs,with the exception of the 1995 Agreement on Illicit Traffic by Sea.
The national drug strategy should be further developed to cover both drug demand and drug supply reduction. The Inter-ministerialCommittee for Fighting Drugs should be made fully operational. The capacity of the law-enforcement agencies, especially the police and customs, should be increased. Furtherefforts are required to improve the collection and availability of information on drug-related
issues. The creation of the National Drug Information Focal Point, in accordance withEMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) requirements, should
be completed.
As regards money laundering, Romanian legislation is, to a great extent, already aligned with
the acquis, although the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure andConfiscation of Proceeds of Crime still has to be ratified. Sufficient financial means and training should be given to the National Office for Preventing and Fighting Money LaunderingOperations. The capacity of the Office to co-operate with other law-enforcement agencies
should be strengthened, in particular with the police and prosecutors. Specialised training shouldbe organised for police officers and prosecutors dealing with money laundering issues.
Romania has made progress on customs co-operation by setting up the Anti-Fraud Service
within the General Customs Directorate. Inter-agency co-operation needs to be improved andmutual assistance agreements signed. Areas where good progress has been made are the development of risk analysis and the development of a national computerised database in linewith CIS standards. However, other methods for fighting fraud and corruption should still be developed, including the introduction of mobile surveillance units, the development of customslaboratories and the attribution of powers to customs personnel to carry out controls and enforce compliance.
As far as judicial co-operation is concerned, Romania has ratified most of the internationalconventions included in the acquis. The following conventions need still to be ratified: the Hague
Convention of 1965 on Service of Documents; the Hague Convention of 1970 on the taking ofEvidence Abroad; the Hague Convention of 1980 on International Access to Justice; the European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Concerning Custody ofChildren.. Further efforts will be required in order to ensure the appropriate level of co-operation in civil matters, notably as regards mutual recognition and enforcement of judicialdecisions, and direct court-to-court dealings in cross-border situations.
All the human rights legal instruments covered by the Justice and Home Affairs acquis have
been ratified by Romania, with the exception of the 1981 Council of Europe Convention on theprotection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data. Legislation for its ratification is pending in Parliament.

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