Romanian premier pledges U-turn on law

Romania’s prime minister has written to EU leaders vowing to reverse a series of controversial measures that Brussels warned were a threat to democratic institutions in one of the bloc’s newest member states.

In a letter to José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, sent on Monday, Victor Ponta vowed to repeal an emergency ordinance that reduced the powers of the country’s constitutional court and promised to find a new national ombudsman who enjoyed cross-party support.

“I would like to assure you, Mr President, that these demarches express Romania’s firm commitment towards fully respecting its status, as a member of the European Union,” Mr Ponta wrote in the letter, obtained by the Financial Times.

The rapid U-turn – Mr Ponta imposed the emergency measures just two weeks ago – is a significant victory for Mr Barroso, who had summoned the Romanian prime minister to Brussels last week to express the commission’s displeasure at the moves.

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