EU will check Romanian rule of law efforts this year

BRUSSELS, July 18 Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:13pm IST

BRUSSELS, July 18 (Reuters) - The European Commission will review the Romanian government's commitment to protecting democratic institutions before the end of this year, the EU executive said on Wednesday, stepping up pressure in a row over the rule of law in the Balkan state.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Prime Minister Victor Ponta has pledged to address European concerns over democratic failures but he wanted a report on his progress in the coming months.

"Events in Romania have shaken our trust," Barroso told reporters, while presenting an annual assessment of the country's efforts to reform its justice system.

The Commission was due to decide on Wednesday whether such monitoring, introduced when Romania joined the EU in 2007, should continue. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak)