By Ioan Bucuraș
Remember the odyssey around Laura Codruta Kövesi’s nomination to become the first European Public Prosecutor? The whole scandal with the Romanian government not supporting a fellow Romanian to be one of the few Romanians anywhere near an EU top job?
The other candidate that stayed in the race, despite Kövesi being confirmed by multiple committees and expert groups in the European Parliament, is the Frenchman Jean-Francois Bohnert. The Council initially backed Bohnert, ignoring the outcome of the vote in the Parliament, also because France had a lot at stake back then and perhaps it was also a matter of appeasement for the other member states, since Romania was holding the rotating presidency.
This was the status quo before the summer break. Things have changed quite a bit though ever since. Bohnert was appointed to lead the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office in France. Nonetheless, he still did not pull out of the race to become the Chief European Prosecutor. But ultimately it will all be about political backing.
Since the European Parliament repeatedly confirmed its support for the Romanian candidate, the final moves are to be played behind the closed doors of the Council.
Renew Europe group leader, Dacian Ciolos, a staunch supporter of Kövesi’s efforts to fight corruption in Romania, is meeting French President Emmanuel Macron at his residence in Paris today.
The key to Kövesi’s nomination is in Paris. If France finally confirms withdrawing its support for Bohnert, then Kövesi’s odyssey ends in Élysée.
After having suffered a major electoral defeat at the last European elections, the Romanian governing party, PSD, who did everything it possibly could to prevent Kövesi from being nominated in the European Parliament and to block her in the Council, will only look foolish not to support her nomination now.