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Top official fears EU presidency is too much for Romania

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top justice official has voiced fears that Romania will struggle to manage the EU’s presidency next year while it is weighed down by domestic concerns, notably corruption.

Romania takes over the EU’s agenda-setting presidency from Austria in January for six months. The country’s justice system has long been under special EU monitoring due to rampant corruption.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said Friday that “the independence of Romania’s judicial system and its capacity to fight corruption effectively are of paramount importance for us.”

She noted that running the EU presidency “is a very demanding discipline” and that Romania’s “situation in justice and prosecution is the complicating factor which I have concerns about.”

It is rare for senior EU officials to publicly express doubt about an incoming presidency.

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