Monica Macovei

Position: 
Member, European Parliament, Romania
Department of Legal Studies
Academic/Professional Experience and Achievements: 
  • Member, European Parliament, Romania
  • Former Minister of Justice, Romania (2004-2007) and anti-corruption Advisor to the Prime Minister of Macedonia (2007-2009)

Monica Macovei served as Romania's Minister of Justice in 2004-2007. Later she served as anti-corruption Advisor to the Prime Minister of Macedonia and became Member of European Parliament (Romania) in 2009. She received international recognition for her groundbreaking initiatives and was widely credited with implementing justice reforms that allowed Romania to enter the European Union. According to an article in the Economist (February 4, 2005) the "impressive non-party justice minister" has pushed through changes in the justice system including "random allocation of cases, so that well-connected defendants can no longer rely on finding a friendly judge or prosecutor. Next she wants computerized courtrooms, quicker trials and better bailiffs. Furthermore, says the Economist, she is one of two figures symbolizing the new mood in Romania, "facing down tycoons and politicians used to a minister who takes orders rather than gives them" (the other figure is Traian Basescu, former mayor of Bucharest, who is now addressing the problem of 16 years of missed reforms). Oliver Bilger, journalist for Die Spiegel in Bucharest writes "Battling corruption and reforming the country's judiciary are the tasks of Justice Minister Monica Macovei. At the moment, she is busy working through the numerous corruption scandals. Macovei managed to make steps toward depoliticizing the judiciary and increasing transparency. She also boosted the salaries of judges and prosecutors in an effort to make them less tempted to take bribes. At the moment, Mascovei is moving onto the next items on her checklist - often against resistance from within her own cabinet. She wants to make changes to criminal proceedings and wants to increase the transparency of politicians' private finances".

Monica Macovei defended her Master's thesis, in the Comparative Constitutional Law Stream, at CEU's Department of Legal Studies. She started her career as a prosecutor, and from 1996-2004 was involved in the work of the Council of Europe as a consultant and expert, also running the Romanian Helsinki Committee. She has been an associate professor at the School of Journalism in Bucharest and has published widely in academic and professional journals, as well as books in several languages; she is a recognized expert in human rights, constitutional law and European law. Monica Macovei has served as a Member of the CEU Board of Trustees since October 2007.