A Unique moment: How Kovesi found out that she won and why the MEPs preferred her
I stumbled upon her at the airport in Brussels as she was heading to the boarding gate, accompanied only by an aide. The flight has an hour delay, so it is entirely possible, I tell her, that we will find out, even before take-off, the result of the vote in the LIBE Commission scheduled for 11:00 AM. If she is unlucky and the vote drags-on, she’ll have to hold her breath for another 3 hours, the time it takes to fly to Bucharest.
Kovesi appears relaxed, and quite optimistic after the vote in the CONT Commission, where she managed to inch-ahead of Bohnert only by one vote. She knows full well that the French will continue to fight for their guy, and that the PSD will continue to lobby hard against her until the last moment.
As it draws nearer to 11 o’clock, she becomes more anxious, and she is checking her phone more and more often. We talk mostly about the pessimistic scenario. What if she doesn’t win? Where will she continue her career as a prosecutor? What are her chances after the success on Tuesday night?
What the hearings in the European Parliament revealed most is the immense public confidence she commands. Based on the trust and respect won in Brussels, there is much she can accomplish in a career as a European magistrate. She can start building on that. Regardless of the outcome in the LIBE Commission, she will return home a winner, not defeated.
The Frenchman conducted himself in the hearings like a refined diplomat, passing with ease from French to flawless German and impeccable English. As a prosecutor though, he had little to boast of, save for a case involving a high-ranking public official in a prefecture, which he detailed in several languages. The hearings, however, are not for the position of European Foreign Affairs minister.
By contrast, in an unpolished English, and chocked with emotion, Kovesi had plenty to offer the MEPs in terms of casework. The hysterical campaign at home and the intense lobby on all fronts lead against her, helped her greatly.
The virulence of the attacks further convinced those in Brussels that she is the right person to lead the future European Prosecutor’s Office. In the end, she won the sympathy of the European public and the press. It weighed in the decision of the MEPs who are soon to face elections.
The Romanian Government appeared ridiculous and stupid in undermining the chances of a Romanian candidate. The government’s position marks an altogether embarrassing moment in the history of this state that treats its citizens as enemies. Why self-sabotage, as a state, your chances to have a little more say in European affairs? It is a staple of the PSD-ALDE coalition, which has made the destruction of justice and the rule of law the chief objective of their government.
Just minutes before the gates closed, I get the message 26, 22, 1 on the WhatsApp group from our news-office. I am initially confused. Two seconds later, I get the full results. „You won,” I tell her.
She checks her phone several times; she’s at a loss for words. „Is it true?” she asks. „They are recounting the votes right now, but it appears that you’ve won.” In a short time, we receive multiple confirmations. „Done, it’s official.” She puts on a big smile, her face relaxes, and she extends her hand to me in a tangled way.
There’s no other Romanian around to congratulate her for her success. But many have helped and supported her with all their hearts, some in full view, while others more discretely, and perhaps more efficiently, in the European Parliament.
She doesn’t quite know how to react, what to say. Over the PA persistent messages are urging the last calls for Bucharest.
She is overwhelmed with emotion. She starts towards the boarding gate alone, the same way she came to the hearings. Alone.
She was among the last to walk on the boarding gangway. A few minutes later, at 12:10 PM, the Tarom flight takes off with a one-and-a-half-hour delay.
This would be the most important position in the EU that a Romanian gets to occupy based on recognition and merit.
I count at least two Romanian MEPs in Business class, who are not in the slightest joyful that just a few seats behind them, in Economy, is flying Kovesi, recently voted by two commissions of the Eu Parliament to lead the future European Prosecutor’s Office.
Their names don’t even matter now. It is very likely they are both contemplating new ways of blocking her in the Council, or, why not, at home with new politically ordered criminal inquiries.
Traducerea: Ovidiu Harfas
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