Democratic control of Romanian intelligence after three decades: quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

23 October 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articole recente, Publicistica 

Romania faced one of the most dramatic transitions from authoritarian communism to become a democracy and a member of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). The backbone of building a democratic society has been civilian control of the military. This article briefly describes the norms and institutions of democratic control of the intelligence services in Romania and assesses how the mechanisms of democratic control have worked in practice after almost three decades of reform. We argue that many of the post-1989 reforms have been only superficial implemented and monitored, particularly after Romania joined NATO and the EU. The article concludes that the democratic control of intelligence in Romania is an unfinished business. There are structural shortcomings embedded in the process of democracy consolidation that need to be addressed.

Intelligence Sector Reforms in Romania: A Scorecard

17 October 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Anunturi, Articole recente, Publicistica 

Since 1989, reforms have sought to align the Romanian post-communist intelligence community with its counterparts in established democracies. Enacted reluctantly and belatedly at the pressure of civil society actors eager to curb the mass surveillance of communist times and international partners wishing to rein in Romania’s foreign espionage and cut its ties to intelligence services of non-NATO countries, these reforms have revamped legislation on state security, retrained secret agents, and allowed for participation in NATO operations, but paid less attention to oversight and respect for human rights. Drawing on democratization, transitional justice,and security studies, this article evaluates the capacity of the Romanian post-communist intelligence reforms to break with communist security practices of unchecked surveillance and repression and to adopt democratic values of oversight and respect for human rights. We discuss the presence of communist traits after 1989 (seen as continuity)and their absence (seen as discontinuity) by offering a wealth of examples. The article is the first to evaluate security reforms in post-communist Romania in terms of their capacity to not only overhaul the personnel and operations inherited from the Securitate and strengthen oversight by elected officials, but also make intelligence services respectful of basic human