PUBLIC MINISTRY
Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST – A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS​

 

 

The offence of conflict of interest was introduced in Title VI (“Offences pertaining to activities of public interest or relating to other activities regulated by the law”), chapter I (“Malfeasance in office or offences related to office”) of the Special Part of the Romanian Criminal Code of 1969 (hereinafter referred to as C. Code 1969), in order to bring the Romanian criminal law in line with European standards regarding the protection of public servants’ integrity, of the competitive environment, of quality of services, preventing the conflicts of interest, guaranteeing the independence and impartiality of additional service providers. Moreover, the member states committed themselves to take the necessary measures so as to prevent, identify and remedy offences that would occur in the course of the procurement procedures, thus ensuring equal treatment for all economic actors

As such, Romania completed the general normative framework to protect the work relations as a social value, by criminalizing in Art. 253[1] C. Code 1969 the conduct of the public servant who would find himself in a situation of conflict of interes. After the Criminal Code came into effect on February 1, 2014, the offence of conflict of interest became criminalized by Art. 301 C. Code, Chapter II, “Malfeasance in Office”.

In recent doctrine, it is mentioned that the criminalization of conflict of interest is a response to “increasingly frequent signals from civil society, but also from international bodies and institutions regarding the impact produced by crimes committed in violation of the deontological ethics. Regulations regarding conflict of interest can also be found in the legislation of other European Union member states (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Hungary). Romanian legislation, too, contained such laws regarding the conflict of interest prior to 2006 […], however such laws proved the existence of a fundamental confusion between incompatibility and conflict of interest.

 

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