57865 3/23/2006 17:28 06ROME915 Embassy Rome CONFIDENTIAL 06BUCHAREST116|06STATE43700|06STATE8097 This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000915
DEPARTMENT FOR CA/P - STAEBEN, AGGELER; CA/OCS/CI - LAMORA; EUR/NCE; EUR/ERA - JROBINSON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2016 TAGS: KOCI, CASC, CVIS, PREL, SOCI, RO, IT, EUN, UN SUBJECT: DEMARCHE CONCERNING PENDING ADOPTION CASES IN ROMANIA
REF: A. A) STATE 43700 B. B) STATE 8097 C. C) BUCHAREST 116
Classified By: Consul General Barbara C. Cummings, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: In response to ref A, Conoff contacted the GOI Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 22 to raise the issue of pending Romanian adoption cases. According to Minister Giuseppe Panocchia, the GOI agrees with the U.S. that the rigid position of the Romanian government on the outstanding adoption cases is neither in the best interests of the children nor relevant to Romania's primary goal of accession to the European Union. Frustrated by bilateral attempts to influence the Romanian government, the GOI is now looking towards Brussels, where it hopes that recent criticism of Romania by several members of the European Parliament might rouse the European Commission to stop supporting the current Romanian position on the adoption issue. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) On March 22, Conoff spoke with Giuseppe Panocchia, the MFA official responsible for international adoption cases and children's issues. Panocchia described a series of efforts by Italian diplomats in Bucharest, Rome and Brussels over the past three months to persuade the Romanian government to reconsider its position that the roughly 1100 pending cases from 2001-2004 should be refused under a retroactive interpretation of a January 2005 law. According to Panocchia, Italian diplomats encountered a "firmly closed door" both through their Embassy in Bucharest and through the European Commission in Brussels, despite GOI efforts to point out the extent to which Italian law favors and protects the rights of children. Panocchia shares the U.S. view that Romania's position is primarily based on the fear of jeopardizing its accession plans by not complying with perceived EU norms.
3. (C) Panocchia believes some hope now lies with the European Parliament, as several of its deputies recently spoke out on the issue and criticized Romania for taking a stance they felt ran counter to the children's interests. During the week of March 13, the Italian MFA asked Brussels to clarify the position of the European Parliament, in an effort to see if pressure could bring the Commissioners to change their view. Panocchia voiced GOI frustration with the Commission on the adoption issue, saying that the Commission's stance has not budged at all and continues to be one of "absolute deafness." Barring any breakthroughs in the near future, Panocchia speculated that the pending cases would all likely be refused or else considered only after Romania joins the EU in 2007.
4. (U) Panocchia said the GOI is now waiting for a response to its inquiry in Brussels and will inform Embassy Rome of any new developments. SPOGLI