BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — European Union ambassadors have urged Romania's government not to undermine the independence of the legal system amid a contentious overhaul of judicial laws.

The ambassadors of France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden called on Romania's left-wing governing coalition to refrain from harming "the independence of the justice system and the anti-corruption fight."

They said Thursday that the current proposals could lead to a backsliding of reforms.

Lawmakers recently voted to ban public statements about investigations and trials and also to allow suspects to be present when witnesses are giving testimony. Critics say this could intimidate witnesses. Lawmakers also voted to limit video or audio recordings as evidence in trials.

The president can refuse to sign off the legislation.

Thousands of Romanians and judges have protested the proposals.