BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A senior European Union official has urged Romania not to backslide on the anti-corruption fight amid a judicial overhaul that critics say will make it hard to punish high-level graft.

European Commission first vice president Frans Timmermans visited Romania Thursday and met with senior officials to discuss progress in the anti-corruption fight, an issue that has sparked huge protests.

Timmermans told reporters: "we are not satisfied with the progress, in some areas there is a standstill," adding the situation could "be remedied."

Romania joined the EU in 2007 but its justice system remains under special monitoring. Its leaders hope to end that by 2019 when the country takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Timmermans said the goal was not impossible, but "it is only possible if the recommendations are followed up."