Romania's president has sent back to Parliament legislation regulating the integrity of public officials saying it diminishes standards of probity expected of elected officials.

President Klaus Iohannis said Wednesday that the measure approved by Parliament in Dec. 2017 granted "a measure of clemency given to lawmakers" which was out of line with European Union principles.

An amendment to an existing law would grant amnesty to dozens of elected officials such as lawmakers or mayors who were sanctioned by the National Integrity Agency from 2007 to 2013 for conflicts of interest.

Romania's left-wing governing coalition has embarked on a judicial overhaul that has led to large protests and has been criticized by the EU. They say it will make it harder to punish high-level corruption.