Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to take part in the EU Summit in Rome, on March 24th
EU SUMMIT – Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Friday will take part in the EU Summit in Rome, the presidential administration has announced. On March 25th, heads of state and government will get together in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome, which laid the foundations for the European Union we know today. This summit is the next step in implementing the agenda President Juncker set out in his State of the Union address and agreed on, at the informal Bratislava summit in September 2016, by the 27 EU Member States.
BREXIT - British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger article 50, the formal mechanism for starting negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union, on Wednesday 29 March, the prime minister’s spokesman has announced. The EU was notified on Monday morning that a letter should be expected on that date. The move will put the UK on course to leave the EU on the same date in 2019. In his turn, the European Commission President Jean Claude Junker has announced that within 48 hours of the UK triggering Article 50, he will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU27 Member States. The European Commission said it is prepared for the Brexit negotiations.
MEETING - Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will meet Prince Charles of Wales on March 29th, on the occasion of the latter’s visit to Romania. Prince Charles will be in Romania between March 29 to 31st. This is the first leg of a regional tour that also includes visits to Italy and Austria, the British Embassy in Bucharest announced. Prince Charles has travelled many times to Romania over the past few years, where he bought and refurbished several properties and where he spends some of his holidays.
FBI - FBI Director James Comey has confirmed the FBI is investigating Russian interference in the US election and any potential links with members of the Trump campaign. The intelligence director took the unusual step of confirming the investigation during an open hearing on Monday in what he admitted were “unusual circumstances.” Mr. Comey also said the FBI had “no information” to support President Trump’s allegation that former president Barack Obama wiretapped him.
DEFENSE – Romania’s Supreme Defence Council is convening on Tuesday in Bucharest in a meeting chaired by President Klaus Iohannis. The main topics on the agenda are outfitting the army and Romania’s presence at the NATO Summit in Brussels, to be held over May 24-25. Council members will also discuss progress reported last year as part of the program to upgrade and develop the army by 2026, as well as other national security topics. At the previous meeting of January 31, the Council gave a favourable opinion on the budgets of institutions operating in the field of national security, as per the state budget for 2017.
DECREES – The Government’s decrees no. 6 and 9, which triggered the opposition’s vocal criticism, are this week being debated in the Chamber of Deputies after being passed by the Senate. Decree no. 6 refers to the funding of the National Local Development Program, while decree no. 9 eliminates spending ceilings for public authorities. The Liberals in opposition claim the decrees are aimed at helping channel huge sums of money to the Social-Democratic Party’s political supporters, also nullifying fundamental articles in the law on fiscal accountability. In turn, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said the funds earmarked under decree no. 6 come in response to the high number of applications for funding filed by local authorities, including opposition mayors, and thus called on the opposition to support Romania’s development projects.
MILITARY EXERCISE – Over 1,200 Romanian and United States military are these days taking part in the Spring Storm 2017 joint military exercise involving naval, air and ground forces. The exercise, which will come to an end on March 22, is part of the Romanian-American Strategic Partnership action plan and reflects NATO’s efforts to ensure the security of its allies in the Black Sea area. The aim of the exercise is to increase the interoperability of participating forces. The exercise employs complex defence tactics carried out on the Romanian Black Sea coast and urban areas, with naval, ground and air support.
FOOTBALL – Romania’s national football team on Monday assembled in Bucharest to train ahead of Sunday’s match against Denmark, to be played in Cluj, north-western Romania. The match counts towards preliminary Group E as part of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup to be hosted by Russia. After trouncing Armenia 5-nil, drawing 1-all against Montenegro at home and nil-all against Kazakhstan away from home, losing nil-3 against Poland in Bucharest, Romania is ranked 4th in the group tables, with 5 points. We recall that Romania is coached by German Cristoph Daum, the first foreign coach in the history of the Romanian team.
(Translated by Elena Enache)