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March 22, 2024 UPDATE

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Newsflash
Newsflash

, 22.03.2024, 20:00

 

EUROPEAN COUNCIL Brussels hosted a European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday, in which Romania was represented by president Klaus Iohannis, who also attended the Euro Summit on Friday. He stated that Ukraine must remain a priority on the EU agenda, and welcomed the agreement on the support to be provided to this country. Mr. Iohannis reiterated that Romania remains one of Ukraine’s steadfast supporters and will continue to provide assistance particularly in the humanitarian and military areas, and in terms of grain transport. The Romanian official also highlighted the importance of continued European support for the Republic of Moldova, which is facing unprecedented hybrid threats from the Russian Federation during its pre-election period. The European Commission Friday proposed the introduction of tariffs for grain imports from Russia and Belarus, in a move to prevent Moscow and Minsk from distorting the markets. According to the Commission, the tariffs are also designed to contain Russia’s capacity to finance its war in Ukraine and to reduce Russia’s sales of grains stolen from Ukraine. EU leaders unanimously adopted a critical statement concerning Israel, calling for an immediate humanitarian pause and for full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access into and throughout the Gaza Strip via all routes. The European Council also urged Israel to refrain from carrying out a ground operation in Rafah, where over one million Palestinians are seeking safety.

MOLDOVA The Parliament of Moldova has adopted a Declaration voicing confidence that the EU accession is the only way to secure its future as a sovereign, neutral, democratic and undivided state. Moldovan MPs call on the entire society to prove unity and solidarity in order to strengthen political and social dialogue in the name of the national interest and of this strategic goal-the EU accession. The document also emphasises that for decades the European Union has been a “reliable partner” for Chisinau, “selflessly” providing the country with logistic and financial support for solving its many domestic problems. In December 2023, the European Council decided the initiation of accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova.

FUGITIVES Sentenced offenders having left the country will have to cover the costs of their repatriation, under a draft order passed by the government and submitted to parliament for approval. The new provisions also apply for defendants under investigation, the justice minister Alina Gorghiu announced. She explained that the new legislation concerns 2 situations: when a fugitive flees from prosecution or trial, and when an offender having received a final sentence tries to avoid serving the sentence. The justice minister emphasised that last year the Romanian state spent some EUR 2 mln to bring 800 convicted fugitives back to the country. A list of famous Romanian fugitives includes the former mayor of Bucharest, Sorin Oprescu, the former head of Romania’s Directorate Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism Offences, Alina Bica, the son of the president of the Professional Football League, Mario Iorgulescu, and Paul Philippe of Romania.

CLIMATE Climate change is an undeniable fact, which requires immediate measures, the Romanian minister of environment, waters and forestry Mircea Fechet said on Friday at a conference in Bucharest occasioned by World Water Day and World Meteorological Day. The Romanian official also mentioned the conflict near Romania’s borders, which also impacts the environment. “We are not living the easiest of times,” he said, and added that we should take this opportunity to think about what is happening near Romania and about what we have to do. The participants emphasised the importance of efficiently conveying the information provided by weather experts, by hydrologists and climatologists, and the need to manage water resources in a responsible and efficient manner. They also voiced concern with the already visible consequences of climate change.

ELECTIONS The Social Democratic Party and the National Liberal Party in the ruling coalition in Romania have validated their candidates on the joint list for the European Parliament elections scheduled for June 9. Originally at the top of a list of 20 eligible positions, the independent candidate Ramona Chiriac, head of the European Commission Representation in Bucharest, has withdrawn her candidacy for personal reasons. Both parties are keeping most of the current MEPs, but new names also appear on the list. From the Social Democrats, the joint list includes, among others, the former Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, the former minister of family and equal opportunities Gabriela Firea, the incumbent state secretary with the Department for Romanians Everywhere Gheorghe Cârciu, and MEPs Dan Nica and Victor Negrescu. Among the Liberal candidates for the European Parliament are Adina Vălean, the current EU transport commissioner, Virgil Popescu, the former minister of energy, and the MEPs Rareş Bogdan, Siegfried Mureşan, Dan Motreanu, Gheorghe Falcă, and Daniel Buda. The list will be finalised next week. (AMP)

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