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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

June 3-7, 2024

The Week
The Week

, 08.06.2024, 13:18

Local and European elections in Romania

In the last week of the campaign before the June 9 elections, the Romanian authorities gave assurances that they are on schedule with the preparation of the two elections – local and European respectively – in which 19 million Romanians are called to the polls. In total, about 100 million ballots were printed, declared the spokesperson for the Government, Mihai Constantin:

“More than 22 million ballots were printed for the election of members from Romania in the European Parliament, and almost 80 million ballots for the election of local public administration authorities. The structures of the MIA carried out the specific activities to supervise, in collaboration with the prefectures, the distribution of all materials to the polling stations, and are prepared to ensure, starting June 9 and after that, until the conclusion of the delivery of all electoral materials, the public order measures necessary for the exercise of this democratic right.”

For the local election, voters can only vote in the locality where they have registered domicile or residence before April 11. For the European Parliament, Romanians can vote at any polling station in the country or abroad. More than 900 polling stations await Romanians abroad, and their list is on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mae.ro. The distribution of sections was directly proportional to the number of Romanian citizens in each country. Thus, the most polling stations are in Italy -150, in Spain – 147, and in Great Britain -104. The total number of candidates is over 207,000, of which 494 registered in the race for the European Parliament.

Romania in cooperation with Balkan countries

Three foreign ministers from the Western Balkans were on official visits to Bucharest this week, with bilateral and regional cooperation among the topics of discussion with Bucharest officials. During the discussions, on Wednesday, with the official from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konakovic, the Romanian head of state, Klaus Iohannis welcomed the appreciation enjoyed by the Romanian soldiers participating in the EU’s Operation EUFOR ALTHEA in this country, Romania being one of the main contributors in ensuring a safe and stable climate in the Western Balkans. President Iohannis reconfirmed the constant support that Bucharest gives for the European and Euro-Atlantic course of the Western Balkans, as well as for ensuring the security and stability of the region. Also on Wednesday, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminiţa Odobescu, discussed, in Bucharest, with her Albanian counterpart, Igli Hasani, about supporting the European path of the Western Balkan country, underlining Romania’s willingness to exchange expertise in this field. Also, Luminița Odobescu highlighted “the importance Romania attaches to the ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity of the Aromanian national minority in Albania”. At the beginning of the week, Luminița Odobescu also had consultations with her Montenegrin counterpart, Filip Ivanoviće, in which she emphasized that Romania is, and will remain, a supporter of this country’s accession to the EU. The two ministers signed the action plan regarding cooperation in the period 2024-2025. A similar document was signed by the head of diplomacy from Bucharest and their counterpart from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Romania supports President Joe Biden’s plan regarding Gaza

President Klaus Iohannis is among the heads of state who signed a joint statement supporting a cease-fire agreement in the Israel-Hamas conflict. It is time for the war to end, and this agreement is the necessary starting point, emphasizes the statement, which urges the two sides to accept US President Joe Biden’s plan, which provides in the first stage a 6 week truce, accompanied by a withdrawal of the densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, the release of some of the Hamas hostages and some Palestinian prisoners, and in the second stage, the details of which remain to be determined, a permanent ceasefire and the release of all hostages.

Meetings by President Klaus Iohannis

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, had, on Thursday, a meeting with the ambassadors of the EU member states accredited in Bucharest, on the occasion of the conclusion, at the end of June, of the term of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council. The meeting was the occasion for an analysis of the Union’s current situation and future projections. Referring to the complex European context, President Klaus Iohannis mentioned that the promotion of a solid European agenda, based on unity, cohesion, and solidarity at the EU level is extremely important, since only through unity of action and solidarity has the Union managed to become stronger every time. Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the President of Romania spoke for the continuation of EU support on multiple levels. On the other hand, also on Thursday, President Iohannis received the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, accompanied by Spyros Capralos, President of the Association of European Olympic Committees, Octavian Morariu, member of the International Olympic Committee for Romania, and Mihai Covaliu, President of the Romanian Olympian and Athletic Committee. The meeting with the representatives of the Olympic Movement delegation is part of the series of steps undertaken by President Klaus Iohannis to convey, at the highest level, a message of support for the Romanian athletes who will participate in the Paris Olympic Games, states a press release from the Presidency. During the meeting, the unifying potential of sports through the Summer Olympic Games was highlighted, which will take place from July 26 to August 11 in France.

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