France will withdraw EU chief prosecutor candidate, will support Romanian Kovesi instead
PROSECUTOR The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, told president Klaus Iohannis over the telephone on Friday that France would withdraw Jean-François Bohnert’s candidacy and would back the Romanian Laura Codruța Kövesi instead for the post of head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Romanian Presidency announced. Previously, the European Parliament reaffirmed its support for the former head of Romania’s Anti-Corruption Directorate becoming the chief EU prosecutor. This spring the European Parliament decided to back Kovesi’s candidacy, whereas the EU Council preferred the French Jean-Francois Bohnert. Several rounds of negotiations between the 2 institutions yielded no results. Under the rules of organisation of the new EPPO, the Parliament and Council must jointly appoint the EU chief prosecutor, for a non-renewable 7-year term in office.
VISIT The Romanian State Secretary Maria Magdalena Grigore had bilateral meetings with high-ranking UN officials, during a visit she is making to the USA. According to a news release issued by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the topics included means to meet sustainable development goals, transport connectivity, the cooperation between Romania and the UN Development Programme, Romania’s contribution to peacekeeping missions, international humanitarian assistance and economic developments in the world. Maria Grigore emphasised the importance of the UN in the current world context, and mentioned the progress made by Romania as an emerging donor, both in the field of official development assistance and of humanitarian aid.
INVESTMENTS A delegation from the Romanian Ministry for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship is in Japan until July 26th, to attract Japanese investors in Romania. According to the Ministry, the agenda of the visit includes meetings and talks in Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Tokyo, with Japanese governmental officials and representatives of the local business and banking community, concerning the new business opportunities entailed by the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan. Meetings will also be held with representatives of major Japanese corporations. The talks are aimed at identifying trade and investment projects of mutual interest. Last year, the bilateral trade amounted to 710 million US dollars. The main Romanian products exported to Japan included tobacco, wood, honey, vehicle components and accessories, clothes, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances, whereas Romania’s imports from Japan consisted in automobiles, tools and equipment, metal and chemical products, optical and photographic equipment and devices.
FESTIVAL The 11th Film and Histories Festival continues in Rasnov, central Romania. Until July 28th, a special new venue in the centre of the town will be hosting film screenings, theatre performances, Baroque and rock music concerts. Conferences and roundtable talks will also be organised, on topics such as the 1989 Romanian Revolution, economic freedom, the music of freedom, freedom won and lost, cinema and freedom. Other topics approached include the Romanian migration, Europe’s post-Brexit future, the digital society and minorities. The 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing and the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO will also be marked. The 2019 edition of the Festival will also host a Summer School for 72 university students and 23 high school students from Romania and the neighbouring Republic of Moldova.
HOLIDAY In a military and religious ceremony held in Bucharest on Romanian Aviation Day, celebrated every year on 20th of July, the Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel Les thanked the Romanian military and civil aviators for their devotion and paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives. On the same day, Orthodox and Catholic Christians in Romania celebrated Prophet Elijah’s feast day. According to the Bible, the prophet lived nearly 2,800 years ago and brought back faith in the Hebrew God among the people of Israel. Elijah did not die like a human, but was taken to heavens in a chariot of fire. Due to this biographic detail, St. Elijah is the patron saint of the Romanian Air Forces. Nearly 130,000 Romanians also celebrated their name day on Prophet Elijah’s Feast Day.
PHYSICS Romania’s team, made up of 4 students from Bucharest, Iaşi (north-east), Timişoara (west) and Baia Mare (north), won 3 gold medals and a silver medal in the first edition of the Balkan Physics Olympiad, held in Thessaloniki, Greece between July 14th and 18th, the National Education Ministry announced. Taking part were secondary school and high school students aged 16 or under at the time of the competition. Eleven countries attended this first edition of the Olympiad.
YOUTH Romania will be represented by 103 athletes in the 15th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival, held between July 21st and 27th in Baku (Azerbaijan). The Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee announced the participants are athletes aged between 14 and 18, who will take part in the athletics, cycling, artistic gymnastics, handball, swimming, judo, wrestling, tennis and volleyball events. The Committee also says the Romanian delegation’s objective is to come home with 8 to 10 medals from Baku.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)