President Klaus Iohannis has received the visiting Finnish foreign minister Timo Soini/ PM Viorica Dăncilă has been invited to present before Parliament the stage of preparations for Romania's taking over the presidency of the EU Council in January 2019
ROMANIAN- FINNISH RELATIONS – Romania’s President, Klaus Iohannis, on Wednesday received in Bucharest the visiting Finnish Foreign minister, Timo Soini. According to the Presidential Administration, the president underlined the need to boost bilateral relations both at political and economic level. Klaus Iohannis has also expressed confidence that the two sides will boost dialogue, in the run up to the two countries’ holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council in 2019. The agenda of talks has also covered such issues as the stage of preparations for the NATO summit due in Brussels in July, the European path of the Republic of Moldova (a former Soviet state with a predominantly Romanian speaking population) as well as the Iranian and North-Korean nuclear files, the Romanian Presidency has also announced.
PRESIDENCY OF THE EU COUNCIL - Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has been invited to present before Parliament, on June 20, the stage of the preparation process for Romania’s taking over the half-yearly rotating presidency of the EU Council in January 2019. The debates occasioned by the event could provide a considerable support in the government’s process of drawing up and implementing the first blueprint of a presidency’s working roadmap – the head of the Romanian government has added. The Romanian official believes the presidency of the EU Council will be an opportunity for Romania to prove its ability to contribute significantly, through a powerful vision and a relevant administrative capacity, to re-launching the European project.
WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2018 - Over 80% of Romania’s under-performing schools are located in the country’s rural areas, with a graduation rate in the tertiary education that exceeds 25.6%, the EU’s lowest, the World Development Report 2018 issued by the World Bank shows. According to the document, made public in Bucharest on Wednesday by the World Bank lead economist and co-author of the World Development Report 2018, Halsey Rogers, the differences between the drop-out rates are contrastive; the rural drop-out rate stays at 26.6%, whereas the drop-out rate in the cities is around 6.2%. Romania needs to invest more intelligently in education, the report also points out. The World Bank recommends competence assessment in Romania’s case as employers are presently deploring the shortage of key social-emotional competences, such as motivation, teamwork and responsibility. Graduates from Romania’s higher education system are generally perceived as owners of exclusively theoretical knowledge while graduates from the country’s vocational training system have only developed obsolete competences.
COMMEMORATION- Romania is these days commemorating 28 years since the violent events, which are now known as the Miners’ Raid on Bucharest over June 13-15, 1990. The raid put an end to a large-scale protest rally against the left-wing government, which had come to power after the demise of the communist regime in Romania. Against the background of some violent events in the capital Bucharest, which the army troops had already managed to contain, the then president Ion Iliescu invoked an attempted coup by the far right political forces and called on the citizens to defend Romania’s democratic institutions. The Jiu Valley miners in central Romania came to Bucharest and stormed the University building, the head offices of the opposition parties as well as of some independent publications. Four people were killed and over one thousand abusively arrested. Romania’s international image was seriously tarnished by the violent events of 1990. A court file on the Miners’ Raid was reopened in 2015 and the General Prosecutor’s Office sent to court several high-ranking officials such as the then president Ion Iliescu, former Prime Minister Petre Roman and the then head of the Romanian Intelligence Service, Virgil Magureanu, who are charged with crimes against humanity.
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE – The Romanian Senate, in its capacity as first notified parliamentary chamber in this case, on Wednesday endorsed a proposal to amend the Criminal Procedure Code. The draft, initiated by the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania, in the ruling coalition, has not been endorsed by representatives of the National Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union, in opposition. The Senators have approved all modifications proposed by the report issued by the Special Committee on the Justice Laws, led by Florin Iordache. The draft is aimed to transpose the EU directive on the presumption of innocence into the national legislation. One of the changes refers to the destruction of evidence collected by making illegal recordings. The draft will be sent for debate to the Chamber of Deputies, which is decision making body in this case.
TALKS -The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest has announced that it held talks with Ukrainian officials on the searches recently conducted at the “Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi” Romanian Cultural Centre in Cernauti, western Ukraine. Emphasis was laid, during the talks, on the observance of the rights of the Romanian minority living in Ukraine. In a meeting held at the Romanian Foreign Ministry on Monday, the Ukrainian ambassador to Bucharest, Oleksandr Bankov, was requested to provide additional information on how the aforementioned searches had been conducted, Romanian diplomacy sources say. Bucharest calls on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure the observance of the Romanian minority’s rights and avoid any actions which could lead to the violation of these rights or which could be interpreted as elements of intimidation. These specifications come after Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) has announced that it is investigating the board of the cultural centre for what it describes as “appeals to encroach upon the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state”. Approximately 500,000 ethnic Romanians are living in the neighbouring country, most of them on the Romanian territories annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, following an ultimatum, and taken over by Ukraine as a successor state in 1991.(Translated by D. Bilt and D. Vijeu)