JUSTICE LAWS - The Public Ministry has voiced concern over the way in which the Romanian Parliament endorsed a number of amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to the Public Ministry, the observations and proposals made by the Higher Council of the Magistracy and magistrates' professional associations were not taken into consideration. The changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure were endorsed on Monday by the Chamber of Deputies, the decision-making chamber of parliament on this matter, after the Senate had passed it as well. 175 Deputies voted in favour and 78 against.
CONSTITUTIONAL COURT - On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court of Romania rejected as ungrounded the notifications filed by the opposition National Liberal Party and the High Court of Cassation and Justice concerning changes to the law on the status of judges and prosecutors. In its notification, the High Court had stated that the phrasing was general and imprecise, leading in turn to the impossibility of applying the law. The Constitutional Court also rejected president Klaus Iohannis' notification concerning changes to the referendum law. One of the claims was that the document included provisions concerning the initiation and procedural steps in revising the Constitution, which fall outside its competence.
PRESIDENCY- President Klaus Iohannis had a meeting on Tuesday with the EU ambassadors to Bucharest, to discuss the forthcoming Romanian presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2019. According to a news release issued by the Presidency, Klaus Iohannis stated that a compromise solution for the multi-annual budget must be balanced and meet the new priorities of the Union, such as border protection, migration, the ERASMUS programme, innovation and defense, and keep a substantial level of funding for traditional policies such as cohesion and the common agricultural policy. The President also stressed Bucharest's determination to support the efforts to resume the full implementation of the Schengen system, adding that the consolidation of the visa-free area cannot be completed without the full integration of Romania and Bulgaria.
US-ROMANIA- Romania's deputy PM for strategic partnerships Ana Birchall had a meeting on Tuesday with the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, as part of the 6th annual political meeting for Romania-US Strategic Dialogue. Ana Birchall emphasized Romania's interest in identifying and implementing new joint projects contributing to the development and strengthening of the Strategic Partnership with the US. She pointed out the huge potential in the fields of energy, IT and film industry. On the other hand, she requested the support of the American side for Romania's Visa Waiver application and thanked the US for its support to Romania's efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. On Monday, in an address at the University of Bucharest, the American official said Romania made progress towards a strong judicial system and must not backtrack on it. The US official added that the US appreciated the resilience of the Black Sea countries, but also warned against the danger posed by the influence of Russia and China in the region.
TALKS - The Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu held talks in Brussels on Tuesday with the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger and with the Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas. During the meeting with Oettinger, Negrescu said that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the first half of 2019, will make efforts to conclude in the best of conditions several European files. Also, the Romanian official assured Commissioner Moedas that Romania will pay special attention to research and innovation.
CHINA - At a meeting in Beijing with the North-Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the Chinese President Xi Jinping voiced hope that North Korea and the US would implement the conclusions of last week's summit in Singapore. International agencies report that the Pyongyang regime wants China's support to have international economic sanctions eased, in exchange for promises of denuclearization. The visit is Kim's third to China since March.
FOOTBALL - Romanian football champions CFR Cluj on Tuesday found out their potential opponents in the second preliminary round of the Champions League, following the UEFA draw in Nyon, Switzerland. CFR Cluj will play against the winner of the match between the Swedish squad Malmo FF and the winner of the competition's qualifiers. On Wednesday, vice champion FCSB (former Steaua Bucharest) and Viitorul Constanta will find out their opponents in the Europa League. The Romanian cup winners CSU Craiova will play straight into the third preliminary round.