June 1 – On the International Children's Day, marked on June 1 special activities are organized throughout Romania. Children are expected at concerts and flash mobs, treasure hunting parties, sports and creative activities and theater performances. In Bucharest, the Palace of Parliament opens its doors, and children and their companions will be able to visit the plenum halls of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and can also participate in outdoor activities in the gardens of the largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Superheroes and princesses, a flight simulator, a magic show or a military marching band will make the day for children. In Oradea (west), the State Philharmonic presents a special concert with cartoon music, and in Constanţa (southeast) there will be puppet shows, magic and face painting.
Vouchers – Wednesday sees the start, in Romania, of the process of issuing, distributing and uploading the social vouchers offered through the government program 'Support for Romania'– the Romanian Ministry of Investments and European Projects announced. The vouchers have a face value of 250 lei (about 50 Euros), are intended for people in situations of material deprivation or risk of poverty and are part of the most important initiative of this kind carried out, so far, from the perspective of the number of beneficiaries. According to the aforementioned source, over 2.5 million Romanians will receive vouchers for the purchase of food products: pensioners from the public pension system, people with a very severe, severe or moderate disability, families with at least 2 dependent children or single parents. A first for this social assistance program is the wide range of funding sources, both from the state budget and from European non-reimbursable funds.
Embargo – The US has welcomed the embargo on Russian oil imports decided earlier this week by the European Union, which thus cuts off funding for Russia's war against Ukraine, France Presse reports. The European leaders have reached an agreement under which Russian oil imports will be reduced by about 90% by the end of the year. U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US, which is less dependent than Europeans on Moscow's energy, has already announced a ban on all Russian oil imports. He also hailed the European efforts meant to diversify energy supply and develop renewable sources to reduce long-term dependence on Moscow.
Unemployment – The unemployment rate in the European Union stood at 6.2% in April, a stable figure as compared to the previous month and down from 7.5% in the same period in 2021 - show data released today by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat). With an unemployment rate of 5.5% in April, Romania ranks among the EU member states with a low level of unemployment. The lowest rates were reported in the Czech Republic (2.4%), Germany and Poland (both with 3%) and Malta (3.1%). On the other hand, the highest unemployment rates were recorded in April in Spain (13.3%) and Greece (12.7%).
PPE – The Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, as presdient of the National Liberal Party, has had several bilateral meetings with European officials on the sidelines of the European People's Party (EPP) Congress in Rotterdam: with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and with the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, as well as with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu. At the same time, Nicolae Ciucă met with the new president of the European People's Party, Manfred Weber. During his meeting with Ursula Von der Leyen, the Liberal leader expressed appreciation for the European institution's constant and sustained effort to ensure coordination and unity at EU level. At the same time, the Romanian PM also expressed his support for the rapid implementation of the sixth package of sanctions against the Russian Federation and strongly condemned the war of aggression launched by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine. The future of the EPP, the current EU agenda and the enlargement of the Schengen area were the topics discussed in the meeting with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. Prime Minister Ciucă also reiterated on this occasion that Romania's accession to the Schengen area is a priority for the Romanian authorities. (LS)