European elections - Around 19 million voters are summoned to the polls today to elect Romania’s representatives in the new European Parliament. 13 political parties are taking part in the race. Adding to these are 3 independent candidates. Romania will have 33 members in the new European Parliament makeup, but according to a European Council decision, one of these seats will only be assigned to Romania after Brexit has taken effect. The Romanians living abroad can cast their vote in 441 polling stations, most of them in Italy and Spain, each of them home to around 1 million Romanians, and in the Republic of Moldova, a country with mostly Romanian-speaking population. According to the Central Election Bureau, the voter turnout rate in the country 6 hours since the start of the vote was 19.75%, which means that 3.6 million people have already voted. In the capital Bucharest, 20.79% of the citizens have voted by 1 p.m. Also by 1 p.m., some 99,788 Romanians in the Diaspora went to the polls. At many of the polling stations abroad huge queues have formed since the opening of the vote, such being the case in Turin, London, Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Vienna and Brussels. Citizens of another 20 EU countries are also going to the polls today. The citizens of Britain, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovakia, Latvia and Malta have already voted for the European Parliament.
Referendum - Concurrently with the European election today, Romania also holds a referendum on the judiciary, initiated by President Klaus Iohannis. Voters receive three ballot papers – one for the European election, and two for the questions in the referendum. Romanians must answer with “YES” or “NO” to the following questions: "Do you support a ban on amnesty and pardon in cases related to corruption?" and "Do you support the ban on the adoption by the government of emergency ordinances in the field of crimes, punishments and judicial organisation and the extension of the right to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court?" By 1 p.m. some 16.08% of Romanians cast their vote across the country, according to the Central Election Bureau. By 1 p.m. the voter turnout rate in the capital Bucharest was 17.22% while 98,174 Romanians cast their vote in the Diaspora. The referendum will only be valid if at least 30% of those enrolled on the electoral register turn up at polling stations.
Celebration – The Day of Romanians Everywhere has been celebrated starting 2015, in recognition of the importance that the Romanian state attaches to the Romanian communities outside the country’s borders. This celebration takes place on the last Sunday of May. The numerous Romanian Diaspora contributes to the promotion of our identity, as each Romanian carries the message of our culture and customs, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has said in a message conveyed on this occasion. The state institutions have the duty to reinstate Romanians’ trust in their country, allowing them to come back home and put their abilities, new mentality and experience gained abroad to the service of the community, thus contributing to the development of a strong Romania, President Iohannis went on to say. A series of events occasioned by the Day of Romanians Everywhere are being held in Romania and abroad.
Cannes Film Festival - The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival ended with jury president, Alejandro González Iñárritu, announcing the jury’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his politically charged film "Parasite”. The film tells the story of a lower-class family who tries to improve its social situation by infiltrating a rich household. The award for best actress went to British rising star Emily Beecham for Jessica Hausner’s “Little Joe.” Antonio Banderas took the trophy for best actor, awarded for his leading turn in Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical “Pain and Glory.” The French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop earned the Grand Prix for her debut feature, “Atlantics.”
Fair - Romania participates, for the first time, with an exhibition, in the Révélations International Fine Craft & Creation Biennial, held this weekend in Paris that takes a fresh look at contemporary creation. The designer is the core of the event. The biennial encourages the dialogue between fine craft and creation professionals of the world. Around 450 craftsmen, artists of matter, designers, art galleries, art manufacturers, art factories, art foundations from 33 different countries present their new and original creations to professional visitors and art enthusiasts. Initiated by Ateliers d'Art de France in 2013, Révélations is the international fine craft and creation appointment not to be missed. The biennial reunites a constantly increasing and wide audience: general public, amateurs and collectors, architects, decorators, gallery owners, purchasing offices, but also artistic directors and luxury goods houses.
Exhibition - 24 Romanian universities are presenting their educational offer in Washington, over May 26th and 31st within the annual NAFSA exhibition, the most prestigious international event of this kind, Romania's National Council of Rectors has announced. The conference is expected to bring together more than 10 thousand participants and 35 hundred universities from 100 countries. According to a communiqué of the National Council of Rectors, Romania offers a high-quality education environment as well as a series of facilities in its campuses up to European standards at better prices than in other European countries.
Football - Viitorul Constanta football side won Romania's football cup for the first time on Saturday, after defeating Astra Giourgiu 2-1. Another famous football side from Romania, CFR Cluj has for the fifth time and the second in a row won Romania's football championship. (Translated by Elena Enache)