EU members that fail to meet EU standards on rule of law may lose access to funds
JUSTICE LAWS - Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday announced he would submit the package of justice laws to the Constitutional Court and notify the Venice Commission. According to Iohannis, in its present form, the package of laws meets neither the standards of the rule of law, nor the expectations of the Romanians. The laws do not fit the legal framework and do not meet the European standards, Iohannis also said. The Romanian head of state has argued the new amendments may hinder the justice process allowing for the setting up of new structures that may put pressure on the magistrates. The president also said that after the Constitutional Court has its say over the issue he would make a new assessment and decide if a new revision of the amendments is needed. The ruling coalition, made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, says that the President’s move is an attempt to postpone the enforcement of the justice laws which have already been adjusted in keeping with the Constitutional Court’s and the Venice Commission’s rulings.
CENSURE MOTION – The National Liberal Party, the main opposition party in Romania, on Wedensday tabled a simple motion against the health Minister Sorina Pintea. The Liberals reformulated the text after the Chamber of Deputies’ leadership rejected the document last week, as it also addressed the labout Minister, which is against the rules. The Liberals argue that Sorina Pintea is handling in a faulty manner the problems in the health system.
HEALTHCARE - Romania’s Health Minister Sorina Pintea announced she would inform Prime Minister Viorica Dancila about the problems signalled by the representatives of the healthcare trade unions. Last week, thousands of medical employees staged large-scale protests in Bucharest. Numerous categories of personnel had seen significant pay cuts after the implementation of new regulations aimed at capping their benefits. Trade unions have threatened with a token strike on May 7th that can be followed by an all-out strike four days later.
EC - European Union members that fail to meet EU standards on the rule of law could lose access to its financing, according to a proposal by the European Commission on Wednesday. The European Commission President, Jean Claude Junker explained that the plan has general application and is not aimed against any member state. On May 2nd the European Commission started negotiations on the next EU budget, proposing to plug the gap left by the UK’s living the community bloc by cutting traditional policies and focusing on migration and security challenges.
PROSECUTION - Former deputy prime minister and interior minister, Gabriel Oprea, is being prosecuted for manslaughter in the case regarding the road accident that caused the death of police officer Bogdan Gigina in October 2015. The police officer died while providing official escort to Oprea, who was serving as interior minister at the time.
LAW - The Romanian Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu has hailed the coming into force of a directive on the consular protection for European citizens, including Romanians, who live or travel outside the EU. Under the document, the EU citizens, who are in difficulty in a third country, have the right to benefit the protection of embassies and consulates of other countries in the community zone, if their own country isn’t represented. The EU countries must offer the non-represented European citizens the same assistance they offer their own citizens such as, assistance in case of death, severe accidents or disease; assistance in case of arrest or detention, assistance when a citizen falls victim of an attack or crime, assistance and repatriation in emergency cases. The origin country of the applicants will always be consulted by the country, which offers assistance. Applicants can get information concerning the available assistance and to any agreements in force between consulates by contacting the EU delegation in the respective country. (Translated by Elena Enache)