STRASBOURG – The European Parliament is today voting upon a resolution on the observance of the rule of law in Romania. According to Radio Romania’s correspondent in Strasbourg, the resolution brings together the standpoints of the EP following last month’s debate, also attended by Romanian PM Viorica Dăncilă, whose focal point of the talks was the reform of the judiciary and the protests in Romania against the changes to the justice laws. The text of the resolution calls on the Romanian Parliament and Government to counteract any measures which might decriminalise corruption in office, to fully implement the recommendations of the EC, GRECO and the Venice Commission and to refrain from making any reform which might put in jeopardy the observance of the rule of law, including the independence of the judiciary. The resolution also notes reasons of concern on political restrictions of mass media liberties and condemns what its calls the violent and disproportionate intervention of the gendarmes and of the police in the August 10 protest of the diaspora, against the government made up of the Social Democratic Party –the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats.
CVM – The European Commission is today making public a new CVM report on Romania. The document makes an X-ray analysis of the justice system and of the fight against corruption, reviewing the measures that have been taken in these domains. According to European sources, in the current document, the EC calls on Bucharest to observe the recommendations made by the Venice Commission on the recent changes brought to the justice laws and the criminal codes. The Venice Commission considers that the two codes have been adopted through a fast and non-transparent legislative process. As regards the Criminal Code, the most important ascertainment is that it decriminalises facts related to THE abuse of office, which makes almost impossible the sentencing of those guilty. Also in the new CVM report, the European Commission calls for the revision of the instruments of the fight against corruption and wants to re-launch the process of nominating the chief of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate, by promoting prosecutors with a rich experience in the fight against corruption. It is also recommended that the opinion of the Superior Council of Magistracy in the procedure to remove from office and nominate chief prosecutors to be mandatory and not consultative, as is now. In brief, the European Commission wants the CVM to be lifted by the end of its mandate. The CVM is a process of regulated verification of the progress that Romania and neighbouring Bulgaria are making in reforming the judiciary and fighting corruption. The mechanism was instated when the two countries joined the EU, on January 1, 2007.
NOMINATIONS - Ecaterina Andronescu has today been nominated by the National Standing Bureau of the Social Democratic Party, the senior party in the ruling coalition in Romania, for the position of education minister. The seat has been vacant since September, after Valentin Popa tendered his resignation. Also, state secretary with the Romanian Foreign Ministry, George Ciamba, was designated to replace Victor Negrescu as minister delegate for European Affairs. Negrescu stepped down at end of last week. Romania will take over on January 1, the presidency of the EU Council and Victor Negrescu had responsibilities relating to the whole project, involving preparations. PM Viorica Dăncilă has today told a press conference that in spite of the newly created situation after the resignation tendered by Negrescu, Bucharest is ready to hold the half-yearly rotating presidency of the EU Council. Yesterday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, voiced concern about the latest developments at the level of the government, which might affect, in his opinion, Romania’s capacity to take over the presidency of the EU Council.
POVERTY - The
lowest decrease in the number of people at risk of poverty as a result of unemployment
benefits from the state or dwelling aid was registered last year in Greece (16%)
and Romania (17%), data released by Eurostat on Tuesday show. In nine member states
the decrease rate was below 25%, whereas the European average stood at some 32%. According to the latest report made
public by Eurostat last month, over a third (35.7%) of Romania's population was
at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2017, a worse situation in the EU being
registered only in Bulgaria, where 38.9% of the population runs this risk.
EBRD - Transparency
in drafting government policies in the 38 countries where the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development is activating has not improved since the start of the decade, with some
exceptions, like Kazakhstan, Romania and Ukraine, the annual transition report
issued by that financial institution shows. The document underlines the progress made by
countries in six key domains, from competitiveness and resilience, to the way
they are governed. According to the
latest forecast issued this month by EBRD, Romania's economy will register a
growth rate of 4.2% in 2018, to go down to 3.6% next year. EBRD is one of the major
institutional investors in Romania. The
bank has invested so far some 8 billion Euros in the country, in over 400
projects. In 2017 alone, EBRD invested some 550 million Euros in Romania. Over
500 million have been invested in the private sector, thus reaching the highest
level of investment in the past seven years.
GAUDEAMUS- The 25 edition of the Gaudeamus International Fair, a landmark of the book market in Romania, an event organised by Radio Romania opens its doors on Wednesday. Gaudeamus 2018 will unfold under the auspices of a triple anniversary: the Great Union Centennial, 9 decades since the first broadcast was aired by Radio Romania, one of the oldest radio stations in Europe and the 25th edition of the Gaudeamus Fair.