COMMISSIONER The Liberal MEP Adina Vălean, Romania's pick for the position of EU transport commissioner, will be interviewed on Thursday by the European Parliament's specialist committees alongside the French and Hungarian nominees. On Tuesday, she was given the green light by the Committee on Legal Affairs, which looked at possible conflicts of interest. Also on Tuesday, Vălean was heard by the joint European affairs committees of the Romanian Parliament, whose opinion is advisory. When the formal hearings are over, the president elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will present the full commission and its programme to the European Parliament on the 27th of November. Adina Vălean has said that if she becomes EU commissioner, she will support the continuation of the European Interconnection Mechanism, under which 1.24 billion euros worth of investment reached Romania for transport infrastructure and 500 million euros more for energy. The mechanism aims to connect the transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructures in the European Union.
GOVERNMENT The new Liberal government Wednesday passed an emergency order to provide social protection for the miners about to lose their jobs in the Jiu Valley, in the centre-west. The order comes in response to the demands of the employees of the coal mines in Paroşeni and Uricani, who recently barricaded themselves underground for 11 days. An estimated 360 people are to be laid off this year, with another 700 due to lose their jobs by 2024. Also on Wednesday, the Government passed an emergency order on the status of British citizens in Romania in the event of a no-deal Brexit. According to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Ionel Danca, this order is necessary and requested by the British side, and is aimed at ensuring mutual terms for the status of the Romanian citizens living in Britain post-Brexit. In late October, the ambassadors of the 27 EU member states agreed to extend the Brexit deadline to January 31.
FINANCE In the first 9 months of the year, the current account on the balance of payments saw a deficit of over 8.1 billion euros, as against 6.8 billion in the corresponding period of last year, the National Bank of Romania announced. Foreign direct investments in Romania totaled over 4.2 billion euros in the first 3 quarters, which is approx. 280 million euro less than in the first 9 months of 2018. The central bank also announced that the total foreign debt rose by nearly 8.4 billion euros in the first 9 months, exceeding 108 billion euros.
MOLDOVA Igor Dodon, the pro-Russian president of the Republic of Moldova, Wednesday nominated the presidential adviser Ion Chicu as prime minister. The decision comes after the Socialist MPs agreed to the president’s proposal to form a government of technocrats, and after the negotiations with the pro-European bloc ACUM failed. Dodon invited parliamentary parties to talks on Wednesday on a new majority, following the dismissal of Maia Sandu's pro-European cabinet through a no-confidence vote on Tuesday. The parties have three months to form a new government and avoid early elections. Sandu accused her former Socialist partners, de facto led by Dodon, of bringing down the government because they are afraid of the law. Romania and the European Union have warned the Republic of Moldova that their support, including of a financial nature, is conditional on the continuation of reforms and respect for the rule of law and for democratic standards.
NAVY The King Ferdinand frigate is taking part in an international anti-submarine warfare exercise organised by the Turkish Navy in the Mediterranean Sea and which is under way until the 20th of November, the Navy Chief of Staff has announced. The Romanian crew will be carrying out specific training activities in Turkey's territorial waters and neighbouring international waters alongside colleagues from Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Jordan, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, the United States and Turkey.
TENNIS The Romanian-Dutch pair Horia Tecău and Jean-Julien Rojer Wednesday defeated the world no. 1 and Wimbledon and US Open winners Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia in the ATP Finals in London. This is the first victory for the pair in this year’s edition of the ATP Finals. In the first match of Group Max Mirnyi on Monday, Tecău and Rojer lost to the Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in 3 sets. The Romanian-Dutch pair won the ATP Finals in 2015 and also qualified for this tournament in 2014 and 2017. This year, they won the titles in Madrid and Basel.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu, Cristina Mateescu)