The PSD-ALDE government has weathered a no-confidence vote
The left-of-center Government in Bucharest led by the interim Social-Democratic leader Viorica Dancila on Tuesday survived a no-confidence motion submitted by the right-wing opposition. The document, which says that Romania urgently needs a government with a pro-European vision focusing on the country's development priorities - education, health, public investment, and attraction of European funds - mustered 200 out of the 233 votes needed for its endorsement. The initiators of the no-confidence vote, the National Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union, the People's Movement Party and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania, have accused the Government of mounting relentless attacks on the judiciary and destabilizing the economy. Government officials, however, expressed doubt with the opposition's willingness to take over the Government at this time. The censure motion has been announced by the main opposition political group, the National Liberal Party, shortly after the European Parliamentary elections on May 26th, when the ruling Social Democrats ranked second and their coalition partner ALDE failed to clear the election threshold of 5%.
Romania was represented at the EU summit in Brussels by its president, Klaus Iohannis
EU leaders, who have recently convened in Brussels for the European summer summit, have adopted the EU Strategic Agenda for the following five years, a document focusing on four priorities - citizen protection, developing a solid economic basis, building a green, equitable, climate-neutral and social Europe, and last but not least the promotion of European values and interests at world level. However, the heads of state and government who convened in Brussels failed to reach an agreement on holders of the main offices in the EU and postponed a decision on this issue until June 30th. The most disputed position is that of head of the European Commission, for which the candidate must obtain at least 21 votes from the member states, as well as majority in the European Parliament. During the Brussels summit, where the Romanian president briefed the participants over the results Bucharest obtained in its six-month mandate, the European leaders hailed the activity carried out by Romania on the multi-annual financial framework, where agreements were reached on 10 sectoral programmes out of the 37 submitted by the European Commission. The Romanian presidency of the EU was a good one with a large number of files successfully finalized, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis pointed out shortly before the beginning of the European Council in Brussels, recalling that the summit held in Sibiu, central Romania, on May 9th enjoyed a tremendous success.
Talks on improving election legislation
Romania's Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has announced the government is working on a project aimed at improving the voting process with a view to allowing citizens from Romania and abroad to exercise this Constitutional right under the best conditions possible. The presidential administration had earlier called for urgent measures to eliminate dysfunctions like those that affected the latest election in the Diaspora. We recall that tens of thousands Romanians spent hours in queues at the polling stations abroad in an attempt to cast their ballot in the European Parliament elections on May 26th. Most of these were even unable to vote just like in the presidential election of 2014. A working group at presidential administration level has gathered opinions from the Romanian citizens in the Diaspora, the line authorities, from NGOs, and election experts. Together with them it identified the measures to implement so that all citizens could vote in decent conditions.
Romanians and the border-free Schengen Area
Romania is not far from its entry into Europe's border-free area, Schengen, or the day of its inclusion into the Visa Waiver programme, the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopulous said in Bucharest. The EU official participated in the EU-U.S. Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs in Bucharest hosted against the background of Romania's holding the EU rotating presidency. An EU member since 2007, Romania should have entered Schengen in 2011, but its entry has been repeatedly postponed due to opposition from some member countries. According to Dimitris Avramopulous accession will take place shortly as the country has lived up to almost all its obligations. The day is not far either when Romanians will no longer need a visa for the USA. The meeting in Bucharest was also attended by US Attorney General William Barr, who held meetings with high-ranking Romanian officials. On that occasion Barr expressed his appreciation for the Strategic partnership the US has with Romania, which he described as the staunchest ally of the USA in the region.
(translated by bill)