MOLDOVA – The Joint Committee on European Integration of the Romanian and Moldovan parliaments has voiced support to speed up projects of energy interconnection, to develop cooperation in the field of constructions and upgrade transport infrastructure. In a release on Monday, in Chisinau, the Committee says it supports sustainable solutions able to increase effectiveness in terms of border traffic. The Committee also asked for a bilateral accord between the Romanian and Moldovan governments that should ease the access to jobs for citizens from both states. These topics are to be tackled at the joint meeting of the two country’s governments that is to be held at the end of June.
VENICE COMMISSION – Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader on Monday met with the Venice Commission delegation who is in Romania on a 2-day visit focusing on the changes to the justice laws. Talks focused on the revised laws and their current stage and on the revision of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. The delegation’s agenda includes meetings with President Klaus Iohannis, with Parliament members, and officials from the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Anti-corruption Directorate, the Higher Council of Magistracy, judge and prosecutor associations and civil society organisations. Both President Iohannis, and the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have requested the opinion of this body, which comprises independent experts in constitutional law, with respect to the Romanian laws on the organisation of courts, the operation of the Higher Council of Magistracy and the status of judges and prosecutors. The requests came after the right-wing opposition, the media and civil society claimed that these laws are used by the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in order to stop the fight against corruption and get control over magistrates.
TRADE - Romania’s exports totalled over 22 billion Euros in January – April 2018, while imports reached nearly 26 billion euros, according to data made public on Monday by the National Statistics Institute. The trade deficit reached 3.7 billion euros in the first 4 months of the year, as against 3.3 billion euros last year. According to the Institute, in the first 4 months most of the imports and exports were accounted for by vehicles and transport equipment and other manufactured products.
EXERCISE – A large-scale military exercise involving more than 800 Romanian and British troops is taking place until June 22 in the counties Braşov (in central Romania) and Prahova (in the south). The troops are training as part of Sarmis 18, which is coordinated by the Brasov-based 2nd Mountain Troops Brigade. Also taking part are members of Battalion 47 Communications and IT and 1st Battalion, The Rifles from the UK. The exercises are designed to simulate military interventions in case of hybrid threats.
SUMMIT – The North-Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and US President Donald Trump are in Singapore, where they are holding a historic meeting on Tuesday morning. The summit is the first one between a Kim dynasty member and a US president in office. The talks, whose outcome is uncertain, will focus on the achievement of a special agreement regarding, above all, a full, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea in exchange for relaxing international economic and diplomatic sanctions. President Donald Trump has today voiced optimism about the eagerly awaited meeting, which was unimaginable just months ago, when Trump and the Pyongyang leader were exchanging harsh lines that made the world fear the worst.
THEATRE - In Sibiu (central Romania), the 25th International Theatre Festival continues. This is the largest performing arts event in Romania and one of the most important in Europe. On Monday, the 4th day of the festival, over 40 events were scheduled, including the opening of the performance exchange, a structure launched 22 years ago in Romania, which brings together companies and festival directors from around the world. Thousands of artists from over 70 countries are performing every day both in theatre halls and in unconventional venues.
FILM FESTIVAL – The Bucharest International Film Festival opened on Monday in Bucharest with the production The Leisure Seeker, directed by the Italian Paolo Virzi, featuring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland in the lead roles. This year’s edition of the festival includes new films, awarded at international festivals, which are not yet screened in cinemas. As many as 20 films are part of the competition. The festival has a new section, entitled “Focus on Israel”, with six productions to be presented for the first time in Romania, a special section for shorts and one dedicated to the Centennial.
TENNIS – The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, number 1 in the world, returned to Bucharest on Monday, when she presented her first Grand Slam trophy, won in Roland Garros to the Romanian public. At a news conference held upon her arrival at the Henri Coanda Airport, Halep said she wanted to share the joy of winning her first Grand Slam title with her fans. A number of officials and sports personalities welcomed Halep at the airport, such as the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ioana Bran, the head of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee, former Olympic sabre champion Mihai Covaliu and the head of the Romanian Tennis Federation, George Cosac.
(Translated by Elena Enache)