EU TALKS - Romania's vision within the EU is strongly pro-European, and the motto of the Romanian presidency of the EU Council is cohesion, which reflects the need for unity and cooperation among the member states. The statement was made by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea during the meeting he had on Friday in Bucharest with the Secretary General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr and Clara Martinez Alberola, Head of Cabinet of the EC President Jean-Claude Juncker. On Friday, the EU officials also had talks with the Speaker of the Romanian Senate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, about Romania's stand on the main European issues and its priorities as president of the EU Council as of January 1st, 2019. Tariceanu said that Romania will be holding the rotating presidency against a very complex background, marked by many challenges that impact citizens and governments.
EUROPEAN ISSUES - The Romanian Minister of the Interior, Carmen Dan, stated on Friday that Romania, as the country holding the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019, will pay close attention to the phenomenon of radicalisation. The Romanian official also stated that Romania was not faced with a direct and imminent terrorist threat or violent extremism, but was concerned about the development of such phenomena in the past years. The Romanian official made these statements at the High-Level Conference of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), held in Luxembourg, occasioned by the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council held on Thursday and Friday.
ANTI CORRUPTION - Prosecutor Adina Florea, a candidate for the office of head of the National Anticorruption Directorate, demonstrates poor resistance to stress and also a low capacity of analysis and synthesis, reads the opinion of the Superior Council of Magistracy. The Council also noted that, during the interview, the candidate could not prove honesty and impartiality, which are a must for a good manager. On Monday, the Council gave a negative opinion on the proposal set forth by the Justice Minister Tudorel Toader. The opinion is however advisory. The decision to appoint the new head of the Directorate lies with the president of the country, Klaus Iohannis. We recall that the post became vacant in July, when Laura Codruta Kovesi was dismissed by president Iohannis, who had to enforce a ruling issued by the Constitutional Court, although the dismissal was not endorsed by the Superior Council of Magistracy.
JUSTICE LAWS - On Friday, Romania's president Klaus Iohannis promulgated the law on the status of magistrates, the last of the three justice laws, after the bill had been challenged at the Constitutional Court several times. On July 19th, the head of state notified the Court with regard to the changes brought by Parliament to the law on the status of magistrates, motivating that the extraordinary session of the Chamber of Deputies, during which the bill was voted, had not been legally convened. In another move, also on Friday, the Constitutional Court admitted in part the notifications submitted by the Supreme Court, the National Liberal Party, the Save Romania Union and president Iohannis concerning the bill amending the Code of Criminal Proceedings, as well as the one amending the judicial organisation law. According to magistrates, the laws include unclear provisions, while the opposition representatives say now the law favours criminals.
ROMANIAN-ITALIAN RELATIONS - Romania's President, Klaus Iohannis, will travel to Italy, between October 14th and 17th, on the first visit by a Romanian president to that country in the past 45 years. According to a communiqué issued by the Presidential Administration, Klaus Iohannis is due to meet his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, PM Giuseppe Conte, and the Speakers of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and Roberto Fico, respectively. The agenda of the visit also includes meetings with representatives of the Orthodox, Greek-Catholic and Roman-Catholic religious denominations as well as with representatives of the Romanian community, the largest outside the borders of the country. The visit is paid against the backdrop of celebrations marking the Great Union Centennial and 10 years since Romanian-Italian relations were raised at the level of Consolidated Strategic Partnership, the communiqué also reads.
FRANCOPHONIE - Romania will keep playing the role of flagship country of the Francophone Movement, the Romanian deputy prime minister Ana Birchall said during the Conference of heads of state and government of the Francophone countries, held in Yerevan, Armenia, between October 10 and 12. Ana Birchall gave a speech in her capacity as head of the Romanian delegation, underlining Bucharest's commitment to Francophonie and its values. The agenda of talks also covered issues related to the adoption of documents and resolutions concerning the Francophone area, electing the Secretary General of the Francophonie for the 2018-2022 period, debates on crisis situations in the Francophone area and accepting new members of the International Organisation of the Francophonie. Talks also covered such issues as the importance of culture, education and research for the development of countries in the whole Francophone area. On this occasion, the Romanian deputy PM signed an agreement regarding the headquarters of the Regional Bureau of the International Organisation of the Francophonie for Central and Eastern Europe, concluded by the Romanian Government and the International Organisation of the Francophonie.
POLL- Almost two thirds of the Europeans say they are not convinced that their lives would be worse without the European Union, a poll carried out by a polling institute in Brussels, Europe's Friends, shows. The poll was conducted in September, among 11,000 interviewees, from all member states. According to the poll, 64% of the Europeans are not convinced that their lives would be worse without the EU, and almost half of the respondents said the Union is irrelevant. The poll underlines that over 30% of the North Europeans, the French and the Germans want to promote values and democracy in the EU, whereas over 40% of the citizens in Southern Europe and the Vishegrad Group, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, believe the main objective of the European bloc should be economic growth.