May 20, 2021 UPDATE

may 20, 2021 update A roundup of domestic and international news

Covid-19 RO. Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has stated that a new series of anti-COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted starting next month. According to the Romanian official, this does not necessarily depend on meeting the target of 5 million people vaccinated by June 1. The coordinator of Romania's immunization campaign, Valeriu Gheorghiţă, has stated that is unlikely that the target will be met by the end of May, but rather by mid-June. Over 4 million Romanians have taken the anti-COVID jab. Romania ranks 7th at European level and 19th globally in terms of the number of people who've completed the COVID vaccination scheme. Right now, vaccination is available without prior appointment. People can get vaccinated at any center upon presenting their ID. Tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated these days in drive-through centers and as part of vaccination marathons held across the country.628 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours in Romania, out of 31 thousand tests run nationwide. 61 related fatalities were reported during the same interval and 663 patients are still in intensive care.

NRRP. The Romanian Prime Minister, Florin Cîţu, has stated that at the meeting he had on Thursday, with the president of the opposition Social Democratic Party, Marcel Ciolacu, he presented the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, by chapters, with all the budgets and reform elements contained in the document. The meeting came after the Social Democrats insisted to be consulted on the document, which they would also like to be presented in Parliament. After the meeting with the prime minister, Marcel Ciolacu said that he did not have access to the NRRP, but that the Social Democrats wanted a 'transparent and decentralized' plan.  Marcel Ciolacu was accompanied at the meeting by several party specialists, but also by representatives of SMEs and trade unions. The plan was also discussed in detail during Wednesday's government meeting. The Bucharest executive committed to submitting the National Plan to Brussels by the end of the month.

DIICOT. The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) has announced that 1.4 tons of heroin, with a market value of 45 million Euro, were seized in Romania, in the Black Sea Port of Constanta on Thursday. The drugs came from Iran hidden in two containers with building materials that were supposed to reach Western Europe. It is the second largest heroin bust in the European Union in recent years. Police officers from the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and prosecutors announced that they conducted 3 house searches on Thursday, at the members of a group suspected of international heroin trafficking. Also, a day ago, 5 searches were carried out in two Western European countries, targeting the same criminal group. According to the Romanian Police and DIICOT, the investigations began in July 2020, targeting a group involved in drug trafficking, and the judicial authorities of several EU states also took part in the actions.

Meeting. The head of Romanian diplomacy, Bogdan Aurescu, will participate, on Friday, in the 131st meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE), which will take place in videoconference system. The agenda of talks includes topics such as democracy, conflicts and crises in Europe. According to a press release of the MFA, during his speech, Minister Bogdan Aurescu will reiterate, among other things, Romania's position in favor of streamlining multilateralism and strengthening resilience based on democratic values ​​and international law. At the same time, the Romanian Foreign Minister will express his firm support for freedom of expression and the fight against discrimination, racism, xenophobia and hate speech.

Cybersecurity. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hails the adoption by the European Parliament of the Regulation establishing the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre. The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU. According to a EP communiqué, the new Cyber ​​Security Competence Center, based in Bucharest, will bring together cybersecurity expertise and competences. It will also provide financial assistance from the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes for innovative projects developed by start-ups and SMEs. The EU Council adopted the regulation establishing the Cyber ​​Center in Bucharest at the end of April.

Exercise. Over 4,000 Romanian and allied soldiers will participate, with almost 600 technical devices, in the multinational exercise NOBLE JUMP 2021, which takes place between May 19 and June 2, in Romania, the Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday. According to the ministry's communiqué, NOBLE JUMP 2021 is the third stage of the NATO STEADFAST DEFENDER 21 exercise which includes sequences of training and instruction of the allied forces by deploying them in a very short time in Romania. NOBLE JUMP 21 consists in the deployment of the terrestrial component of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) on ground, air and sea on the Romanian territory, having as final destination the Getica National Training Center in Cincu, Brasov county (center). (MI)
Publicat: 2021-05-20 19:53:00
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