President Klaus Iohannis receives Venice Commission delegation, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan visits Romania
Venice Commission – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday received in Bucharest the visit of a Venice Commission delegation, which will come to an end on Friday. President Iohannis said that he appreciated the Commission’s technical expertise as well as the importance of their opinions in relation to both the justice laws and the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes. The Romanian President also highlighted that the involvement and support of the Venice Commission experts are meant to help Romania have an efficient and modern legislation. In turn, the Venice Commission experts said the opinion of the Commission related to the modifications brought to Romania’s Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes would be adopted during the plenary session of October 19-20. The opinion of the Commission was asked by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. The agenda of the Venice Commission delegation also includes talks with the justice minister Tudorel Toader, among others, and with representatives of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, of prosecutor’s offices and civil society. Promoted by the majority coalition made up of the Social Democratic Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the legislative changes were virulently criticized by the rightwing opposition, the press and NGOs that accuse the power of intending to stop the anti-corruption fight and to subordinate magistrates.
Visit – The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan is in Romania for two days, starting on Thursday, where he will be visiting Bucharest and Cluj Napoca in the northwest. In Bucharest, Commissioner Hogan met with PM Viorica Dancila who asked the EC for full technical and financial support to reduce the impact of the African swine fever crisis on Romanian pig farming. Phil Hogan said that 75% of the pigs grown in households within the EU are in Romania and that the EC intends to grant financial aid to help the Romanian farmers affected by the swine fever crisis. Also on Thursday the European official met with the Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea as well as with members of the Committees for European affairs and for agriculture and rural development in Romania’s Parliament. Together with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu, who is also on an official visit to Romania, Phil Hogan, on Friday will have a dialogue with the citizens of Cluj Napoca with the theme ‘A modern budget for a stronger EU’.
EU funds – The European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu is visiting Romania until September 18. During her visit she will be meeting with the representatives of the local and regional authorities, will assess certain EU-funded projects and will participate in high level conferences. On Wednesday Corina Cretu visited Sibiu, on Thursday she went to Petrosani alongside the Romanian minister for European funds Rovana Plumb to attend a conference that analyzed the present and future of coal mining in the context of the transition to renewable energy.
Bucharest New Delhi direct flight – On Thursday the speaker of the Romanian Senate Calin Popescu Tariceanu received the new Indian ambassador to Romania Thanglura Darlong. CP Tariceanu congratulated the Indian ambassador on his appointment and wished him success in fulfilling his mission. During the talks the speaker of the Romanian Senate highlighted the importance of high level visits as well as of delegation exchanges in such domains as the economy, culture, technology and science and academic education. He also showed interest in re-establishing a direct flight linking Bucharest to New Delhi in order to boost trade exchanges and tourism, shows a Senate communiqué.
Swine fever – The African swine fever is spreading in Romania. According to the National Sanitary – Veterinary and Food Safety Authority, 207 localities from 12 counties are currently affected. The number swine fever outbreaks reached almost 900. The presence of the swine fever virus in Romania was confirmed for the first time on July 31, 2017. So far, more than 232 thousand pigs affected by the virus have been culled. PM Dancila announced that the government will pass an emergency decree under which all employees of the pig farms affected by the crisis that lost their jobs will receive money compensations for 6 months at the most.
EP – The situation in Romania will be debated in the plenum of the European Parliament in the first session of October and in the second session, later that month, a resolution will also be passed, the Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan announced on Thursday. He added that the debates were asked by the Greens/ European Free Alliance after the violent repression of the antigovernment protests of August 10 in Bucharest and that Romania’s PM Viorica Dancila was invited to attend the session. The debates on the rule of law in Romania were approved by the Conference of Presidents, whose members are the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament. (news translated by Lacramioara Simion)