SUMMIT – The Romanian capital city Bucharest is hosting on Monday and Tuesday the 3rd Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, an informal president-level platform that brings together the 12 EU member states located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea, namely Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. According to the presidential administration, the main goal of the initiative is the economic development of these countries, by enhancing interconnectivity, particularly from north to south, in 3 major areas: transport, energy, and digital. On the sidelines of the Summit, the first Business Forum of this platform will be held. President Klaus Iohannis will open the Forum on Monday, and later on he will take part in a plenary meeting alongside his counterparts from Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Poland - Andrzej Duda, Austria - Alexander van der Bellen, and the European Commissioner for Regional Development Corina Creţu. The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will attend the Three Seas Initiative Summit for the first time. The first two summits were held in Dubrovnik in 2016 and in Warsaw in 2017.
SWINE FEVER – A first African swine fever outbreak has been confirmed today in Dambovita County, in the south of Romania. Thirteen counties are currently affected by the epidemic, most of them in the south-east and south. The number of outbreaks reaches 900, with the virus identified in over 200 localities. Hundreds of thousands of animals have been culled. Bucharest has requested financial support from the European Commission for the farmers affected by the African swine fever epidemic.
REFERENDUM – The Constitutional Court of Romania is discussing on Monday a bill designed to redefine family, in the Constitution, as based on the marriage of a man and a woman. The bill was passed in the Senate on Tuesday, and requires validation through a referendum. It is based on a citizen initiative signed by 3 million people. The initiators, which are Christian organisations and associations, want the Constitution to narrow down the definition of family to the marriage between a man and a woman, so as to prevent the possibility of legalising same-sex marriage. ACCEPT Association, which promotes the rights of sexual minorities, says that Tuesday’s vote in the Senate has turned homophobia into a principle safeguarded by the state, and that constitutional protection for many types of families in Romania will be sacrificed. Except for Save Romania Union, all parliamentary parties have supported the initiative.
ATTACK – Two American basketball players, aged 24 and 25 respectively, and playing for a team in Braila, south-eastern Romania, were stabbed last night during a conflict that broke out in a bar in the city centre. One of them is in a serious condition, with a punctured lung. He underwent surgery and will be transferred to Bucharest. The other one is in a stable condition. The 2 had been transferred to the club in Braila just one month before. The Romanian handball player Marian Cozma, who was playing for Veszprem, was killed in a bar in the same city, on February 8, 2009, by attackers who stabbed him to death.
TENNIS – The north-western Romanian city of Cluj is hosting today the doubles match and the last 2 singles matches of the Davis Cup’s Group II round 3 between Romania and Poland. The score so far is 1-1. On Saturday, Marius Copil defeated Kamil Majchrzak, and Adrian Ungur lost to Hubert Hurkacz. The doubles match will be pitting Florin Mergea/Horia Tecău, for Romania, against Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski for Poland. The last 2 singles matches are Copil vs. Hurkacz and Ungur vs. Majchrzak. The winning team will be promoted to Group I of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone, from which Romania was demoted at the end of last year.
ROWING – In the World Rowing Championship hosted by Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Romania failed to get any medals in the men’s double sculls final, the women’s eight final and the men’s eight final, held on Sunday. On Saturday the Romanian rowers won 2 medals. Ionela-Livia Cozmiuc and Gianina-Elena Beleagă won the gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls, while Marius-Vasile Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosă won the silver in the men’s pair final.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)