News review of the day – January 6th

Romanian leaders plead for different justice co-operation mechanisms within the EU

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has stated today that the European Commission should give up drafting its systematic country reports for Romania in what justice matters and the rule of law are concerned. The new head of state has expressed this opinion at a meeting held by the High Council of Magistracy meant to elect its new leadership. The President added that Romania has already proved its compliance with commitments undertaken in the justice sector at the time of its accession in the EU in 2007.

According to the Romanian media, this opinion relates to the setback regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen area, as several member states have expressed systematic refusal to vouch for Romania invoking corruption matters and they have conditioned their endorsement by positive country assessments regarding the judicial system.

Romania’s Justice minister Robert Cazanciuc has also stated that co-operation with EU’s institutions regarding progress of justice reforms should be based on mechanisms other than the current CVM and this is the message he is going to present next week in Brussels to Romania’s EU partners.

Robert Cazanciuc: Similar to what several member states have proposed, this co-operation should be taking place within EU-spread mechanisms. We are hoping for a positive report for the second year in a row, which can lead to a favorable political decision for Romania in what Schengen area accession is concerned. At the same time, we could contribute to the creation of a Judicial Co-operation Mechanism valid across the board in the European Union.

Romania is monitoring investigation of bomb attack in Libya that killed 24-year-old seaman

Romania’s FM is keeping a close eye on the investigation regarding the Greek oil tanker that has been attacked by a fighter bomber near the Libyan harbor of Derna, causing the death of a Romanian seaman. The Romanian diplomacy is assuring that circumstances of this case will receive its full attention. The FM has already contacted the Libyan Embassy in Bucharest and is now assisting the family to repatriate the body. The Romanian seaman killed in the attack was from the city of Galaţi and was 24 years old, according to a press release by the Seafarers’ Trade Union. He was at his first voyage and was working on the ship alongside his father who survived the attack. The ship was being investigated last night in the Libyan port of Tobruk. The oil tanker is supposed to cross the Mediterranean to come back to the Greek port of Piraeus.

Social Democratic leader Victor Ponta proposes change of Constitution, Electoral Law

Leader of Social Democratic Party and PM Victor Ponta has proposed to the Liberals the change of Romania’s Constitution, Electoral Law and those laws regarding financing of political parties and territorial organization before any early elections are scheduled. Otherwise, Victor Ponta considers, the new Parliament would number as many MPs as it does now and would be elected following the same system claimed to be inadequate. Organsing early elections would bring at least 100 days of political instability, according to Prime Minister’s Facebook account. Victor Ponta is reminding his opponents that at the end of 2014, the Government has obtained 377 favorable votes and only 143 against.

The frost strikes back

Frosty weather is returning all over Romania starting today. Weathermen have announced temperatures below zero ranging from minus 15 as far as minus 25 degrees Celsius starting 2 PM on Tuesday until Friday. Day time lows will range from minus 10 to zero degrees Celsius. The wind will blow rather hard in half Eastern Romania reaching speeds between 55 and 65 kmph which will amplify the temperature real feel.

Bianca Ioniţă