News review of the day – January 28th

The European Commission published the CVM report regarding Romania’s progress in justice reform

„Romania is on the right course and needs to stick to it. The fight against corruption remains the biggest challenge and priority. We welcome the progress achieved over the past year, which will need to be confirmed in 2015. ” –  the European Commission’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans stated on the publication of the report assessing Romania’s progress in the field of justice in 2014 under the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism. The Commission welcomed the good co-operation with Romania’s Cabinet over the last year and considers that a consensus has been reached regarding reforms, which have seen significant progress.
Christian Wigand, spokesman of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans: The report acknowledges a continuous progress registered over the last 12 months and encourages it to go on. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for this report, said Romania is on the right track and needs to stick to it, so this is the essential message for your country this year.
At the same time, the Commission has recommended Romania to take further action to ensure judicial independence, transparent and merit-based selection procedures for the nomination of a new Chief Prosecutor for the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and to conduct a global review of appointment processes for senior positions in the magistracy by December 2015, taking inspiration from the procedures used to appoint the President of the Higher Court of Cassation and Justice.
The Commission has invited Romania to make sure that the Code of Conduct for the MPs includes clear provisions so that parliamentarians respect the independence of the judicial system.
The next CVM report will be published next year.
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis has welcomed the newly published report which is mostly a positive one and reveals significant consolidation of Romania’ s progress, he says. The head of state has mentioned at the same time that he took notice of the critical aspects of the report, reminding the ones regarding legislators’ immunity waiver cases that have been denied by the Parliament and the lack of clear regulations meant to speed up those cases when ministers or MPs prosecuted for corruption should be deffered to justice.

President Klaus Iohannis consulted political parties on pending reforms

Consultations between President Klaus Iohannis and representatives of the parliamentary parties today have approached two main subjects: the need to change the electoral laws and the urge to speed up immunity waiver procedures for the MPs.
Representatives of all political parties have agreed that the vote system needs to be reformed so that Romanians living abroad could exert their voting right in optimal conditions. Among the proposals forwarded to the President: a compulsory national vote, vote by correspondence for the electors abroad and a reduction of the legal voting age down to 16. At the same time, a smaller number of MPs is a reform that has been suggested by all parties.

International creditors delegation to assess economic evolution and the Swiss Franc crisis

Romania’s international creditors delegation started its assessment visit in Bucharest yesterday with talks at the Central Bank’s headquarters. The subjects on the two-week agenda will include evolution of Romania’s economic data, the progress of the privatization process or the Fiscal Code. The most delicate matter ye to be discussed concerns measures taken by the authorities to counteract the effects of the Swiss Franc crisis on Romanians with credits in this currency. The last quotation showed the Swiss Franc had lost another 6 Ron yesterday and the official exchange rate is now 4.42 Ron for 1 CHF.

Nine companies to start new construction works on Transylvania Highway

Nine companies have won the tender process for the construction works of a new sector of Transylvania Highway in northern Romania, between the cities of Câmpia Turzii and Târgu Mureş – according to the Transport minister. Five segments measuring 56.5 kilometres altogether have been the object of the tender and the execution deadline is 16 months. The costs reach 1.2 billion Ron and will be covered by European grants. The longest segment measures 18 kilometres and costs 400 million Ron. Contracts should be signed as soon as the 10-day dispute time expires.

Romanian Radio’s Children Choir qualifies for the final of celebrated EURORADIO competition

Romanian Radio’s Children Choir has qualified for the final of the EURORADIO „Let the Peoples Sing” Choral Competition, a celebrated international event in choral music under the patronage of the European Broadcasting Union. The competition was initiated back in 1961 by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation – London) and was at first only a national event, until 1966.
This year’s semifinals have taken place in Munich on January 22nd and 23rd. Nine ensembles out of 19 participant ones have been selected by an international jury after auditioning submitted recordings. The qualifiers are therefore representing Denmark, Romania, the United States, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Sweden, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
The finals are scheduled for Sunday, October 11th 2015 in Munich, in a live broadcast on BR-KLASSIK station with the concert being hosted by the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) within the 2015-2016 Euroradio season.
The Romanian Radio’s Children Choir was set up in 1945 and had a spectacular evolution over time giving proof of its artistry at international level. With more than 50 festivals attended around the world and several important awards, the young singers have managed to obtain in 2004 the title of „Cultural Ambassador of the European Union” conveyed by the  European Choral Association.

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