News review of the day – January 8

President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice met with the Dutch Ambassador in Bucharest

President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice Livia Stanciu has met with the Dutch Ambassador in Bucharest for talks on priorities of the Dutch EU Presidency. During the meeting, a speech of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been presented with a focus on major issues of the upcoming months: migration and strengthening of EU’s external borders and aspects regarding the Schengen area amid recent border control installed by some of the Northern states. Social and economic priorities of the European Union have also been discussed, among which the need to create more jobs and reduce poverty, the need to increase energy efficiency. The so-called Pact of Amsterdam which is to be signed in May, focusing on European cities’ development, has also been a subject of the talks.

Cristian Popa is Romania’s candidate for the EIB Vice-President position

Cristian Popa has been designated by Romania to run for the Vice-President postion of the European Investment Bank, according to a press release by the Finance Minstry. Cristian Popa has 16-year experience within the Central Bank and held three consecutive mandates as Deputy Governor, in charge with monetary policy, financial stability and international relations of Romania’s Central Bank. Cristian Popa also served as alternate World Bank governor for Romania and was a member of negotiating teams with the IMF, the Euroepan Commission, the World Bank and other international creditors.

Romanian Embassy in Oslo continues to assist mixed family whose children were taken by social services

The Romanian Embassy in Oslo continues to assist a mixed family whose children were taken from their parents by the Norwegian authorities, on charges of „Christian indoctrination”. The parents, of Romanian and Norwegian origin, are former members of the Pentecostal Church in Bucharest. The Foreign Ministry pointed out the consular assistance is limited by institutional competencies and by the Norwegian legislation, taking also into account the family’s wishes who has explicitly asked for discretion towards mass media. The ministry stressed out that the case does not allow the usage of bilateral judicial co-operation. The embassy has facilitated contact between the family and a list of lawyers and translators. The five children have been registered in the Romanian ledger, but they all have Norwegian citizenship  as well. The Romanian authorities have no information so far regarding possible discriminatory treatment of the Romanian citizens.

EBU criticizes Polish President’s decision to sign into law controversial bill on state media

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has criticized the decision made yesterday by the Polish President to sign into law a controversial bill regarding state media. According to a press release by the EBU, President Andrzej Duda’s decision represents a „step backward” as to the independence of public TV and radio stations in Poland. The bill was endorsed by the Parliament on December 31st despite heavy criticism of the Oposition saying that it gives the Conservative government control over public media. The new bill has also created concern in Brussels. The European Commission scheduled a debate on January 13 regarding status quo of the rule of law in Poland, RADIO ROMANIA reported.

District heating system in Bucharest could access European funds worth 176 million Euros

District heating system in Bucharest could access 176 million Euros from the European Union through The Large Infrastructure Operational Programme (LIOP). According to a document by the Ministry of European Funds, this represents one of the 19 projects in the energy sector which are going to be financed with a total of 500 million Euros. The European money will also be used to streamline heating systems in other eight cities, for smart metering, pipeline transport and electric power transmission, Radio Romania reported.

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