March 19th 2018

This week in Romania’s Parliament

Romanian Parliament’s lower house is expected to start on Monday debates over articles in judicial laws ruled as uncostitutional by the country’s Constitutional Court (RCC). A Special Committee in the House of Deputies was expected to start debates on the issue early on Monday. Laws under debate include such issues as the Statute of Judges and Prosecutors, the law concerning the judicial organisation and a law concerning the Statute of the country’s Superior Council of the Magistrature. RCC judges partially admitted appeals by opposition parties and the country’s High Court of Cassation and Justice claiming that proposed changes were unconstitutional. There are some 20 articles under debate, accordng to Radio Romania.
In another development, the Romanian Senate is expected to discuss changes concerning the current vehicle leasing law.

Call in support of declassifying SRI agreements

Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader called on the country’s attoney general to confirm or deny alleged secret agreements between Romania’s Interior Ministry, National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) and the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) on hand and the country’s Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) on the other. Minister Toader called on Attorney General Augustin Lazăr to confirm the date and the signatories of the alleged agreements and start declassification procedures. Mr. Toader’ request on Monday comes after Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă made a similar appeal last week.

President Klaus Iohannis goes to Brussels

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is expected in Brussels later this week in order to attend the spring edition of a two-day European Council summit starting on March 22. The spring European Council will focus on economic affairs. Heads of state or government will also look at a number of other pressing issues, including taxation and foreign affairs. Finally, EU leaders will also discuss Brexit (in an EU 27 format) and eurozone (Euro Summit format). Among other things, he European Council will be invited to adopt conclusions on Western Balkans, ahead of the May summit in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. As a follow up to discussions at their informal meeting on 23 February, leaders will also discuss recent developments in relations with Turkey, as well as the recent attack in the UK on Sergei and Yulia Skripal. EU leaders will also review the state of the negotiations following the United Kingdom’s notification of its intention to leave the EU and adopt additional guidelines.

Romania’s wintry spring

Snow and freezing rain have delayed dozens of flights in Romania, while trains are also running late after an unseasonal cold snap gripped the country where temperatures were around minus 5 Celsius. Weather forecasters issued an amber warning Monday for Bucharest and seven counties in southern and eastern Romania for sleet, snow and black ice until Tuesday evening. Trains running from Bucharest to the Black Sea port of Constanta and the southern city of Craiova were delayed. The Arctic weather comes after an unusually mild winter.

Alexandru Danga