February 20th 2020

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Brussels

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is in Brussels where he is expected to attend an extraordinary meeting of the European Council on Thursday. Talks will focus on EU’s long term budget for 2021 – 2027. However, an agreement this weekend would be a „breathtaking coup”, experts say. Charles Michel, a former Belgian prime minister, has tried to lay the ground for fruitful negotiations by engaging in a series of meetings with individual EU leaders and their top advisers, seeking to identify their top goals. President Iohanis will further support a budget designed to ensure a common cohesion and agricultural policy. However, EU officials warned that cuts on Cohesion and Common Agricultural Policy were inevitable.

New Romanian Cabinet still in question

A new Romanian Cabinet with Ludovic Orban as Prime Ministr will be decided on February 24 when the country’s MPs are expected to express their vote on the issue. After three days of hearings only 4 of the 16 acting ministers put forward were accepted by committees in parliament. The former governing Social Democratic Party, the left-wing PSD, already warned it would not attend the vote next week. However, the right-wing National Liberal Party said it would further support early elections, a vote they claimed it would be crucial for the country. Romanian legislators have toppled Prime Minister Ludovic Orban’s centre-right minority government in a no-confidence vote, raising the possibility of early elections. According to the country’s constitution, the president can only dissolve parliament after two failed attempts to install a new executive within 60 days.

Romanian foreign minister on a visit to Germany

Romanian acting Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu is in Germany on Thursday for a working visit following an invitation by his German counterpart Heiko Maas. The visit comes on the day when the two countries celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations. Mr. Aurescu is also expected to meet Stephan Steinlein, head of the Bureau of German Presidency. In 2019, figures published by the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) showed that Germany remained Romania’s biggest trading partner with 23 percent of total exports and over 20 percent of total imports. The visit also comes after both Mr Aurescu and Mr Maas already met at a Security Confernce in Munich last week.

Alexandru Danga