Weekly Policy and Political Report October 22-29, 2018
Consultations between Klaus Iohannis and the political parties On Wednesday, October 24th, 2018, President Klaus Iohannis has met with all political parties that have a sit in the Parliament to discuss the changes proposed for the Justice Laws. Before the meeting, Iohannis said that he does not wish to sign a pact with PSD, ALDE or any other political party, but that it is necessary for them to have a conversation on the sensitive topic of justice. Following the consultations, the general agreement following the meetings between President Klaus Iohannis and the political parties is that politicians need to reach a consensus and collaborate to come up with the best solutions regarding the Justice Laws as well as other topics of national importance.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report October 15-22, 2018
Government reshuffle   PSD president, Liviu Dragnea, has talked once more about the Government reshuffle, saying that there are “zero chances” of keeping the Government’s current structure. He also said that, following Viorica Dancilă’s return from her official visits abroad, they will agree upon the date of the next meeting of the PSD Executive Committee (CEx) where they will discuss the activities of all Ministers. Moreover, on Friday, October 19th, 2018, the vice-president of PSD, Doina Pană, said that the special committee in charge of analyzing the activities of the Ministers has finished its activity and is looking forward to the CEx meeting to discuss the reshuffle. The meeting is supposed to happen this week.   On the other hand, ALDE leader, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu said that ALDE does not plan to change any of his Ministers, but every party has the right to evaluate its Ministers as it sees fit.   Both the Minister for Waters and Forests and the Minister for Tourism said that they do not see a tragedy in the possibility of losing their position within the current government if the evaluation shows that they did not perform accordingly to people’s expectations.  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report October 8-15 2018
GEO on the Justice Laws On October 15th, the Government adopted a Government Emergency Ordinance that amends and completes the Justice Laws. According to Prime-Minister Viorica Dancilă, the GEO has the purpose of harmonizing the existing legislation to be a better fit for the current situation in Romania. As expected, the controversial changes have already caused reactions among politicians. Former Prime-Minister Victor Ponta accused the Government of rushing these changes which risk of doing even more damage to the justice system. On the other hand, former President Traian Băsescu argued that this GEO has several measures that were needed, even though the Minister of Justice has exaggerated in some circumstances (e.g. his right of asking for judicial controls against judges and ongoing investigations). MP Adrian Țuțuianu reiterated that even though he agrees that there is an urgent need to modify the Penal Codes, these changes should have been discussed inside the party.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, October 1-8, 2018
Flopped Romanian Constitutional Referendum The Romanian constitutional referendum which aimed to modify the definition of “family” from article 48 of the Romanian Constitution was held on the 6th and 7th October. Despite the extraordinary measures employed by the Government to organize the referendum over two days, the turnout was unexpectedly low. Thus, only 21,08% of the voting population participated in the referendum, according to the Central Electoral Bureau, which meant that the threshold of validation was not attained (30% of the population with a right to vote). Preliminary results of the referendum show that 91,57% of people voted in favour of the amendment, while a merely 6,46 % dissented. Despite this, the national referendum that cost around EUR 40 million was invalidated and will produce no effects upon the Romanian Constitution.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, September 24 - October 1, 2018
Romania's rule of law to be discussed in the European Parliament The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) is to analyze on October 1st the situation in Romania concerning the rule of law, alongside VP of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. The plenary of the European Parliament (EP) is to discuss the issue on October 3rd and PM Viorica Dăncilă is invited to attend the session. On October 1st, MEP Claudia Țapardel from the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) released a statement criticizing the debates for this week, arguing that Romania is used as a scapegoat and ”is discriminated at the EU level”, with no sign of European unity on display. She added that a discussion on the priorities of Romania’s EU Council Presidency and the future of the EU would have been more productive. Furthermore, she accused the leader of the EPP group, Manfred Weber, of coordinating an “offensive” against the legitimately instated Gov’t of Romania, in the context of his aspiring to the Presidency of the European Commission.  Based on the upcoming debates, PNL Senator Alina Gorghiu requested the ruling coalition to issue a GEO in order to stop the entry into force of the amendments brought to the justice laws, seeing it as the only reasonable political solution at this time.


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