Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, September 10-17, 2018
On September 11, Minister of Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, announced that the ministry is currently analyzing the possibility of eliminating the differentiated excise duties for fuels. Teodorovici also stated that highway tolls might be introduced. On the same date, the Minister of Finance stated that the ministry is currently working on changing the law on insolvency (Law no. 85/2014) so that it can produce the expected effects of the market, and that the draft law will soon be ready. Subsequently, Hotnews.ro published a working document claiming it to be the draft G.E.O. that the Government plans to adopt in order to amend the law on insolvency, and presented the main changes comprised in it.  On September 17, the Finance Minister stated that the draft normative act aimed at modifying the insolvency law which the Government is currently drafting is supported by private sector and it will “clean-up” the Romanian market. Teodorovici also blamed the Ministry of Justice for refusing to assume responsibility for this project and to issue the necessary notice.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, 10-17 September 2018
PSD Governing Program: PSD released a schedule with its legislative priorities until the end of 2018. The Sovereign Development and Investment Fund, the draft GO on the Lobbying Law, "Investește în Tine" program, the draft Bill of the "Romania 2040" strategy and the GO on the Law of companies with the state as a majority shareholder are among the subjects on the agenda. The Three Seas Initiative Summit is hosted by President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest between the 17th and 18th of September. Its aim is to improve the interconnectivity between the Central and South-Eastern European countries that are in attendance, focusing on the transportation, energy and digital sectors.  The cohesion between all EU Member States and the US economic presence acting as a catalyzer for the region are also on the agenda.  In a message of support for the summit, US President Donald Trump reflected on the need to strengthen energy security and praised the efforts to construct gas pipelines in the region that would deepen integration. Cohesion Funds: For the 2021-2027 period, Romania could benefit from a 10% increase in cohesion funds if the Multiannual Financial Framework is approved as it is now, stated EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu, on September 15th.  She advocated for more responsibility in applying for EU funds, as well as reducing bureaucracy and enhancing administrative capacity.  Crețu expressed her disappointment with Romania’s inability to make proper use of EU funds, informing the press that only four projects concerning transportation infrastructure have been submitted since 2014. She highlighted the importance of the Sibiu-Pitești highway both for the country and the EU as a whole, naming it ”the missing link” in the European transportation section connecting the area from Rotterdam to Constanța. 


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, August 29 - September 12, 2018
On September 9, The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, attended a talk-show on Antena 3 TV station where he mentioned the current pressing issues for the party (and for himself). The internal divide within PSD continued to grow after last week’s statements of Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea against Dragnea. The latter alluded that Firea was being manipulated and that it was completely unreasonable of her to ask for the resignation of Carmen Dan (Minister of Internal Affairs) without any evidence. Even though he stated that her position as mayor is not threatened, Dragnea reminded that he was the one that proposed and endorsed Firea’s candidacy for the City Hall.


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, September 3-10, 2018
On September 4th, 2018 President Klaus Iohannis suspended the meeting of the Supreme Council of Defense (CSAT) which was convened on order to discuss the project of budget adjustment advanced by the Government. In the press statement that followed the meeting, President Iohannis stated that the notice of the CSAT is mandatory when discussing normative acts affecting the budget of national security institutions. The President requested the Government to adapt the draft budget adjustment. In response, Finance Minister, Eugen Teodorovici claimed that “any delay in the budget adjustment could negatively impact the economy”. He argued that there was no legal ground for suspending the CSAT meeting and requested the declassification of the transcript of the meeting. Also, Teodorovici stated that, that the Government must request the notice of the CSAT for the budget adjustment, but is under no obligation to obtain it, citing Constitutional Court Decisions no. 383/2011, 574/2011 and 575/2011. On September 5th, the Government adopted the budget adjustment for 2018, thought GEO no. 78/2018 on the state budget and GEO no. 79/2018 on the state social insurance budget. On the same date, President Iohannis, strongly condemned the Government’s action of adopting the budget adjustment, without the notice of the CSAT and asked the Ombudsman to challenge the constitutionality of GEO on the adjustment of the state budget, before the Constitutional Court. The Ombudsman announced that he will consider it.  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, 3-10 September 2018
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, attended a talk-show on Antena 3 TV station where he mentioned the current pressing issues for the party (and for himself). The internal divide within PSD continued to grow after last week’s statements of Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea against Dragnea. The PSD leader also mentioned in passing the ruling coalition’s political priorities for the upcoming Parliamentary session: the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund, the laws on national security, referendum on redefining “the family”, the off-shore bill, the Romania 2040 strategy and the lobbying law. He reiterated his support for PM Viorica Dăncilă and the current Gov’t, even though an evaluation of ministers’ activity is expected to happen this week. He added that there is a distinct possibility that some ministers will be replaced by early October.


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