Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, October 19-26, 2016
On Monday, October 24, Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș, members of the Cabinet, presidents of the two chambers' Committees for European Affairs, alongside presidential advisor on EU affairs Leonard Orban were present at the event "Start for 2019. Romanian Presidency of the EU Council". Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș informed that a priority action masterplan focusing on the technical-administrative side of the project is to be released in a short time. Cioloș also addressed the narrow timeframe Romania has in order to prepare for the rotating presidency. Cioloș added that the Government already established a unit with the Chancellery, in charge of building the team who will manage the presidency ensured by Romania from an administrative point of view.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, October 12-19, 2016
Last week, PSD and PNL released their political agenda for this year’s general elections. Both platforms were equally criticized by the president of the Fiscal Council, Ionuț Dumitru. His criticism prompted a reaction from PSD’s Liviu Dragnea, who accused members of the Fiscal Council of being accomplices to decisions taken by former Prime Minister Emil Boc with regards to cutting wages and raising the VAT, although - as Dumitru explained - the Council was not active at that time. This week, despite criticism coming from experts and from the Government, the draft bill initiated by PSD, aiming to eliminate 102 non-fiscal taxes, passed at a record speed through the Senate. In less than a week, the draft bill went from the Standing Bureau straight to the Plenum of the first notified Chamber, after a 20-minute debate in the Reporting Committee. 


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, October 5 - 12, 2016
Members of the Cioloș Cabinet have been under the scrutiny of political parties over the past weeks, and future challenges to their legitimacy are to be expected, especially given the electoral context. This week, PSD demanded JusMin Raluca Prună's after the Minister stated that she had unknowingly lied to the European Court of Human Rights (CEDO) when she said that Romania has the necessary funds for its penitentiary infrastructure. The Social Democrats filed a simple motion against Prună after the statement made by the Justice Ministry at the Supreme Council of Magistracy (CSM). However, the Plenary Sitting of the Chamber of Deputies was suspended due to lack of quorum, which prompted reactions from both PSD and PNL, which accused each other of having boycotted the vote.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission September 27 –October 5, 2016
Last week, Vasile Blaga stepped down from the leadership of the National Liberal Party, leaving Alina Gorghiu the sole president of the party. Blaga resigned after the National AntiCorruption Directorate placed him under 60-day judicial control for influence peddling. The case is connected to the funding of the 2009 electoral campaign of the Liberal Democratic Party (PDL), the governing party at that time. The recent corruption scandal casts a shadow over PNL’s chances in the December 11 elections, as Blaga was a tried expert in fundraising and managing an electoral campaign. Apart from Blaga, the National Liberals also lost Ludovic Orban, with the latter announcing that he is not going to runfor another term.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, January 4-8, 2016
The beginning of the year officially marked the entrance into an electoral year that has to offer a series of novelties when it comes to both electoral legislation, and political forces taking part in the elections. Also confirmed by PM Dacian Cioloș, one of the technocratic Government’s top priorities is to ensure fair and orderly elections, a challenging task given the changes brought to the electoral process. PM Cioloș also announced that he would not run in the elections, and insisted that the upcoming elections must be an example of good organization, considering that Romanians can vote for the first time via postal voting.


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