Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, June 13 - 20, 2018
On June 20, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Meleșcanu stated that the report concerning the potential relocation of the Romanian Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is to be finalised in two weeks' time. This comes after the statement of President Klaus Iohannis a day earlier in which he reiterated that even though a report is being conducted on the matter, ultimately the decision does not rest with the Government. He also stressed that "such a decision would automatically invalidate any chance of Romania gaining a seat as a UN Security Council non-permanent member".


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Weekly Policy and Political Report Political Evolutions June 11– 18, 2018
Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE). On June 14, President Klaus Iohannis notified the Presidents of the two Chambers of Parliament of his proposal to appoint Gabriel Vlase as head of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE). The position has been vacant since 2016 after the resignation of Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu. Vlase is currently the vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, member of the Committee for Defence and the Joint Special Committee for analyzing national security laws.  Formerly, he was the President of the parliamentary committee overseeing SIE. The Presidency's proposal for SIE comes at a moment when Iohannis is expected to decide whether he dismisses head DNA prosecutor Laura Codruța Kovesi at the request of JustMin Tudorel Toader.  Reactions. Marian Neacșu, Secretary General of PSD stated on June 15th that the proposal is highly welcomed, even if PSD did not make an official request in this regard. Nonetheless, he confirmed that there have been internal discussions on who would be best suited for the position, Vlase being the favorite candidate. ALDE President, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu mentioned he was not informed of the nomination, but that Vlase seems like a suitable candidate.  Even PNL President Ludovic Orban did not voice concerns, stating that Iohannis "must have had extremely valid grounds” for his choice.


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Fiscal Policies Review June 11 - 18, 2018
Following mixed messages regarding the privately administered pensions, on June 13, President Klaus Iohannis argued that a pension system largely administered by the state in a country with a low birthrate in not sustainable. “Any attempt to continue the administration of pensions under the current circumstances is nothing but illusion and sacrifice of future pensioners’ wellbeing”, Iohannis highlighted.             On June 13, PM Viorica Dăncilă stated that the recent data published by the INS is proof that the measures taken by the Government, and the ones they will continue to take, brought more money into Romanians’ pockets. The Prime Minister added that the numbers prove that alarming messages from various critics have no fundament for their claims.             On June 15, PNL Senator Florin Cîțu argued on Facebook that there are certain contradictions between the data published by the Ministry of Finances and the data released by the European Commission regarding the 2017 structural deficit. According to Senator Cîțu, Romanian authorities claim that the deficit was kept within the established threshold, at 2.9%, while the EC puts it at 3.3%. Cîțu added that he will address an official inquiry to the Ministry of Finances to clear the issue.             Central Bank proposes capping the degree of indebtedness. FinMin opposes the measure and asks for impact study.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, June 6 - 13, 2018
Between the 11th and 12th of June, a delegation of the Venice Commission came to Bucharest to discuss the draft bills amending the Justice Laws. The delegation met President Klaus Iohannis, the Minister of Justice, members of the CCR and DNA, as well as MPs from the Special Committee responsible for amending the Justice Laws. Both the President and the Parliamentary Assembly Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe requested the opinion of the Venice Commission with regards to the amendments.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, June 4 – 11, 2018
Delegation of the Venice Commission in Bucharest: Justice Laws  Between the 11th and 12th of June, a delegation of the Venice Commission comes to Bucharest to discuss the draft bills amending the Justice Laws. The delegation is set to meet President Klaus Iohannis, the Minister of Justice, members of the CCR and DNA, as well as MPs from the Special Committee responsible for amending the Justice Laws. Both the President and the Parliamentary Assembly Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe requested the opinion of the Venice Commission with regards to the amendments.   On a related note, PSD President Liviu Dragnea stated that he is in favour of the justice laws being amended through a GEO since the President is incessantly notifying CCR on the subject, thereby delaying their implementation. President of the Senate Călin-Popescu Tăriceanu followed suit with the same argument. He also mentioned the high probability of an extraordinary session of the Parliament in the beginning of July so as to discuss both the Administrative and Criminal Codes.   PNL President Ludovic Orban stated that his party would notify the Ombudsman in case the Criminal Code and the Criminal Proceedings Code are passed through a GEO.  


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