Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, January 3 - 10, 2018
PSD members convened in the Executive Council on Monday, January 8, 2018, to discuss a potential restructuring of the Government. At the end of the meeting, SocDems decided to propose PSD Senator Ion Deneș for the position of Minister of Waters and Forestry, after Doina Pană resigned from office last week, and to meet once more at the end of January in a national congress. 


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Weekly Policy and Political Report December 28, 2017 – January 8, 2018
PSD members convened in the Executive Council on Monday, January 8, 2018; the main point on the agenda, a new structure for the Government. Social Democrats have to decide on whether only replacing Minister Doina Pană who resigned last week, or change the structure of the government. *On Monday evening, close to 7 pm, PM Tudose announced that the only vote in the Executive Committee was on the replacement of Doina Pană, PSD Senator Ion Deneș being proposed. SocDems did not vote on the proposal for a new Government structure. The Executive Committee also agreed to hold a National Congress on January 28, delaying a decision on the future of Liviu Dragnea at the helm of the party.


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies December 28th, 2017 – January 8th, 2018
On January 3, 2018, President Klaus Iohannis signed Law 2/2018 (Budget for 2018) and Law 3/2018 (Social Insurance Budget for 2018); both laws were published in the Official Gazette on the same day (January 3). However, Iohannis warned on the vulnerabilities of the 2018 Budget, over-optimism and concerns over the highest structural deficit variations in the EU.  Iohannis also addressed the lack of "credible numbers" on the impact of Split VAT, while highlighting that the Gov't must improve collection levels, as well as encourage investments.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission December 21, 2017 - January 3, 2018
The end of the year brought a significant series of fiscal changes that were published in the last numbers of the Official Gazette. By means of Emergency Ordinances, the Government made small corrections to secondary legislation needed in the context in which November's "Fiscal Revolution" comes into effect on January 1, 2018. Additional adjustments on fiscal matters being expected over the course of the next year.   The Parliament will also work on amending the Criminal Codes, the Special Committee on Justice Reform chaired by Florin Iordache resuming its activity one week before the end of the Parliamentary recess. Apart from efforts to keep the 3% deficit and ongoing judiciary reforms (albeit threatening the rule of law), Romania also prepares for holding the Presidency of the EU Council. These subjects are also expected to sharpen the political fight between the opposition and the ruling coalition. PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban criticized the ruling majority for focusing on the Justice Laws, while being incapable to deliver positive economic results. At the same time, PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea's New Years' Eve message gave assurances that in 2018, Romania will pick up the pace in 2018.  Parliament entered the winter recess after the 2018 budget and the justice laws were adopted in the last days of this legislative session. However, the Special Committee for Justice (Chair Florin Iordache) convenes in the last week of January (the last week of the recess) to resume discussions over the proposed amendments to the Criminal Codes. While the Parliament closed its doors for the next month, the Government continues activity. During the recess the Government was habilitated to issue Ordinances on specific legislation and domains.  The end of the year also brought changes in the structure of the Government. Emergency Ordinance 115/2017 published in the Official Gazette on Friday, December 29, and gives more power to the two vice-PM (Marcel Ciolacu and Paul Stănescu). Same as PM Tudose, the two vice-PMs can now appoint their own secretaries of state and councilors. As both vice-PMs are close to PSD's Liviu Dragnea, their updated powers can weigh in when it comes to ongoing tensions between the PM and the head of his party.  


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Weekly Policy and Political Report December 22 – 28, 2017
The Parliament enters the winter recess after the 2018 budget and the justice laws were adopted in the last days of this legislative session. However, the Special Committee for Justice (Chair Florin Iordache) convenes in the last week of January (the last week of the recess) to resume discussions over the proposed amendments to the Criminal Codes. While the Parliament closed its doors for the next month, the Government continues activity. During the recess the Government was habilitated to issue Ordinances on specific legislation and domains.


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