Progress Report on Fiscal Policies, December 17 - 28, 2017
The Ministry of Public Finances is to delay the single Treasury account for VAT, income tax and social contributions from January to July 2018. On December 22, MFP put up for debate a Draft Emergency Ordinance  that extends for six months the deadline for the single Treasury account. At present point, there are two separate Treasury accounts: one for paying income taxes, corporate taxes and VAT, and another one for paying contributions to the pension, health and unemployment funds.   On December 20, 2017, the Chamber of Deputies (decision-making chamber) adopted the legislative initiative amending GEO 109/2011 on corporate governance. The Bill was registered with the Chamber on June 12, 2017, and for more than six months it was in stand-by, until December 19th, when a favorable report was issued. The version adopted by the Chamber of Deputies massively extends the list of companies exempted from the provisions of GEO 109/2011. FIC warns that the current form might make it impossible for Romania to join the OCDE.  Fondul Proprietatea reacted to the news, arguing that the changes make the law inapplicable. FP’s representatives made a public plea for President Iohannis to send the law back in Parliament for reexamination. Liviu Dragnea stated that he did not see much performance following the enforcement of GEO 109/2011, and that there is no harm if companies of strategic interest for the Romanian state are managed through the state. 


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission December 13 - 21, 2017
The Senate (decision-making legislative body) adopted Magistrates' Statutes on Wednesday, December 20. Also on Wednesday afternoon, the Senate adopted the Judicial Organization Law. Debates in the Senate's Plenum over the third Justice Law, (Superior Council of Magistracy) began on Wednesday afternoon and were postponed for Thursday, starting with 10 a.m. The Bill was adopted on Thursday, making that all three Justice Laws were adopted by Thursday, December 21.   Given the recent context offered by Poland and the risk of losing its voting rights, President Klaus Iohannis warned that the Justice Laws could trigger Article 7, same as in Poland. More so Iohannis stated that JustMin Toader did not consult him over the Justice Laws, implying that Toader has been avoiding him. Toader replied that he planned to consult Iohannis, but then he heard him say that he no longer trusts the Minister of Justice and he took the statement at face value. "I was not looking for him, but that does not mean that I avoid him" said Toader. 


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Weekly Policy and Political Report December 11 -18, 2017
For the seventh week in a row, people from Bucharest, other major cities and diaspora took to the streets against the proposed amendments to the Justice Laws. Like previous weeks’ protests these actions are political in nature and directed against the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition. Out of the two ruling parties, protests largely targeted PSD, people picketing SocDem’s Bucharest and Sibiu headquarters.  


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Progress Report on Fiscal Policies December 11 - 18, 2017
In Parliament, the laws approving the Budget for 2018, Social Insurance Budget, the Law approving the fiscal ceilings as well as the Emergency Ordinance designed to keep the deficit under 3% moved at different speeds.   The Budget for 2018 was issued an endorsement report from the Joint Committees for Budget on Friday, December 15. The vote, (17 to 14) came after a week of debates in Parliament. Next on the agenda, on Monday, December 18 the Budget for 2018 is discussed in Plenum, the final vote being scheduled for December 21.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, December 6 - 13, 2017
On Sunday, December 10, people in Bucharest as well as in other major cities took to the streets against the amendments brought to the Justice Laws. Apart from the independence of justice and a rejection of Parliament’s ongoing work on the Justice Laws, people also raised the issue of the public healthcare system which is currently facing severe drug shortages. USR, PNL and Dacian Cioloș’ Platforma Romania 100 (soon to become political party) joined street protests after holding a joint press conference. The press conference held by the opposition parties was also joined by the representatives of the NGOs that were active on this subject. Apart from rejecting the new Justice Laws, the political opposition also demanded Liviu Dragnea stepping down from the position of Chamber of Deputies speaker. Snap election was also among PNL's demands, while Dacian Cioloș stated that the future party runs in the next elections, 'whenever that could happen.'


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