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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Fiscal Policies Review, June 4 - 11, 2018
On June 5, FinMin Teodorovici said that `the government sent letters to professional and business associations to get feedback on amendments to the Fiscal Code'. “At the end of the year we close this and starting 2019 nobody should touch these codes,” the FinMin added. Apart from the Fiscal Code amendments, Teodorovici added that legislation on tax evasion would also be updated this summer. Days later, on June 11, in Ploiești Teorodovici presented one of the first changes: third country nationals’ wages that work in Romania to start from the minimum wage; average wage no longer mandatory. Whereas on June 4 PM Dăncilă said that there is no plan on Pillar II, six days later, 0n Sunday evening, Minister of Labor Vasilescu announced that a final decision on Pillar II has been reached, namely, it will become optional. Minister Vasilescu added that a broad presentation on the advantages and disadvantages of the pillar will be presented to the public over the summer. The Chamber of Deputies (decision-making legislative body) adopted the Draft Bill on the Sovereign Fund on Wednesday, June 6 (174 yeas, 98 nays, 3 abst.) The endorsement report issued by the Committee for Economic Affairs added a series of amendments, including the increase of capital contributions in cash to RON 9 billion and added 10 new entries to the list of companies included in the Sovereign Fund.  PNL's Raluca Turcan announced that the NatLibs challenge the law at the Constitutional Court.  


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, May 30 - June 6, 2018
PSD’s Executive Council convened on Monday, June 4, and decided to hold a rally on Saturday (June 9) at 8 PM in Victory Square. Chamber of Deputies President and SocDem leader Liviu Dragnea stated that the underlying motif is to stand against rule of law abuses. The purpose of the rally was changed from an initial support rally for the Gov’t of Viorica Dăncilă and for the PM herself. With her name being dropped from the rally, PM Dăncilă lightheartedly announced that she will also attend the event.


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Fiscal Policies Review, May 29 - June 4, 2018
The Government did not give a final answer on what would happen to Pillar II. While PM Dăncilă continues to deny that Pillar II is to be suspended, Minister of Labor Lia Olguța Vasilescu stated that Pillar II is going to be optional, a proposal that PM Dăncilă said she was not informed about. A broad discussion concerning the issue is expected to continue over the following “one or two weeks”.               During the Government Sitting of May 31, the Executive adopted a Draft Emergency Ordinance regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the National Office for Centralized Procurement. The new structure is expected to run as a special unit within the Ministry of Public Finances after the merger with a structure already existing within the Ministry of Health. During a press conference held on May 30, FinMin Teodorovici announced that the Office will be up and running starting with July 1, 2018.             Also this week, the Gov’t adopted a memorandum on Romania’s Economic Code. According to the Executive’s spokesperson, Nelu Barbu, the Code will comprise the Fiscal Code, the Fiscal Procedure Code and other laws with an economic character. Barbu added that before being published for debate and adopted by the Parliament, the Economic Code will first be discussed with employers’ unions, business associations, NGOs and public authorities.  


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, May 23 - 30, 2018
The Constitutional Court (CCR) ruled on May 30th that there is an institutional conflict between the Gov’t and the Presidency over the proposed dismissal of Laura Codruța Kovesi, DNA Head Prosecutor. According to CCR, President Klaus Iohannis should have dismissed Laura Codruța Kovesi at the request of JustMin Tudorel Toader back in February. The vote was 6 to 3, with judges Livia Stanciu, Daniel Morar and Ştefan Minea having dissenting opinions. "The President of Romania is going to issue the dismissal decree for DNA Head Prosecutor, Mrs. Laura Codruţa Kövesi" CCR's decision reads. CCR's decision does not provide a deadline for the dismissal decree. CCR will also have to publish the decision in the Official Gazette; CCR's decisions become mandatory after being published in the Official Gazette. President Iohannis will have to sign the decree, however, given that the Court provided no deadline, the President does not have to act until the decision is published in the Official Gazette, then sign the decree. The other scenario is that Iohannis signs the decree and appoints Kovesi back at DNA, as interim-head prosecutor.


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