Weekly Political Report February 5 - 12, 2018
PM Viorica Dăncilă met with US Ambassador Hans Klemm on Monday, February 12. The visit comes after last week Hans Klemm suggested he should meet the new PM as he knew little to nothing about her. During the meeting the two officials reviewed the Strategic Partnership, Dăncilă pledging to expand it especially in its economic aspects.             At the end of the Permanent National Bureau (BPN) held on Monday (February 12), Liviu Dragnea stated that the evaluation of Secretaries of State is going to be the only point on the agenda of the National Executive Committee (CExN) scheduled for Wednesday, February 14. Dragnea added that the Government is expected to propose a reorganization of several institutions. However, Viorica Dăncilă said that so far there was no talk about merging Governmental institutions.


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Fiscal Policies Review February 6-12, 2018
During the Government Sitting of February 8, the Executive adopted an Emergency Ordinance which proposes that the State budget covers a share of the social contributions levied on natural persons that are exempted from income tax (health insurance for IT employees, people with disabilities, part-time contracts). FinMin Teodorovici presented the GEO as a means of avoiding employees having to cover their own social contributions situation which lowered their net wages and in some cases led to negative wages. On Feb. 7, president of Cartel Alfa Union, Bogdan Hossu, announced that he will notify the Ombudsman to attack the GEO transferring contributions for employer to employee, which discriminates against part-time employees.


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, February 1 - 7, 2018
In Parliament, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies resumed their ordinary session on February 1st, 2018. The MPs elected the leadership of the two Standing Bureaus and the leaders of political groups in Parliament. On February 7, the Chamber of Deputies and Senate's joint session included: Preparations for the presidency of the EU Council, a draft Resolution for establishing an inquiry committee for the no-confidence vote against the Grindeanu Gov't, as well as a Resolution aiming to elect the members of the Committee tasked with controlling the Romanian Intelligence Services (SRI), among others. PSD Senator Titus Corlățean was appointed President of the Special Committee in charge of coordinating the parliamentary activities required for the preparation of Romania's Presidency of the EU Council.


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Fiscal Policies Review, January 29 - February 5, 2018
Last week’s fiscal domain was dominated by Form 600 (revenues other than wages). On January 31, the Gov’t adopted EO 2/2018 postponing the submission deadline until March. FinMin Teodorovici announced a new version for Form 600 that would reduce bureaucracy. PM Dăncilă (Feb. 4) gave a new deadline, March 1st, for the new Form replacing the current one. This new form is also going to be adopted through an Emergency Ordinance, raising the number of EOs needed for this single form to three (so far). Deputy PM Viorel Ștefan (Feb. 5) announced that those who did not submit Form 600 (no longer mandatory after GEO 2/2018), benefit from healthcare insurance, a measure which will be implemented through yet another GEO. Viorel Ștefan also announced that the bill on establishing the Sovereign Fund will be adopted this summer.


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Weekly Political Report, January 29 – February 5, 2018
President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent an official letter to PM Dăncilă (January 30) congratulating her on new position. Tusk's message also included a fair warning: "The rule of law and irreversible progress of the fight against corruption, in accordance with the high standards of the Romanian society, remain essential for ensuring that all Romanian citizens fully benefit from all opportunities of EU member." A similar message was delivered by Jean-Claude Juncker: "The #EU would not be complete without Romania, nor would #Romania be complete without the anchor of EU values", Juncker tweeted.  The letters sent by the two officials do more than congratulate Viorica Dăncilă for her new position, as they reinforce EU institutions’ interest and focus on the policies adopted by the Romanian Government. Dăncilă herself stated that she wants to “expand the European dimension of governance.”


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