Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, June 20 - 27, 2018
The motion of no confidence initiated by PNL, USR and PMP against the Government led by PM Viorica Dăncilă failed at the vote held on 27th of June with 166 votes in favor and 4 against. A total of 233 votes was necessary for the motion to pass, yet the odds were more than unfavorable. Even PNL President Ludovic Orban maintained some reservations concerning its outcome, despite negotiations having taken place, while UDMR President Kelemen Hunor claimed that there is no chance for the motion to pass, even with the endorsement of national minorities. UDMR decided not to take part in the final vote, but attended the debate. On the day of the motion, a crowd of 4,000 protesters gathered in front of the Parliament building demanding the resignation of PM Dăncilă.


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Weekly Policy and Political Report, June 18 - 25, 2018
On June 21st, Liviu Dragnea, President of the Chamber of Deputies and of PSD received a prison sentence of three and a half years for inciting to abuse of office. The ruling is not final and goes to the 5-judge panel at the High Court of Cassation and Justice.  The Executive Committee of PSD convened the next day, on the 22nd of June and decided that the party would stand beside Dragnea. After criticizing the sentence and the ubiquitous deep state abuses, he vouched for “a more radical and harsh attitude”, while apologizing to the “thousands of people wrongly imprisoned (…) due to a Soviet era article”, alluding to the abuse of office.  The Federation of Trade Unions in the National Penitentiary Administration replied and stated that only 73 people are currently imprisoned for abuse of office, not thousands. Given that PSD members argue that debates on the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code have been delayed without reason, three options have been publicly tabled that can deal with the issue. The first takes the form of a Government Emergency Ordinance, while the second refers to Government assuming responsibility over the legislative change, while the third one is suspending President Klaus Iohannis. All options bypass the ordinary legislative procedure and satisfy SocDems' quest for a speedier adoption of the Criminal Codes. 


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Fiscal Policies Review - June 18 - 25, 2018
            Following Central Bank’s Macroprudential Committee’s proposal for capping the degree of indebtedness, FinMin opposed the measure and asks for impact studies behind this type of decision. While the FinMin asks for a relaxation of lending conditions, the Central Bank had talks with the banks over capping the indebtedness level, similar to the model Romania had before joining the EU in 2007. Pundit Lucian Isar noted that BNR Governor Mugur Isărescu "is breaking down the economy as he did in 2008" in reference with ongoing rumors about capping the level of indebtedness.  FinMin Teodorovici concluded on June 17 that "BNR does not plan to limit lending". A slightly different approach was presented by BNR’s Adrian Vasilescu on June 25. According to him, the Central Bank does not plan to “cap lending” but to avoid “over-indebtedness.”              A press release issued by the European Commission on June 22, calls on Romania to correct significant budgetary deviations. The EC recommends that Romania take measures to ensure that the nominal growth of net primary government expenditure does not exceed 3.3% in 2018 and 5.1% in 2019, representing an annual structural adjustment of 0.8% of GDP in both years. Deadline set for report on action taken is October 15, 2018.


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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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