Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, January 25 - 31, 2018
With 282 “for”, 136 “against” and one abstention the Parliament validated the Government proposed by PSD-ALDE on Monday, January 29, 2018. This is the third PSD –ALDE Government validated in Parliament within a year. After Mihai Grindeanu and Mihai Tudose who averaged a six-month term, Viorica Dăncilă takes over the Government. The new Government was sworn into office in a ceremony hosted by the Cotroceni Palace the same evening (19:30). In his speech Iohannis highlighted that this is PSD's third Government in a year, a Government that comes "after the double failure of the previous two Governments." Iohannis also expressed his hope that the ruling majority puts a stop to the "governmental hopping".


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Weekly Political Report January 22 - 29, 2018
With 282 “for”, 136 “against” and one abstention the Parliament validated the Government proposed by PSD-ALDE on Monday, January 29, 2018. This is the third PSD – ALDE Government validated in Parliament within a year. After Mihai Grindeanu and Mihai Tudose who averaged a six-month term, Viorica Dăncilă takes over the Government.               After the Dăncilă Government was validated in Parliament, the new Government is sworn into office in a ceremony hosted by the Cotroceni Palace. The Presidential Administration announced the swearing-in ceremony for Monday, January 29, at 19:30.             President Klaus Iohannis leaves Romania on January 31. President Iohannis goes to Brussels and has scheduled meetings with Jean-Claude Juncker. Also that day, Iohannis and Juncker are going to hold a joint press statement, most likely on matters pertaining to Justice. Later that day, Iohannis meets with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and EPP chairman Joseph Daul.             In Parliament the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies resume their ordinary session starting with February 1st 2018.             The new Government is expected to hold its first weekly sitting on January 31. Form 600 is most likely going to be on the agenda. During his hearing in the Joint Committees for Budget, Minister for Public Finances Eugen Teodorovici suggested that a normative act designed to avoid wages in IT to go down (after the transfer of social contributions) could also be included on Government’s agenda. Although first talks on this issues included the possibility of granting a form of state aid for IT companies so that they do not have to cover the cost of transferring contributions, FinMin Teodorovici stated that he does not prefer this option.             The new Government comes after two previous governments fell in six months. The Dăncilă Government also comes after a positive economic period, and is tasked with preparing for the Centennial and for the Romanian presidency of the EU Council. The last two events have a deep symbolic charge which could be exploited by the political opposition. 2018 is also a pre-electoral year situation which could revive political arguments. At the same time, the evolution of justice reforms proposed by the ruling majority may also turn into a liability, as it could result in the loss of access to European Funds (if Romania goes down the same path as Poland and the EC acts accordingly).


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Fiscal Policies Review, January 22 - 29, 2018
The updated version of the Government Program had mostly to do with postponing, eliminating, or recalculating deadlines. The Economic Code is to come into effect six months after being adopted in Parliament, with the previous deadline of July 1st 2018 being eliminated. While VAT is to drop to 18% (Jan 1st 2019), VAT for agricultural inputs and residential transactions is to drop to 5%. The Sovereign Fund is still on the table (see the calendar on the left), while the updated version presents a new way of raising minimum wages: +RON 100/year until 2020. The deadline for the establishment of the Development and Investment Bank has been eliminated. The Tax on Global Revenue is on the table, however without a deadline. With regards to VAT ceilings, the Program reads: “We will raise the ceiling for VAT payments from RON 220,000 to RON 300,000” (page 29).


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Special Political Report - Proposed Government, January 29, 2018
The Parliament was summoned in an extraordinary session for Monday, January 29, to validate the new Government proposed by PSD-ALDE ruling majority. Proposed Ministers' hearings are to take place from 08:00 to 14:00. Next on the agenda, starting with 15:00, the designated PM is to present the Governing Program 2018-2020 and the list of ministers, followed by debates and the investiture vote in the joint plenum. 


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Progress Report on the Priorities of the European Commission, January 17 - 25, 2018
PSD’s Executive Council (CEx) convened on Monday, January 22 (16:00) to agree on the list of ministers in the newly appointed Dăncilă Cabinet. Political sources told Agerpres news agency that the structure of the Government would not be changed. ALDE announced they are to keep the same portfolios (Foreign Affairs, Environment, Energy and Parliamentary Relations). Sources also said ALDE is going to keep the same Ministers in the future Cabinet, and will also politically endorse Tudorel Toader as JustMin. ALDE postponed the validation of the Ministers for Friday, January 26, PSD confirming that the last talks and the announcement of the new Cabinet are going to be made at the end of the week.


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