National Referendum on May 26th, 2019
On April 5th, President Klaus Iohannis has invited the political parties for consultations on next Thursday and Friday on the topic of justice. PSD president Liviu Dragnea claimed that he will not be going to the consultations but a delegation from his party will attend.
On April 4th, Klaus Iohannis announced the themes for the May 26th Referendum: stopping the amnesty and pardon for corruption allegations and stopping the adoption of Government Emergency Ordinances on judicial matters. He also stressed that the Government should not give any Emergency Ordinances on justice until the referendum is completed.
Previously, on April 1st, Iohannis announced that before the referendum he will have consultations with the Parliament on broadening the scope of the referendum to make it more efficient. He further expressed his concern to the fact that this Government issues too many Emergency Ordinance, thus not respecting the separation of powers.
On April 4th, Senate leader Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu asked the Committee for Legal Matters from the Senate to vote on the DNA request to begin the prosecution of him. The Committee for Legal Matters was supposed to give an answer to this request in December 2018 but instead kept postponing the deadline. The Committee had a scheduled debate on this topic on Tuesday, but the quorum was not met.
On April 3rd, the simple motion against the Minister of Transport was rejected in the plenum of the Chamber of Deputies.
On April 1st, 2019, parliamentarians from PNL and USR have filed with the Senate another simple motion against the Minister of Jusitce, Tudorel Toader.
On April 3rd, twelve Embassies from different states, including Germany, France and the United States, expressed their concern regarding the rule of law in Romania, especially regarding the Government Emergency Ordinances on justice. They called on Romanian Authorities to avoid changes that weaken the rule of law. In response, PM Viorica Dăncilă claimed that she will not allow ambassadors to determine the PM’s agenda and that the ambassadors refused to have individuals talks with Government representatives.
On April 3rd, Guy Verhofstadt the ALDE leader in the European Parliament, sent a letter to the ALDE EU president recommending excluding ALDE Romania from the group given the anti-justice measures taken by the Romanian Government. The spokesman of ALDE EU, Didrik de Schaetzen replied that the group will discuss this on June 28th, 2019, at a general meeting.
Economic & Fiscal Updates
On April 5th and 6th, the informal meeting of the EU Finance Ministers will be held in Bucharest. The conference will be centered around an Eurogroup meeting on Friday and discussions on the priorities for the next institutional cycle and the way forward for the Union of Capital markets.
The Minister for Public Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, regarding the discussions in the EU Council regarding a Directive to introduce quotas for products subject to the excise tax, such as tobacco and alcohol, has stated that he believes discussions will not lead to an increase in taxes in the near future, intense though they may be.
Teodorovici has stated again that the objective for Romania is to join the euro zone in 2024……………………………………………………