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Romania

Resolution adopted by the EPP Political Assembly (12th September 2014)

The Presidency of the European People’s Party is concerned by the fact that the Romanian socialist government is changing the electoral law by emergency ordinance less than six months before the Presidential election, which is against the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

The Romanian Government approved an emergency ordinance that gives the mayors and councilmen 45 days to choose to join a different party, other than the one from which they  were  elected  in  office  without  losing  their  seat,  as  was  the  case  previously.  The provision of Local Elected Stats no. 393/2004 will therefore be suspended for a period of 45 days. With this suspension, the political parties in power will blackmail the mayors and councilmen   from   the  opposition   and   put   them   under   pressure   using   the   EU   and governmental funds abundances in exchange for joining their parties. Also, a few weeks ago the Government of Romania issued another emergency ordinance to modify on organic law and  create  the  premises  for  electoral  tourism  and  multiple  votes.  The  EPP  is  highly concerned that the legalization of massive political migration by blackmailing with governmental funds will lead to political corruption, legal insecurity as well as deception of citizens only two months ahead of the presidential elections.

We express our deep concerns about legislating such complex issues via emergency ordinances, which take force immediately, and circumvents the national parliament, hence bypasses active legislation and threatens the rule of law in Romania. Furthermore, the only institution entitled to appeal the emergency ordinance and bring it before the Constitutional Court is the ombudsman whose independence and integrity are questionable given his past actions. A procedure as the one chose by the Romanian government is devastating for the rules  of  a  democratic  state and  furthermore we  believe that  parties  should  solve  local political disagreements on the council level, not through an emergency regulation on the national level.

We therefore:

  • Express our deep concerns about the enforcement of Romania’s rule of law and the lack of respect for democratic values;
  • Remind the Romanian Government of its duty to apply the rule of law and hold an open and transparent legislative process and not shy away from a debate with the participation of all political parties, civil societies and other stakeholders;
  • Urge the Romanian Government to withdraw the emergency ordinance such a short period before the next elections and start with negotiations about a reform of the electoral system with all political parties represented in the national parliament;
  • Call on the Romanian Prime Minister and president of the PSD, Victor Ponta, to refrain from introducing any changes to the electoral law less than six months prior to the elections, in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission;
  • Call  on  the  governing party PSD not  to abuse its power and divert and mislead Romania from its European path and European values;
  • Call on the European Commission to monitor and create a legal instrument, according to its competence as set out by the treaties, these recent proposals of the Romanian Government and prevent any breach of rule of law;
  • Will continue to monitor with great attention the political developments in Romania.