Romania Monitor Articles
The funding was withheld by the European Union due to a corruption scandal leading to the withdrawal of around one billion dollars from Moldova’s banking system in 2014.
The government in Bucharest is seeking to put forward Romanian candidate Luminița Odobescu, who is currently Romania’s Ambassador to the European Union, for the position of European Commissioner for Energy. Five politicians from Central and Eastern Europe, including one from Poland, Minister Krzysztof Szczerski, the current Chief of the Cabinet of the President of Poland, are among contenders for the job.
On Friday, July 26, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it blocked the transport of Russian tanks which took place through the territory of Romania on the Danube river. The transport contained thirty T-72B3 tanks and the same number of BRDM-2 tanks. Russia strongly denies and claims that military transports to Serbia take places by air and are realised within the bilateral military cooperation.
The Romanian government plans to increase the quota of migrant workers coming from outside the EU from 20,000, which is the number planned for this year, to 30,000. This will be a 50% increase as compared to the previous year, in which 15,000 migrants from outside the EU community came to Romania. In 2018, the respective institutions issued over 10,000 work permits to non-EU migrants.
Prime Minister of Moldova Maia Sandu appealed to the authorities in Tiraspol to lift the travel ban for the representatives of the Moldovan administration. To do so, she asked the representatives of the “5+2” negotiation format (a mediation group consisting of the two conflicting parties and Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE, the EU and the United States) to support Moldova in settling this matter.
From the very beginning, the former head of Romania’s anti-corruption agency, Laura Codruţa Kövesi has been the favourite in the race for the position of European Chief Prosecutor, which could simply be observed by the amount of support she received from EU officials, politicians as well as individual institutions. It turns out that France will also support the Romanian candidate, which, in practice, means that France’s own candidate will withdraw from the contest.
Maia Sandu, on July 2, took her first foreign trip as the Prime Minister of Moldova to Bucharest. The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stated that this visit was of symbolic significance for the Romanian-Moldovan relations. Moldovan PM thanked the Romanian government and society for selfless support for the European aspirations of Moldova.
It is safe to say that Romania’s ruling coalition of the Social Democrats and Liberals is currently in crisis. Just to give a few examples, the leader of the dominant PSD went to prison, the opposition achieved much better results in the recent elections to the European Parliament and, despite a successful EU rotating presidency, Romania is still in conflict with the authorities of the European Union.
Such an opinion on the six-month Romanian presidency has been voiced by President Klaus Iohannis. As it turns out, the country which has recently been heavily criticised for violating the rule of law has actually done a lot to strengthen the European Union. For example, it is important to mention that during the last six months 90 pieces of legislation were adopted.
On June 30, Irina Vlah won the elections for the post of Bashkan (Governor) of Gagauzia, an autonomous region of Moldova. Vlah won the elections already in the first round, where the voter turnout was over 50%. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon congratulated Vlah on her victory. In her speech delivered right after hearing the election results, Irina Vlah pointed out that she has done a lot to maintain the autonomy of Gagauzia.
On Monday, June 23, Vlad Plahotniuc resigned as the leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM). Vlad Plahotniuc has been the PDM chairman since 2016, of course, putting aside the fact that long before he was nominated for the position, he had been the party’s most influential figure. As the richest person in the Republic of Moldova, Vlad Plahotniuc has had a considerable influence on the most important state structures.
Judges of the Constitutional Court of Romania officially recognised the referendum organised by President Klaus Iohannis as valid. Over 40 percent of voters took part in the referendum which was held at the occasion of the elections to the European Parliament. Most of the voters supported the president’s proposal.
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel congratulated Maia Sandu from the ACUM (Now) Bloc on becoming the Prime Minister of Moldova. The new government consisting of the pro-European ACUM Bloc and the pro-Russian Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova was established as a protest against the governance of the Social Democratic Party of Moldova.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker thanked Romanians for the results achieved during their half-year presidency over the European Union. The praise is especially significant as the Romanian presidency took place during a special time for the whole Union. The elections for the European Parliament happened in May and Brexit was the main topic.