Romania Monitor Articles
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.
The EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos assessed that Romania had fulfilled its commitments thanks to which it should technically be able to join the Schengen zone soon. Is it the progress this time?
Meetings with authorities and hierarchs of the Orthodox Church and, above all, a congregational prayer with believers of different religions. The pilgrimage of Pope Francis to Romania has ended.
Liviu Dragnea – the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) may spend even three and a half years in prison. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and upheld its decision in this matter. The sentence concerned, among others, the abuse of power.
As for now, this concerns the elections to the European Parliament which for many people are of little importance but the failure of the ruling PSD is a fact. This may mean a great challenge for the Social Democrats in the face of the following elections. The elections in May were only the beginning of a series of elections including presidential and parliamentary elections.
Even though in the first quarter of this year the first place with regard to the economic growth was occupied by Hungary, Romania again reached a more than satisfactory result. Especially as it goes hand in hand with low unemployment. The only concern seems to be relatively high inflation.
The summit which took place in Sibiu, a Romanian city, leaders of the states accepted a joint declaration regarding the future of the European Union. It was said that this was “an obligation towards the future generations” thanks to which Europe would become “a responsible and global leader”. But the summit took place just before the elections to the European Parliament.
President Klaus Iohannis has announced that a referendum on changes in the judiciary will be held soon. A low voter turnout may be a real obstacle to the implementation of his propositions. The plebiscite will certainly be part of an election campaign just before the autumn parliamentary elections.