VISIT – President Klaus Iohannis’ state visit to Italy focuses today on economic aspects, after on Monday the talks with the President and PM of Italy concerned the importance of the Romanian community in Italy and Bucharest’s priorities during its presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019. The President of Romania is taking part in the opening of the Romania-Italy business forum, an event designed to encourage the economic dimension of the consolidated strategic partnership. Also today President Iohannis will have a meeting with representatives of the Romanian community in Italy, the largest Romanian community abroad and the largest foreign community in Italy.
DIPLOMATIC TOUR – While on an official working visit to the United Arab Emirates, the Romanian PM Viorica Dăncilă had a meeting today with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the country’s vice-president and PM and the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. The 2 officials have assessed bilateral relations, with a focus on economic aspects. Viorica Dancila presented the main advantages of investing in Romania and encouraged the participation of Emirate companies in projects financed under current operational programmes, as well as in public-private investment partnerships. The Romanian PM also had a meeting today with Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) in Dubai. Romania gives priority to long-term cooperation with the UAE in fields such as industrial and civilian constructions, technology transfers, agriculture and food safety, nuclear and green energy, defence and IT, PM Dancila said. On Monday the PM of Romania was on a visit to Turkey, where she was received by the head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The 2 officials agreed last night in Ankara that Romania will continue to support Turkey’s European accession efforts, and said the 2 countries are determined to work together to further develop their economic relations, to ensure security and fight terrorism. They have also signed 2 bilateral cooperation documents, in the field of healthcare and education.
JUDICIARY – The Constitutional Court of Romania has today admitted part of the objection raised by President Klaus Iohannis to changes in the Law on local elected officials. The President argued that the changes introduce new penalties for local and county councillors, which were already regulated by the Conflict of Interests Act. The bill will therefore be returned to Parliament, which is to bring the unconstitutional articles in line with the ruling of the Constitutional Court. Also on Tuesday the institution admitted the objection raised by the head of state against the bill modifying the Law on the organisation and functioning of the Court of Accounts. On the other hand, the Constitutional Court postponed to October 25th the objections filed by the President and the National Liberal Party and Save Romania Union in opposition, regarding changes to the Administrative Code. The head of state says the law has been endorsed by the Chamber of Deputies in a special sitting, which comes against the Constitution and violates the principle of bicameralism. President Iohannis also believes several articles are unclear, and he criticises the scrapping of incompatibility as an integrity criterion in selecting the members of the Cabinet. Also today, the Constitutional Court has deferred to October 24th the notifications submitted by President Iohannis, the Supreme Court, and the opposition parties, against changes to the Criminal Code and the Law on preventing, investigating and punishing corruption offences.
EXERCISE – The “Earthquake 2018” national exercise organised by Romania has reached its 4th day. The simulation exercise involved all the structures with responsibilities in a major earthquake response situation in Bucharest. Rescuers practice responses to critical situations, with thousands of dead, injured and evacuated people. The Romanian Interior Ministry announced that the EU ModEx exercise was also initiated, focusing on the coordination and collaboration of healthcare service modules. This is the largest and the most complex exercise for medical modules as part of the European civil protection mechanism. Observers and participants from 26 EU member states are involved, as well as capabilities from non-EU member countries.
INVICTUS – Romania’s representatives in the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games will be meeting today the Defence Minister Mihai Fifor and the Chief of Staff, Gen. Nicolae Ciucă. The 15 Romanian military wounded in the line of duty are taking part, between October 17 and 29, in 6 individual sports events—archery, athletics, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, and swimming, and in the sitting volleyball event. Last year in the Invictus Games held in Toronto, Canada, Romania was represented by 15 wounded troops, in 6 individual events and 1 team event. In their first participation in the Games the Romanians won a gold, a silver and 2 bronze medals. Invictus Games is a sports competition first held in 2014, for national teams made up of veterans and troops wounded in theatres of operations.
FOOTBALL – Romania’s national Under-21 football team is playing tonight, on home turf, in Ploiesti, against Lichtenstein, in its last qualifier match for the 2019 European Championships in Italy. The other 2 matches scheduled in this group are Portugal vs. Bosnia and Wales vs. Switzerland. With 6 wins and 3 draws in its previous matches, Romania is top of the group with 21 points, and only needs a draw to qualify for its first under-21 final tournament in 20 years. Second comes Portugal with 19 points, and 3rd Bosnia with 18 points. The 9 preliminary group winners go straight into the final tournament, and playoffs will be held by the best 4 teams of the ones coming out second in the group stage.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)