Gov’t approves controversial Administrative Code by emergency ordinance. President Iohannis, Opposition slam the move

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The Government has approved the Administrative Code by emergency ordinance, during the sitting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila announced.

The Code is controversial, receiving a negative opinion from the Economic and Social Council. The trade unions with the Administration sector argue the purpose of the Code is to protect a group of interests which want to feudalize the public administration in Romania.

Despite criticism, PM Dancila argued that the new Administrative Code is “a major project for the modernisation of the public administration, which has resulted following a wide consultation process with the representatives of the associative bodies”.

By this law we provide a unitary framework in a clearer, more coherent and more simplified way, for regulations that are currently falling under 17 separate laws. Through the new stipulations, we’ll establish mechanisms to prevent deadlocks among public institutions, both on central and local levels”, the prime minister claimed.

The Administrative Code passed through Parliament last year, but was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. Instead of resuming the parliamentary procedures, the PSDALDE ruling coalition adopted by GEO.

The Administrative Code includes controversial provisions, among them: special pensions for the local elected; the approval of the projects concerning patrimony administration by absolute majority (against two thirds hitherto – our note); the shifting of responsibility from mayors to public servants. Sources say one of the goals is to make legal the companies set up by Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, as she cannot get two thirds of the counselors’ votes. Also, the Code provides that the Government may have criminally convicted members, but rehabilitated.

The Government argues it has to issue promptly an emergency ordinance to eliminate the systemic malfunctions by clarifying the normative acts in public administration.

In early November 2018, the Administrative Code was declared unconstitutional by CCR.

The report on the unconstitutionality of this law was sent to the CCR by President Klaus Iohannis on July 31, 2018.

President Iohannis stated in the referral to the CCR that the law was adopted by the Chamber of Deputies in an unconstitutional extraordinary session, that the provisions on the obligation of the central public administration authorities and institutions and their staff to implement the governing programme approved by Parliament are unclear and criticized the fact that this normative act has removed a criterion of integrity for those who may be members of the Government – the one on incompatibility cases.

The law on the Administrative Code was referred to the CCR also by PNL, USR and PMP, who said that special pensions for local elected officials provided by the Administrative Code violate the principle of equality of citizens before the law.

President Iohannis, Opposition parties slam the newly approved code

Both President Klaus Iohannis and the Opposition parties from PNL and USR have slammed the adoption of the Administrative Code. In a Presidency’s press release, the head of state argued that the adoption of the code by GEO “is a serious attempt against the entire administrative system in Romania”, accusing PSD of “proving that defying the Romanians is the current ruling’s top priority”.

After two years of trying by all means to kneel the judiciary system for the sake of some corrupt people, PSD wants now to destroy the Administration for the sake of its local barons“, Iohannis said.

PNL leader Ludovic Orban has also stated that the Gov’t had adopted the Administrative Code by GEO “just to buy the goodwill of the PSD Congress (due on June 29)”, while announcing the Liberals will ask the new Ombudsman to refer the Constitutional Court on the code.

In their turn, USR representatives argued that the newly adopted Administrative Code will turn the public administration into a barons’ fief even more. USR also considers that Dancila Cabinet is ignoring the social partners and that it adopted the code on the sly by ignoring the Opposition’s amendments.

 

Normative on alternative passenger transport to be approved

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila has also announced that the Government sitting on Tuesday will adopt the normative act on regulating the alternative passenger transport by digital applications.

Today we will approve a normative act on regulating the alternative passenger transport by digital applications, a project discussed last week. We will set up a formula to ensure safe passenger transport, to support competition, so that the citizens may choose for quality services,” Viorica Dancila.

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