Chamber of Deputies: Tens of state owned companies exempted from the rules of corporate governance. FIC – a measure that deepens mistrust

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The Chamber of Deputies has voted on Wednesday a draft bill exempting tens of state owned companies from the provisions of Ordinance 109/2011 regarding corporate governance of public enterprises, among them TAROM, Romanian Post, Metrorex, CFR, Transgaz and Transelectrica.

The bill was voted by 157 deputies and 71 voted against.

Opposition claims ruling coalition aims to take politically over the companies

Opposition parties PNL and USR opposed the amendments brought to the GEO on corporate governance of public enterprises.

“PNL has voted against this carnage against Ordinance 109. Actually, the joint industry, economy and law parliamentary committees approved to exempt the large companies from the corporate ordinance. PSD officially said in the committees that it wants to politically assume these companies. This is what you wanted, gentlemen, to politicize the entire national economy,” PNL Deputy Virgil Popescu said in the plenum.

USR Deputy Cristina Pruna said the parliamentary majority has taken advantage of the chaos in the past days on the laws of justice to exempt tens of state owned companies from the principles set by Ordinance 109.

“You create jobs for your people so that they take advantage of the state companies,” Pruna said.

The draft bill received on Tuesday a positive opinion on the amending of article 1, paragraph 3 of the Emergency Ordinance 109/2011 on corporate governance of the public companies from the industry, economy and law parliamentary committees.

The Chamber of Deputies is the decision forum in this regard.

FIC react: Axing corporate governance rules for SOEs, another measure that deepens mistrust

“The members of the Foreign Investors Council have noticed recently a significant increase in distrust in public institutions, both from the business environment and citizens, due to the numerous legislative changes that affect the economy and the rule of law in Romania,” a release from the foreign investors on Wednesday reads.

“On the political agenda of the authorities there are a number of decisions which, in our opinion, will lead to the weakening of the rule of law and the normative framework necessary for a modern economy:

– The Parliament has just adopted a law that exempts most state-owned companies from the rules of corporate governance;

– There is increased political interference in the work of regulatory authorities, which should be independent;

– Legislative proposals that call into question the separation of powers and the capacity of the judiciary to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

All the above are breaching fundamental elements and principles for a modern country with a competitive economy that ensures the welfare of its citizens. These decisions, taken without consultation and without proper information to the public and the business environment, will provide further arguments for deepening the mistrust in institutions. Moreover, without corporate governance rules for state owned companies, Romania will not fulfil the criteria for joining the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) an objective included in the foreign policy chapter of the governing program.

Romania’s long-term potential, including that of becoming one of the most important EU economies, can be achieved by channeling all energies towards such a major objective and by observing the principles of transparency, stability and predictability,” the release concludes.

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