PNL notifies CCR about the setting up of committee of inquiry into the SPP

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The  National Liberal Party (PNL) notified the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) on Tuesday about Parliament’s decision to set up a House and Senate parliamentary committee of inquiry into the Protection and Guard Service’s (SPP) potential involvement in the activity of political parties.

“The setting up of a parliamentary committee of inquiry to verify the Protection and Guard Service’s potential involvement in the activity of political parties and in the activity of the leaders of these political parties is unconstitutional and illegal, considering the provisions of Articles 1, 64 and 119 of the Constitution and of Article 3 of Law no.191/1998 on the structure and functioning of the Protection and Guard Service,” reads the notification lodged with the CCR.

The Liberals claim that there is already a parliamentary committee that oversees the activity of the Protection and Guard Service and there is no clear reason to set up a new committee for the same purpose.

“According to the provisions of Article 3 of Law no.191/1998, ‘The activity of the Protection and Guard Service is organised and coordinated by the Supreme Defence Council and is overseen by Parliament through the committees on defence, public order and national security.’ Hence, according to the law, Parliament has a Committee that oversees the activity of the Protection and Guard Service. There is no reason for Parliament to set up another special committee that would carry out the activity of a standing committee that has exactly the same purpose. Moreover, the role of the standing parliamentary committees would be weakened in the sense that, not trusting their activity, Parliament creates two sets of committees that would carry out the same activity – a standing committee and a special inquiry committee,” reads the notification that PNL MPs lodged on Tuesday.

PNL MPs add that the setting up of the committee of inquiry impacts the separation of powers and infringes upon the Constitution.

“Given the constitutional rapports between the Romanian Parliament and the Protection and Guard Service, instituting a hierarchical oversight through this committee of inquiry harms the separation of powers principle, given that the Protection and Guard Service is an autonomous structure, part of the executive branch, infringing upon Article 1, Section (4), of the Romanian Constitution,” reads the notification.

On Wednesday, July 4, the joint plenum adopted a bill setting up a joint committee of inquiry meant to verify the SPP’s potential involvement in the activity of political parties and of the leaders of the political parties.