The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) unanimously ruled yesterday that recent changes brought to the law on civil servants’ statute are unconstitutional, Mediafax reported. The decision was made after 81 lawmakers filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, charging that the law includes several unconstitutional provisions.
The court ruled that the new regulations violate the constitutional principle of the bicameral parliamentary system. Thus, the changes passed by the Chamber of Deputies are significantly different from the ones passed by the Senate, the Constitutional Court said. Moreover, the law does not answer technical requirements, being written in an imprecise and confusing manner.
The court’s ruling came after 81 Deputies of the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) notified the court over the unconstitutionality of the new regulations. The lawmakers said these rules violate constitutional provisions regarding the right to work and those referring to how laws are passed by parliament. The complaint also charges that the civil servants’ statute law politicizes the public administration. More specifically, the criticism was directed against the law’s provision that a series of leading posts from decentralized institutions be dissolved. Under the law, part of these posts are to be replaced with positions based on management contracts.
Liberal Party general secretary Radu Stroe welcomed the CCR’s decision. He said that the PNL will ask the Ombudsman to notify the Constitutional Court about the unconstitutionality of another government act on public administration, the emergency ordinance 37 of 2009. Stroe said the ordinance also includes unconstitutional elements.
PNL’s complaint also said that the Chamber of Deputies exceeded the sphere of applicability of the law that had been established by the Senate. “The Senate changed the legal statute of decentralized public services leaders, who were turned from civil servants into staff hired on management contract, without discussing the actual elimination of a series of other public positions. The Chamber of Deputies maintained this change, but it added another provision that goes a long way beyond the sphere of applicability established by the first chamber,” the complaint reads.
The new regulations were passed by the Chamber of Deputies last month. Under the changes, leaders of decentralized institutions under ministry control will be named on political criteria. The regulations were passed by the majority of lawmakers, securing 172 votes. PNL lawmakers abstained from the vote, following disputes with the Chamber’s leadership over the voting process.