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October 31, 2020

CC justifies verdict on emergency ordinance

It is the case of government’s decision to withdraw the money allotted to local authorities.

The Constitutional Court yesterday made public the justification of the decision through which it declared as non-constitutional the emergency ordinance issued by the Ponta Cabinet that forces mayors to return the money allotted from the Reserve Fund by the former Mihai Razvan Ungureanu Cabinet. To be more precise, the Court had decided that the ordinance may only apply to the sums unused by the administrative-territorial units that did not have arrears and were not running projects financed from foreign grants. According to CC, the money provided by Ungureanu to PDL and UDMR mayors belong in the category of expenses for which the government may allot sums from the Reserve Fund to administrative-territorial units. “(…) From this fund, one may allocate sums to main credit takers for the financing of urgent or unexpected expenses which appeared during the budgetary exercise (even for the payment of arrears) (…),” constitutional judges explain.According to the Court, after making a comprehensive analysis, the government is entitled to withdraw the sums allotted initially, otherwise it would distort the very reason of allotting this money. “As far as the sums allotted from the Reserve Fund of the government are concerned, (the government) may intervene, through regulations, to either increase, or diminish local budgets, without the existence of a condition referring to the moment of the intervention. Hence, one may not uphold the criticism that the obligation regulated through OUG 15/2012 of returning sums allotted from the Reserve Fund of the government, although there is no budget rectification made by the administrative-territorial unit, infringes the principle of local autonomy,” reads the document.CC also mentions that the Reserve Fund of the government must constitute a real reserve, exclusively used for difficult moments, and as a last resort. Following the enforcement of OUG 15/2012, local authorities returned RON 391.11 M to the Reserve Fund.

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