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September 29, 2022

CC has ruled: The president is to attend the European Council meetings

The Constitutional Court ruled ,with majority of votes, that the president of Romania participates in the meetings of the European Council, as the head of the state, and he may delegate this attribution to the prime minister. Which is not the case. Following deliberations, with majority of votes, the Constitutional Court acknowledged the existence of a legal conflict of constitutional nature between government, on one hand, and the president of Romania on the other.

The conflict was generated by the action of the government and the prime minister to exclude the president of Romania from the delegation that participates in the European Council during June 28-29, 2012.

Ponta is going today to Brussels

Referring to the CC verdict, Premier Victor Ponta said that “president Basescu appointed to CC people that always fulfilled his wishes.” He added that he will go to Brussels, despite the decision of the CC. “Romania needs institutions, needs to function. The blockage imposed upon the country by President Traian Basescu and those who still listen to him is unacceptable. We have the government, Parliament and millions of votes of the people that believe in us, and Basescu has five CC judges that obey him,” Ponta said. “Unfortunately, this majority of the Constitutional Court that belongs to Traian Basescu did nothing else than to add to the Constitution, which is abnormal,” Ponta added. The premier said that he believes that President Basescu will not go to Brussels. “I hope that the president of Romania will understand that this eternal conflict is against the interests of Romania,” Ponta stated. PM Ponta also insinuated that, together with PNL leader Crin Antonescu, they will hold discussions regarding a potential suspension of president Basescu. “The Romanians can choose to remain beside the head of state and CC judges or to go forward together with USL.

” Reactions were prompt: The President of the Senate Legal Affairs Committee, Toni Grebla (PSD), said the CC ruling on the participation of the president or prime minister at the European Council would become binding when published in the Official Journal of Romania. On the other side of the barricade, PDL MEP Cristian Preda warns that defying the Constitutional Court is a grievous thing, noting that ‘none of the prime ministers before Victor Ponta had dared act against the supremacy of law’. Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga thinks PM Victor Ponta’s statement on his intention to participate in the European Council in spite of the fact that the Constitutional Court judges had ruled in favour of the president shows ‘a total contempt of the rule of law’.In the course of the morning, Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Justice Minister Titus Corlatean and Parliament Liaison Minister Mircea Dusa participated in the hearings representing the government and presidential adviser Stefan Deaconu for the Presidential Administration.  In the end of his address to the Court, Ponta said President Traian Basescu may not ask that Romania be transformed into a presidential republic where he concentrates all powers. ‘This can only be decided by the Romanian people, if it wants it, by a review of the Constitution,’ Mediafax quotes the PM as having said. He noted that he had chosen to go before the Court because, in his opinion, institutions should operate on the basis of respect and said that ‘blockages, wars and conflicts’ work against public and national interests. ‘Concretely, I made it very clear that there is a decision of the Romanian Parliament, there is a law adopted by the Romanian Parliament and there is a European practice – 25 member states are represented by their prime ministers at the Council, because on the agenda of the European Council beginning tomorrow there are very clear items that fall under the competence of the government,’ the chief of the government pointed out. Victor Ponta also noted he wanted the Executive to be let fulfil its duties and that that members of his cabinet should not be under constant attack and challenge by the president of the country who has his own prerogative he should carry out ‘in good faith’.  Prior to the statement, the prime minister had presented to the ministers, at the beginning of the government meeting, the themes on the agenda of the upcoming European Council and insisted on the fact that those were the responsibility of the government. He also stressed that he hoped the CCR judges would endorse the right of the Executive to rule the country. ‘I do not believe one person can and may do everything,’ Ponta said to his ministers.



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