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March 30, 2023

Parliamentary session ends, MPs go on holiday with several “backlogs”

Statute of MPs and vote for the draft amending the Constitution are still pending.

The first ordinary parliamentary session of 2013, which started on February 4, is about to end, the MPs set to go on holiday with several “backlogs.” The first of them concerns their failure to adopt the Statute of MPs, the draft law set to be adopted this autumn once the next parliamentary session starts.
In fact, the Statute of MPs was no longer put to vote yesterday in the Law Board, because the Constitutional Court did not make public its motivation in the Official Gazette, so the statute was postponed until autumn, romanialibera.ro reports. The procedure demands that the motivation of the Constitutional Court should be published in the Official Gazette, then returned to Parliament where the necessary changes are made, where the law was declared unconstitutional. During summer, the Lower Chamber and the Senate will function according to their acting statute. The two Chambers met yesterday in a joint session to vote the modifications to the Statute of MPs. Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea said that the delay in adopting the Statute of MPs has a negative influence upon the budgetary matters of the Chamber. “We will demand a positive rectification. We had three variants, they were all rejected by the Labour Ministry. This variant of the Statute places us in a difficult position. We did everything the Parliament could do. Even yesterday we approved the statute of functions, there are more than 150 places unoccupied that were cut from the personnel scheme of the Lower Chamber,” Zgonea said, quoted by Mediafax.
Another “backlog” has to do with the fact that the Parliamentary majority has decided to postpone the vote within the Senate’s plenum on the draft law on amending the Constitution for the start of September, considering that the Constitutional Court’s ruling is expected after the current parliamentary session ends.
At first, USL leaders were forecasting that the referendum on validating the new Constitution would take place in October. On the other hand, the issue of implementing the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code is another backlog. We remind our readers that the commission tasked with amending the Constitution, chaired by Liberal Crin Antonescu, gave last week its final vote on the draft law on amending the Constitution, the draft law being adopted with 17 votes in favor and one abstention, in the absence of PDL and PPDD MPs. The only opposition MP that was present in the room but abstained was UDMR MP Mate Andras-Levente.
Antonescu: Senate has had significant activity during this legislative session
Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu stated yesterday that the institution’s activity in this sitting was “significant,” 259 draft laws being debated, of which 193 were adopted, Mediafax informs. He pointed out that apart from the figures themselves, one has to take into account the very important domains that some of these laws concern, such as reforming the judiciary or the local public administration. Antonescu claimed that “the activity was very intense” within special commissions too, over 700 notifications and reports being adopted, some of them urgently. According to the Senate Speaker, even the government’s emergency ordinances were debated “authentically,” not “adjudicated as such,” many “significant and substantial changes” being brought too, “which is a good sign, in the sense that getting them through Parliament is not just a formality, the Parliament is in no way something that would remind of the Grand National Assembly.”
Representatives worked 60 days in 6 months
Sixty days – this is how long the MPs worked in six months’ time (from February 1 to June 1 – editor’s note). Namely half the number of days a regular Romanian worked during the same period. The representatives however managed to lower the time they spent in Parliament by resorting to several periods of “work on the field,” meaning holidays. Moreover, they had more days off. The first day off came with the Catholic Easter, the MPs staying at home on April 1. Then there was the April 29 – May 7 period in which MPs enjoyed the mini-holiday occasioned by the linking of the May 1st holiday with the Orthodox Easter. The MPs were once again on holiday early last week and this week too, during the Catholic Pentecost and the Orthodox Pentecost.

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