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March 23, 2023

Presidency calls for Gov’t – Rompetrol memorandum re-examination

President Traian Basescu on Tuesday signed a request for the re-examination of the law approving a memorandum of understanding between the Romanian Government and The Rompetrol Group N.V. signed in Bucharest on February 15, 2013 and submitted it to Parliament, the Presidential Administration reports in a press release.
In his request, President Basescu warns that the law subject to reexamination has an individual character and does not regulate some general social relation, but a prior agreement.
‘Thus, the law requested for reexamination has an individual character, having been designed not for application to an indefinite number of actual cases, but to just one expressly pre-established case, namely for the conduct of a transaction with The Rompetrol Group N. V. a company headquartered in on Strawinskylaan 807, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This legislative solution does not regulate any general social relation, but a prior agreement that is an agreement of will between The Rompetrol Group N. V. and the Government,’ reads the request.
The President underscores that in this situation, the settlement of the dispute in question could have been achieved by means of a transaction between the Finance Ministry and The Rompetrol Group N. V., under a decision taken by the Government, in accordance with its competence to manage the state assets. ‘Nevertheless, the Government opted for a piece of legislation that it lodged with Parliament. Following the Parliament passing this piece of legislation, the Legislature breached Article 1 (4) in the Romanian Constitution, because it claimed the lawmaking competence, in breach with the principle of separate and balanced powers. The Constitutional Court has ruled similarly under its decision 600/2005 published in the Official Journal of Romania, no. 1060/26.11.2005 and decision 970/2007, published in the Official Journal of Romania no. 796/22.11.2007. Given the exclusive lawmaking competence of Parliament, we are requesting you to reexamine the law approving the memorandum of understanding between the Romanian Government and The Rompetrol Group N.V. signed in Bucharest on February 15, 2013 by repealing it,’ reads the request.
The request also says the law in question was made for the approval of the memorandum of understanding concluded between the Romanian Government as owner of the shares held in Rompetrol Rafinare and The Rompetrol Group NV.
‘Thus, the two signatory parties made a purchase pledge on behalf of The Rompetrol Group NV for a minority stake representing 26.6959 per cent of the share capital of Rompetrol Rafinare SA currently owned by the Office for the Government Industrial Shareholdings and Privatizations (OPSPI) for 200 million US dollars. As a premise for the conduct of this transaction, OPSPI was to make due diligence for all the ongoing court trials and the administrative measures started against Rompetrol Rafinare to stop. At the same time, the two parties agree to set up a Kazakh-Romanian investment fund in the form of a commercial company in which The Rompetrol Group holds an 80-per cent stake and the Romanian Government a 20-per cent stake, with the Romanian Government pledging to conduct investment projects in the area of energy,’ reads the request.
On June 26, the Constitutional Court of Romania ruled that the law approving the memorandum of understanding between the Romanian Government and Rompetrol is constitutional in relation to the reasons put forth. The decision is final and generally binding.

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