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July 31, 2021

Ponta denounces Basescu to CC over European Council summit

The Head of Government says the Head of State is “assuming prerogatives and competencies” that belong to the Executive.

Premier Victor Ponta has written a letter in which he denounces President Traian Basescu at the Constitutional Court (CC) for the fact that he did not allow him to represent Romania at the European Council summit this week, official sources quoted by Mediafax have stated. The Head of Government is asking the Court judges to note the existence of a juridical conflict of a constitutional nature generated by the fact that the Head of State is “assuming prerogatives and competencies” that belong to the Government, considering the fact that he decided to represent Romania at a European Council summit in which the issues on the agenda should have been backed by the government, the aforementioned sources pointed out.
According to the letter, the Premier does not dispute the President’s right to represent Romania, but the “discretionary and arbitrary” manner in which he chose to collaborate with the Government and Parliament, without asking for elements of a mandate and without consulting these institutions. Thus, he asks the Court to note that the President should have delegated to the Prime Minister the prerogatives of representing the country at the European Council summit this week, arguing that the issues on the agenda in their entirety concern the Government’s prerogatives, and points out that the Constitution has no stipulations that would confer to the President “the exclusive right” to represent Romania at this kind of summits.
Ilie Sarbu, the leader of PSD Senators, stated in his turn yesterday that President Basescu is like “Zeus who ended up in the inferno,” claiming that the Head of State ignores Parliament in what concerns the issue of attending the European Council, a Constitutional Court analysis being necessary. He claimed that in the current situation the Head of State does not have sufficient credibility in front of foreign partners, arguing that at the EC summit “commission presidents, Parliament speakers, high representatives are elected, discussions about Romania’s commissioner will take place, a lot of very important problems that have more to do with the Government, not with the President, will be discussed.”
The Constitutional Court will discuss over this constitutional conflict on July 9.
President Traian Basescu stated on Monday during a press statement at the Cotroceni Palace that he will attend the European Council summit on June 26-27, bearing in mind the constitutional obligations, the Constitutional Court decision, but also the agenda of the summit, an agenda he will “handle much better” given his experience with European issues. The Head of State pointed out that he told Premier Victor Ponta that he will not give him the mandate to participate at the European Council summit on June 26-27 and that he will participate instead. “The Premier asked me for a mandate to attend the European Council summit on June 26-27. Today I informed him I will not give him the mandate. I will participate, bearing in mind the constitutional obligations on one hand, the Constitutional Court decision on the other hand, but also the agenda which I will certainly handle much better given the experience I have with European issues,” the President announced. “I had an experience with him, back when I sent him at the Council on energy issues and he was unable to back Nabucco,” Basescu added.
The Head of State also referred to the fact that the Premier “complained to Parliament that the President did not give him the mandate to attend the Council.” “I want to be very clear, the Romanian President does not legally need a mandate from the Prime Minister, the state hierarchy cannot even work like this,” Basescu pointed out.

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