The government approved on Thursday under a memorandum the action plan for the preparation of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2019.
According to a government release, this is a technical document that describes the role and responsibilities of the EU Presidency, the first stage in the preparation of Romania’s term at the helm of the EU Council, and the program of the Romanian Presidency.
The document also includes an initial assessment of the necessary resources and suggestions for the set of technical measures that need to be implemented in the preparation process in the next two years.
“The action plan is the second goal pledged by the government of Romania, via the Premier’s Chancellery, in preparation of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The first goal was the launch of a series of public debates on the priorities of the future Presidency. On October 24, the Prime Minister’s Chancellery organized the launching conference of the string of public debates and subsequently presented a calendar of the debates spanning the period November 2016 – June 2017,” the cited source said.
The government mentions that the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is a goal of “national importance”, as Romania is set to demonstrate for the first time “the necessary political vision and administrative capacity to professionally manage this high responsibility that is periodically assigned to each EU member state.”
Gov’t decides on refund mechanism for donations made for ‘Wisdom of Earth’ acquisition
The government established during its Thursday sitting the mechanism for the refund of the donations made for the acquisition by the state of Constantin Brancusi’s sculpture ‘Wisdom of Earth’, the government informs in a release.
The donations will be refunded in full by December 31, 2017.
The decision is set forth in a government resolution adopted in compliance with the Government’s Emergency Ordinance No. 10/2016, which provides that if the Romanian state does not acquire unencumbered ownership of the sculpture, the collected amounts shall be returned to the donors.
Donations in lei will be refunded by payment order from the account opened by the Ministry of Culture with the State Treasury and/or accounts in lei opened with credit institutions. Amounts in foreign currency will be refunded by payment order from the forex accounts of the Ministry of Culture with credit institutions.
For donations via text messages or landline calls, the Ministry of Culture will conclude written agreements with the four mobile telephony operators and the technical integrator.
The donors that cannot be identified can apply by October 31, 2017 with the Ministry of Culture for a refund, attaching copies of the payment documents to the application.
The Government resolution also regulates the case of the donors who don’t want their money back; they can submit their option in writing to the Ministry of Culture by March 31, 2017.
Over 100,000 donors participated in the public fundraiser for the acquisition of Brancusi’s artwork, with proceeds amounting to 1,273,668 euro, the Government’s Press Office mentioned.
Gov’t transfers Bucharest Triumf Hotel under Foreign Ministry’s management
The government adopted on Thursday a decision under which the Triumf Hotel sitting on Bucharest’s upscale Kiseleff Avenue is transferred under the management of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the government’s spokesman Liviu Iolu announced.
“The decision was made to transfer the Hotel Triumf (…), belonging to the public domain, from the management of the State Protocol Corporation under the management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Iolu said.
Asked whether the National Anticorruption Directorate, which was supposed to establish its headquarters in the hotel, will be assigned another building, Iolu said that several institutions had applied for Hotel Triumf and the decision was made to assign it to the Foreign Ministry, one of the applicants.
Rosia Montana file to be sent to UNESCO after a joint decision of next government
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos decided that the Rosia Montana file should be only submitted to UNESCO after a joint decision made within the Government, but this cannot be done anymore, considering the limited responsibilities his Cabinet has after the 11 December general election, the Executive’s spokesman Liviu Iolu said on Thursday.
“Premier Dacian Ciolos didn’t decide for this file not to be submitted to UNESCO, but to be lodged only after a joint decision is made within the Government, as was the case with the point of view on the cyanides, sent to Parliament. Normally, such files could be put forward with only the signature of the relevant minister, yet as regards the Rosia Montana file the Romanian state is in a dispute. Because of that, Premier Ciolos could only sign a paper to submit the file to UNESCO after a formal procedure by the decision of the entire Government. Unfortunately, a government at end-tenure has no authority to do this anymore,” specified Iolu, at the end of the Executive’s sitting.
He added that there was a debate on this topic during the sitting, with Culture minister Corina Suteu and other ministers.
Gov’t spokesman: Minimum national wage for 2017 to be decided by next government
The value of the minimum national wage for 2017 will be decided by the next ruling line-up, the government’s spokesman Liviu Iolu announced on Thursday.
“The value of the minimum national wage for 2017 will be established by the next government. The incumbent Executive, as announced in the 12 December National Tripartite Council meeting, has decided to maintain the current level of the minimum wage at 1,250 lei, considering that the next government will have the necessary legitimacy to establish a new value to be enforced in 2017,” Liviu Iolu said.
“A decision or a signature of the Prime Minister by which he commits Romania in a file with such intense implications could not be made without a discussion within the government and with no points of view, objections and assessments of all ministries involved, or else such a decision would be vulnerable, contestable,” said Liviu Iolu.
He reminded that the heritage documents were completed on 9 December, but the Government can take responsibility only through a joint decision that can only be made through a Memorandum that cannot be adopted anymore because this government’s competence is limited after the general election.
“The commitment of Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos towards Rosia Montana stays resolute, and his statements in 2016 as regards the protection of the Rosia Montana site are not mere words. The technical assistance unit for Rosia Montana has become operational in order to help a sustainable development of the area with EU, national funds. Also, the government has sent to the Parliament a proposal of 10-year moratorium on cyanide-based mining. The Premier supported from the very beginning the Rosia Montana inclusion on the indicative list of UNESCO for its recognition as world unique site and asked for a file with solid arguments to be drafted, in keeping with all heritage and legal aspects, as well,” the government’s spokesman concluded.
Compulsory share of electric power from renewable energy of 8.3pct for 2017, approved by Government
The Government approved in its sitting on Thursday a decision in regards to establishing a compulsory share of 8.3 percent for electric power from renewable sources that will benefit next year of green certificates, a release of the Energy Ministry sent to AGERPRES reveals.
The share for the next year will be established according to the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) recommendations, at 8.3 percent, so it won’t have a negative impact on the final consumers’ bill, the Ministry representatives say.
“Therefore, according to the piece of legislation adopted in the Government sitting, in 2017 the same number of green certificates will be traded as in 2016, the subsidy value remaining unchanged, and the impact of green certificates on the final consumers’ bill for electric energy will be maintained constant at the 2016 level, which is 42 lei per MWh,” the release points out.
Officials of the Energy Ministry explained that, if the share of 2016 would have been maintained, 12.5 percent respectively, the final bill for electric energy would have increased by 5 percent.
“We mention that this Government Decision will take effect only until the new Government approves the Emergency Ordinance draft on the amendments and additions to the Law No.220/2008 for establishing the promotion system of producing electric energy form renewable sources, for which the Decision of the European Commission was obtained, approving the amendments proposed for the aid scheme, that was sent to Romanian authorities,” the Ministry representatives added.