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Bucharest
March 4, 2021
JUSTICE

Constitutional Court postpones decision on Klaus Iohannis’s notification regarding statute of civil servants

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) postponed, for January 23, a decision on the notification lodged by President Klaus Iohannis regarding the law on the statute of civil servants, which stipulates that civil servants should no longer be suspended from office in case they are indicted.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis notified the CCR about the law on the statute of civil servants, which stipulates that civil servants should no longer be suspended from office in case they are indicted.

The Head of State argues that the legislative act lowers the standards of integrity and affects the citizens’ confidence in institutions.

“The law subjected to constitutionality control causes the diminution of integrity standards regarding the exercise of public office and profoundly affects the citizens’ confidence in institutions. These standards represent a constituent element of the rule of law and constitutional democracy, supreme values in a democratic society,” reads the notification that the Romanian President lodged with the CCR.

“This is valid in all cases exemplified, in which the protected values are the integrity and the prestige of the public office, and the objectives of rule of law are to ensure public services of quality and to create the premises for the confidence of citizens in public institutions and authorities. That is why, we consider that introducing such a privilege for civil servants, as part of law no.188/1999, is not objectively and rationally justified,” the Head of State argues.

Another reason invoked by the President is the fact that the fulfilment in good faith of the obligations falling on persons entrusted with public office is being infringed.

“A stipulation that eliminates the sanction of suspending from office a civil servant indicted for crimes of a certain gravity is liable to harm the necessary ethical and professional standards of persons invested with state authority,” reads the President’s notification.

In what concerns the introduction of the possibility to delegate the competence to organise competitions for public offices via order of the ANFP President, the Head of State argues that “the legislative solution leads to the situation in which an essential aspect that concerns the labour rapport, regulated by organic law, would be delegated via an administrative act.”

According to the legislative act, the civil servant holding a leadership position has priority in occupying a public office left vacant at an inferior level, even when the vacant office is an executive public office and does not match the said civil servant’s education and/or seniority. In this case, the inferior executive public office will be transformed into an appropriate public office, provided the transformation does not affect the approved organisational chart.

“In contrast to persons who meet the educational and seniority requirements of holding the vacant public office, giving a civil servant that holds a leadership position priority in occupying that office, even if he/she does not meet the educational and seniority requirements, represents a privilege that is not rationally and objectively justified,” President Klaus Iohannis argues.

 

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