President Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday that he had sent to Parliament information on the actions and initiatives during the state of emergency declared throughout the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic under two decrees signed on March 16 and April 14, respectively.
“I have sent Parliament, according to the law, the information regarding the state of emergency established throughout Romania under the two decrees signed on March 16 and April 14, respectively. The document presents in a synthetic and transparent way the actions and initiatives during the state of emergency in order to achieve the priority objectives pursued, namely protecting citizens’ health, containing the effects of the pandemic, protecting and recovering the economy,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
The head of state added that the document also proposes a series of measures meant to improve in the future the response capacity on the part of the state ahead of similar challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic generated a crisis at a world level, which claimed from all the states fast responses, adaptability and unique solutions. We are today at half a year since the moment on which, the World Health Organization, on January 30, recognized the major risks represented by the epidemic with the novel coronavirus, declaring a state of emergency for international health, motivated by the fact that SARS-COV-2 could not be compared to any previous virus, being totally atypical as a manifestation of disease, aggressiveness and transformation capacity, but also environment adaptability. The novel coronavirus has radically changed the lives and tried the health systems, the social protection systems, as well as the economic ones on the entire globe. The reality in all the affected countries shows us, unequivocally that the danger of a massive spread of the virus, which could not be held fully under control, could only be avoided through firm measures. Romania acted on time and efficiently,” the head of state said.
He recalled that on March 16 signed the decree regarding the establishment of the state of emergency, following the evaluation of the national and international epidemiological situations, discussions as part of the Supreme Council for the Country’s Defence (CSAT), the consultation of members of government and dialogue with specialists and epidemiologists and public health, the protection and safety of citizens being the fundamental objective.
“The sole reason for these restrictive measures was the avoidance of a black scenario, characterized through a massive wave of victims and infections, a scenario that would have been unavoidable especially given that Romania had no sort of medical stocks for emergency situations, and all the world states were in a round the clock race to acquire the same health resources,” Iohannis emphasized.
The president emphasized, at the same time, that in evaluating the situation and appreciating the necessity of the state of emergency he took in consideration one of the essential characteristics, but which differentiates Romania to the other European states, namely the existence of the largest diaspora in Europe.
“In the context of the pandemic, the return on national soil of an important number of Romanians from the diaspora, including regions strongly affected by the epidemic, represented one of the largest challenges for Romanian authorities and an argument to instate the state of emergency,” Iohannis stated, according to Agerpres.
The head of state concluded that, in a context dominated by unfavorable evolutions, “there was need for a quick, coordinated and efficient intervention on the part of the authorities to support the population and economic agents, as well as a responsible and solidarity behaviour on the part of the citizens.”
We have had to manage the COVID-19 pandemic with “weak” and “sketchily designed” laws
President Klaus Iohannis also said on Thursday that the authorities have had to manage the COVID-19 pandemic with “weak” and “sketchily designed” laws, and that it was necessary to adjust the legislation “on the fly”.
“We have had to manage this pandemic with weak laws, sketchily designed, so in the most critical health moments we had to adjust the legislation on the fly,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He added that the “whole” regulatory framework of exceptional measures must be rethought and aligned with the constitutional architecture, so as to provide sufficient tools for prompt and effective action by the authorities.
“In the life of a state, there are exceptional situations that require exceptional measures, situations in which even the paradigm of state action changes. Undoubtedly, the state of emergency regime was designed by the constituent legislator so as to ensure a prompt response to an imminent danger to citizens. For this reason, the entire normative framework of exceptional measures, on the one hand, must be rethought and aligned with the constitutional architecture, and, on the other hand, it must include sufficient tools for prompt and effective action by the authorities,” Iohannis also pointed out, according to Agerpres.