President Klaus Iohannis sent, on Friday, to Parliament the request to re-examine the Law regarding the rejection of the Government Emergency Ordinance (OUG) no. 123/2020 amending art. 3 of Law 61/1993 regarding the state allowances for children.
The head of state claims that through the ordinance, the Government established a phased increase of the allowances imposed by the Parliament through Law no. 14/2020 regarding the approval of OUG 9/2019, identifying the resources necessary to grant from August 1, 2020 an increase of 20 pct of the foreseen increase, a sum that could be covered through the financial effort of the state in the current context.
He claims that the Government offered a normative solution that would allow the execution in due time of all monetary obligations of the state towards citizens.
The President mentions that, in the current context, the priorities of spending public money must target the protection of citizens and the economy from the unprecedented effects of the current crisis triggered by the pandemic and recalls, furthermore, that Romania, as a member-state of the European Union, must respect the fiscal rules agreed upon.
On August 19, the Chamber of Deputies rejected, as the deciding chamber, Ordinance no. 123/2020, that amends and completes article 3 of Law 61/1993, for the purpose of the phased increase of the total allowance for children. According to the normative act, the phased increase of the allowance total would take place as follows: “the increase by 20 pct of the difference between the total mentioned by Law no. 14/2020 and the total granted in July 2020, namely between 300 RON and 156 RON for children aged 2 to 18 and between 600 RON and 311 RON for children with handicap aged 2 to 18, as well as for children aged up to 2; the increase is to be applied starting with rights for August 2020, and for the 2021-2022 period twice a year, on January 1 and July 1 of each year; from 2023 the proposal is to continue the process to increase the total of the allowance by the median annual rate of inflation.”
The Government challenged the normative act at the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR), but the Court rejected the referral.
Head of State brings constitutional challenge to Law on food supplements
President Klaus Iohannis brought today a constitutional challenge to the Law on food supplements, arguing that “by the way it was adopted, the law referred for constitutional check runs counter to the provisions of Art. 61 paragraph (2) and of Art. 75 paragraph (1) of the Constitution, standing in violation of the competence of the first notified Chamber.”
The regulatory act, which Parliament sent the President for promulgation on October 26, establishes the legal framework for food supplements marketed as food and presented as such, transposing several European directives into national law. The law also sanctions the Health Ministry as the only competent authority for food supplements.
The head of the state explains that the bill was rejected by the Senate in 2012, but cleared the Chamber of Deputies this year with 26 amendments and the incorporation of several European regulations.
The President points out that in the version of the initiator, the act provided that the Health Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the National Anti-Doping Agency were to share competence on food supplements, depending on the basic composition of these foodstuffs. Now, in the form adopted by the decision-making Chamber, the Health Ministry is the only competent authority on food supplements, both in the procedure of their market placement and for identifying law violations and the enforcement of contraventional sanctions.
The regulatory act thus disregards the constitutional principle by virtue of which a law cannot be adopted by one Chamber alone, as it should incorporate the specific contribution of each Chamber and be the work of the entire Parliament, the President notes.
“By the transposition of new European regulatory acts and by establishing a single competent authority for food supplements and eliminating certain authorities, such as the National Anti-Doping Agency or the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, from the procedure for the certification of certain supplements and the control of their compliance with the law, which are all aspects the initiator did not envisage, the act obviously departs without any objective justification from its initial purpose and philosophy,” he specifies.
The President states that the amendments brought in the Chamber of Deputies are likely to violate the principle of bicameralism, and asks the Constitutional Court to admit the constitutional challenge and acknowledge that the Law on food supplements is unconstitutional in its entirety.