12th of April 2011: We have a draft – what’s next?

Considerations regarding the law project on European affairs coordination between the Parliament and the Government.

In 2010 CRPE, together with the Friedrich Ebert Romania Foundation (FES) evaluated the capacity of the Romanian Parliament to participate in debates regarding European policies. Following the interest and the recommendations received from the members of the Romanian Parliament and the Department for European Affairs, CRPE and FES organized on April 12, 2011 the first CRPE Forum on European affairs, which enjoyed the presence of the most important actors involved in the process of coordinating European affairs. The summary of the debates can be read here.

Today, after almost two months from this reunion, DAE and MAE made a legislative proposal for coordinating the European affairs which is now under public debate. The legislative proposal can be read here.

In this context, CRPE launches today the policy brief no.9 “We have a law project – what next? Considerations regarding the law project on cooperation between the Parliament and the Government in the European affairs domain “. The report here(only in Romanian).

To prepare this report, CRPE organized on June 9, 2011 the second CRPE Forum on coordinating European affairs, where it invited the technical staff from the Romanian Parliament.The objective of the meeting was to punctually analyze the provisions in the law project proposed by MAE and DAE and updating the policy brief draft by CRPE with the experts’ comments.

The innovative character of the report resides in the fact that it brings together apparently divergent ideas in a set of recommendations what can offer concrete solutions to facilitate the dialogue between the Executive and the Legislative in the effort of finding a compromise in the process of negotiation.

The Project, although ambiguous in certain aspects, is a document that allows reaching a consensus between the two institutions, to the extent that the two parts follow this. In perfecting the legislative project, CRPE makes the following proposals:

  1. Including in the project the explicit possibility for the Parliament to influence establishing Romania’s position in the Council;
  2. Giving up article 9 which makes reference to protection of classified information;
  3. Giving up the express mention of the Parliament’s veto lack in this domain by amending article 3 and art.18;
  4. Presenting clear terms for transmitting the document both for the Parliament and the Government and avoiding vague formulations (eg. “in shortest time”);
  5. Establishing the Department for Coordinating European Affairs as coordinator in the European affairs domains and thus, as main speaker of the Parliament in this domain;
  6. Establishing a deadline for submitting this law project to Parliament approval, and the prospect changes can be done later, after the coordinating mechanism will grind.

The project, in its actual form, is one step closer, and both the Parliament and the Government have to promote and approve the project resulted from the consultation of both sides.

This report is part of the project ”Strenghtening the Romanian Parliament’s capacity to be an active European actor”, undergone by the Romanian Center for European Policies together with the Friedrich Ebert Romania Foundation.