Following the decision of the governing coalition to have the codes passed in the Parliament abusing of the constitutional provision regarding the assumption of responsibility by the Government, Transparency International Romania denounces the undemocratic manner through which the Bucharest authorities try to advance fundamental regulations for the organising of the society.
Assuming the four codes, which are, many times, more important than the Constitution itself, is abusive, undemocratic and contrary to the European principles. Through such procedures, Romania goes back in time in the 1990s, when decisions were taken arbitrarily, with no public consultation, based on the interests of the Nomenclature and the Securitate. Currently, Romania fails to meet even the political criteria set at the Copenhagen summit. The rule of law is practically cancelled by the decision taken today by the governing coalition.
We therefore express our firm protest against the attempt to infringe the Constitution, which provides in the article 8 paragraph 2 that “Political parties shall be constituted and shall pursue their activities in accordance with the law. They contribute to the definition and expression of the political will of the citizens, while observing national sovereignty, territorial integrity, the legal order and the principles of democracy.” We also protest against the infringement of article 1 paragraph 5 of the Constitution, which provides that “In Romania, the observance of the Constitution, its supremacy and the laws shall be mandatory”, considering the fact that, although no impact studies – mandatorily required by the law – have been done the Government exercises its legislating prerogatives at ease.
The government can assume responsibility for a law or a number of laws when the time for debate lacks. Last week however, the Special Commission in Parliament voted negatively the codes drafts as submitted by the Executive; in this case, what law draft does the Cabinet come with in front of the Parliament? We are now facing the severe infringement of the rule of law. Moreover, this decision is illegal since the impact studies were not done, the society was not consulted, and large debates did not take place, as requested by the European Commission.
European: “rule of law.” When misleading the public opinion by inducing the idea that there is a connection between the European funds and the need to hastily adopt the codes, the Romanian officials is accountable for breaking the principle of the European rule of law. Thus, the rights of the citizen are severely infringed and democracy endangered – considering:
- Fundamental laws are adopted with no public consultation
- The government has a mandate to manage the public interest, which is broken at less than six months from investiture
- The politicians are elected to administer the public interest, but they do not consult the public opinion so as to know what the society’s interests are, hence they represent their own interests
- The citizens can pay their taxes but they may not ask what the monies are being used on
- The citizens are required to uphold the law but they are not efficiently informed on the law
- The citizens can vote but they may not require to be genuinely consulted
Furthermore, on Thursday and Friday, we have produced clear evidence that the public opinion wants large consultations on the codes, and that the society has the capacity to formulate coherent and consistent options. Nevertheless, even in front of these proofs, the Government refuses to observe such requests.
Considering the severe slips from the minimal standards of the rule of law, we reserve the right to start a national awareness campaign on those guilty of infringing the laws, as well as at international level, so as to inform the other Member States their partners do not comply with the common values of the exclusive club called the European Union.
We would therefore like to draw the attention of all Cabinet members to the fact that assuming the responsibility is an individual political act for which they will be accountable to their voters.
Transparency International Romania
Victor Alistar – Executive Director, Transparency International Romania