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Beware of FFW legislation: Four essential laws – withdrawn from public debate and scheduled to be voted by Christmas

de Victor Bratu , Răzvan Diaconu 22.10.2017

The PSD-ALDE ruling coalition decided on Wednesday that essential laws for society would be issued by the Parliament by the end of this session.

On Liviu Dragnea’s list there are:

  • The Law on the establishment of the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund
  • The Law on Public-Private Partnership
  • The Public Procurement Law
  • The laws of the judicial system

By including these bills in the Parliament’s agenda and setting such a tight deadline, the ruling coalition virtually eliminates the public debate procedure – mandatory for Government decisions.

It is worth mentioning that all four legislative structures have a great impact both in the society and the economy, and they will decisively influence, for many years now, the domains they regulate.

Raw material for the voting machine: Parliament is Not obliged to propose the laws for consultation

The parliamentary arithmetic shows that PSD and ALDE, with the discrete help from UDMR, will be able to impose in all these bills the form agreed by parties in power.

Things work as follows:

In the case of laws drafted by the Parliament, a political group assumes a draft text.

The draft is sent for opinions to the Legislative Council and the Economic and Social Council, which usually have formal, not substantive comments, and to the Government, which states its views.

The text is also sent to the specialized parliamentary committees for the report. Once the reports received, the text is put on the plenary agenda for the vote.

Unlike the Government, which, at least in the case of sensitive laws, asks and in most of the situations takes into account the opinion of the business environment or consultants, the Parliament is not obliged to launch the draft laws for public debate.

Of course, the parliamentary debates on a bill can be intense but the result is always the one decided by the majority.

In the list of four projects, only the Sovereign Fund does not have a law on its establishment:

  • the public procurement law has been updated in 2016
  • the Law on Public-Private Partnership – about which Minister Ilan Laufer said that could be adopted by the Government by October 1stis applied since December 25, 2016
  • the laws of the judicial system exist but the former and current minister say they should be aligned to the CCR’s decisions

Each of these laws has problems but only the PSD and ALDE leaders know how they will be changed.

The establishment of the Sovereign Fund is of utmost importance for the effects it can produce in the economy. It would be normal for this law to be drafted by specialists, possibly with the advisory support from international experts, given that it includes the whole Romanian strategic state-owned industry and not by the party group.

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