Theme: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
AGREEMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL COOPERATION between the President and the Prime Minister of Romania
Given the co-habitation situation in Romania between the elected President, Mr. Traian Basescu and Prime Minister, Mr. Victor Ponta, the following agreement is concluded in order to create the functional mechanism of cohabitation and to ensure the efficient ruling of the country. The institutional cooperation agreement is aimed at keeping the country stability and ensuring a functional climate for a good governance and ensuring the confidence of international markets, through harmonization of joint positions within the Executive power, with observance of the constitutional powers of the Romanian President and Government.
I. Common principles and values
Institutional cooperation is based on fundamental elements accepted by all parties, elements which will not be directly or indirectly altered by any intervention of parties, such as follows:
- Romania’ strategic orientation: Romania’s NATO and EU membership, Strategic Partnership with US, European rules of competition, market economy, and democracy are intangible;
- Romania’ security, sustainability of responsible institutions including are elements on which parties do not approach in contradictory ways. Any reference or problem relative to these institutions will be jointly addressed, an important role being played by professional arguments originating in the aimed institutions’ assessments.
- independence of justice and supremacy of law, the rule of law:
a. respect for Constitutional values and fundamental institutions of the state, starting with the Judiciary which should not be attacked and therefore de-legitimized;
b. Consolidation of the independence of justice compared to political influence. Observance of the Constitutional provisions upon the issuance of emergency orders and enactment of the Constitutional Court’s rulings;
c. Ensuring the operation of affected institutions and identification of guarantees with a view to preserving the powers of the rule of law institutions;
d. Appointment to the office of Ombudsman of a person who enjoys the support of various Parliamentary groups;
e. Introduction of a transparent process of appointing the General Prosecutor and the Prosecutor Chief of DNA, which to imply open candidacies, criteria of professional experience, integrity and positive results in the anticorruption action.
- Romania’s defence priorities: both parties agree to back Romania’s defence priorities and take them out of the political disputes arena, taking into account the needs and options of the Armed Forces professionals on various related topics. Politicians will refrain from taking any stand which may affect the capacity, credibility and force of the Romanian Army.
- Steps towards deepening integration within European construction: development of EU policies and promotion of Romania as active member in achieving the general agreement in EU for advancing the European integration processes represents one of the basic common principles of the parties in approaching the European Affairs area.
2. Joint commitments
The parties agree that they will refrain from launching themselves into political disputes on topics related to Romania’s commitments to international institutions. They also commit to observing a set of joint rules in relation with their external partners. Thus:
- Parties commit to refraining from attacks against the rule of law institutions and those included in external commitments, of financial and political nature, opting to cooperate in their common positions towards IMF, WB, Council of Europe, NATO, MCV, Schengen, etc.
- Parties commit to maintain the cohesion of the external message.
- All components of Romania’s governance undertake the cohesion of internal message on agreed topics.
- Parties will set the areas of political competition concretely, elements on which they will not agree in direct negotiation and on which, divergent opinions will be provided as options in the public space;
- Parties commit to avoiding public useless confrontations, attempting to solve differences on the topics on which there has not been agreed in consultations, to observe the pre-eminence of one of the parties agreed in the type of approached issues, and to put forward publicly the alternative options there where differences of approach appear, and the topics exposed publicly are not in measure to bring prejudices at national level, but only debate to upgrade options and increase public consultation on these topics.
- Parties agree on the need to consult ex-ante on the mandates regarding the development/ implementation of European policies: consulting meetings with a view to harmonizing some common positions, to take place before the ordinary sessions of the EU Council and European Council, as well as whenever there is necessary (on the occasion of exceptional meetings). In case of general mandates or complex topics of great sensitivity, the parties agree to unfold including consultations with President on the one hand, and political parties of the Government/ Parliament coalition on the other hand.
Romania’s national interest objective in this period is absorption of European funds through use at maximum of funds made available by EU for technical assistance (POAT).
3. Areas of pre-eminent responsibility
The parties agree on the fact that, under the Constitution of Romania, each component has pre-eminent powers in certain areas of activity:
President: foreign policy, defence policy, representation to the European Council, according to Constitutional Court’s Decision.
Prime Minister: Economic and social policy, country’s government, current problems that do not have direct impact on national security, external relations at inter-government and European levels;
The parties agree to respect the positions formulated by the Constitutional responsible, to cooperate in making policies there where the second party is involved too, to avoid any kind of deadlock, to discuss and debate alternative positions. In these areas, the divergent or alternative public positions can be expressed at technical level, with direct reference to arguments of this kind and not with political approach.
Parties commit to continuing the practice of approving the representation mandates by the President of Romania and presentation of reports upon arrival from delegations.
4. Areas of cooperation and way of cooperation
There are effective areas in which cooperation between the two components of the Executive is requested. There is already a set of institutional mechanisms and an administrative jurisprudence which will be maintained. Thus, they will observe each other’s powers and positions, in good faith, avoiding deadlocks, but with respect for the argument of the other party, which can be circumscribed to an area deemed unacceptable by the other. In case of different views, the final decision – maker will have priority.
In this area, fall:
- foreign policy and cooperation with MAE(Foreign Affairs Ministry):
- policy within EU and cooperation with MA Eur(European Affairs Ministry) and MAE;
- appointment of generals;
- appointment of Ambassadors;
- appointment of the General Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor of DNA, or other positions requesting Constitutional powers of President and Government;
- developing common positions on third topics;
- domestic policy topics with incidence in the national security area.
The cooperation is achieved in those cases, either by direct decision – making mechanism, meeting between President with Prime Minister , Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, other Ministers – or by institutional formulas to agree on a common position – foreign mandate to be negotiated by MAE with the Foreign Policy Department and the assigned adviser, the mandate at the European Council developed by MAE and MAEur with the specialty adviser, either through third party formulas, agreed by the two decision – makers in order to act in this respect.
Essential legislation to enact (eventual amendments with the parties’ agreement):
- 4 codes of justice
- The Small Reform Law in Justice
Commitment to enact the following laws:
- New Healthcare Law;
- Administrative reorganization – regionalization;
- Electoral reform;
- Revision of Constitution
5. General Code of conduct
The parties will embrace minimal rules of respectful address of each other, namely specifying the office and using the standard polite plural. They will refrain from encouraging different approaches at the level of the structures they represent and will sanction excesses and public statements of party colleagues and employees who breach this rule of conduct, common sense, decency and politeness.
The parties also commit to avoid tough expressions, attacks of any kind. They will refrain from presenting publicly the topics not discussed yet and will agree on clear deadlines, undertaking celerity in discussing topics requested by one or the other side, and formulation of some answers and positions. Upon the expiration of the agreed limit deadlines, public approach of these topics and their launch into debate is an open option.
The parties agree to strictly observe the rule of not publicly exposing the official discussions and to bring to public attention exclusively the elements agreed by both parties and topics on which there has not been agreed, and whose exposure to public space does not affect Romania’s interests.
6. Decision –making mechanism
The decision – making formula between the two components of the Executive, Presidency and the Romanian Government, is mainly the meeting or direct discussion between President and Prime Minister. Exceptionally, other persons can be involved, with the permission of the two officials, or a topic can be delegated to the administrative system of the two institutions – advisers, technical apparatus. There may be matters requesting the involvement of the two Presidents of Chambers as there may be formats of debate and decision to comprise other Ministers as well.
7. Dispute resolution mechanism
If, on a certain topic requiring a convergence of the positions of both parties, there is not a Constitutional provision on the pre-eminence in decision of a party or matters are extremely important, and there cannot be reached a common position, and also in the case when the rules of the current agreement are breached, the relationship must be unlocked by a mechanism agreed which to ensure reaching a solution, to ensure the unlocking of relationship or its functioning.
The dispute resolution mechanism comprises advisers and Ministers, with a person designed by each side to manage each component. The designation will be made according to the topic debated, and there will be avoided controversial persons or unacceptable to the other party. The matter is approached technically and legally, options are made, and are to be presented to the two decision – makers to agree on the final formula. Debates within the mechanism are not public and neither destined to be made public until being agreed upon by decision – makers.
Issuer: Government of Romania – Press office