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Romania - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Romania's 1991 constitution proclaims Romania a democracy and market economy, in which human dignity, civic rights and freedoms, the unhindered development of human personality, justice, and political pluralism are supreme and guaranteed values. The constitution directs the state to implement free trade, protect the principle of competition, and provide a favorable framework for production. The constitution provides for a president, a Parliament, a Constitutional Court and a separate system of lower courts that includes a Supreme Court.

The two-chamber Parliament, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, is the law-making authority. Deputies and senators are elected for 4-year terms by universal suffrage. Elected officials at all levels of government, with the exception of the president and mayors, are selected on the basis of party lists, with parliamentary seats, city and county council representation, all allocated in proportion to party choices made by the electorate.

The president is elected by popular vote for a maximum of two terms. The length of the term was extended from four to five years in an October 2003 constitutional referendum. He is the Chief of State, charged with safeguarding the constitution, foreign affairs, and the proper functioning of public authorities. He is supreme commander of the armed forces and chairman of the Supreme Defense Council. According to the constitution, he acts as mediator among the power centers within the state, as well as between the state and society. The president nominates the prime minister, who in turn appoints the government, which must be confirmed by a vote of confidence from Parliament.

The Constitutional Court adjudicates the constitutionality of challenged laws and decrees. The court consists of nine judges, appointed for non-concurrent terms of 9 years. Three judges are appointed by the Chamber of Deputies, three by the Senate, and three by the president of Romania.

The Romanian legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code. The judiciary is to be independent, and judges appointed by the president are not removable. The president and other judges of the High Court of Cassation and Justice are appointed for terms of 6 years and may serve consecutive terms. Proceedings are public, except in special circumstances provided for by law.

The Ministry of Justice represents 'the general interests of society' and defends the legal order as well as citizens' rights and freedoms. The ministry is to discharge its powers through independent, impartial public prosecutors.

For territorial and administrative purposes, Romania is divided into 41 counties and the city of Bucharest. Each county is governed by an elected county council. Local councils and elected mayors are the public administration authorities in villages and towns. The county council is the public administration authority that coordinates the activities of all village and town councils in a county.

The central government appoints a prefect for each county and the Bucharest municipality. The prefect is the representative of the central government at the local level and directs any public services of the ministries and other central agencies at the county level. A prefect may block the action of a local authority if he deems it unlawful or unconstitutional. The matter is then decided by an administrative court.

Under legislation in force since January 1999, local councils have control over spending of their allocations from the central government budget, as well as authority to raise additional revenue locally.

Principal Government Officials
President of Romania--Traian Basescu
Prime Minister--Calin Popescu Tariceanu
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Adrian Cioroianu

Other Ministers
Minister of State--(Deputy Prime Minister) Bela Marko
Minister of Regional Development--Lazslo Borbely
Minister of Justice--Teodor Chiuariu
Minister of National Defense--Teodor Melescanu
Minister of Interior and Public Administration--Cristian David
Minister of Economy and Finance--Varujan Vosganian
Minister of Labor--Paul Pacuraru
Minister of Agriculture, Forests, and Rural Development--Decebal Traian Remes
Minister of Transportation, Construction and Tourism--Ludovic Orban
Minister of Education and Research--Cristian Adomnitei
Minister of Culture and Religious Cults--Adrian Iorgulescu
Minister of Health--Eugen Nicolaescu
Minister of Communication and Information Technology--Zsolt Nagy
Minister of Environment and Water Management--Attila Korody
Delegate Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises--Ovidiu Silaghi
Delegate Minister for Liaison with the Romanian Parliament--Mihai Voicu

Romania maintains an embassy in the United States at 1607 23rd St., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202- 232-3694, fax: 202-232-4748).

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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