The Romanian Government should not use the Emergency Ordinances (OUG) procedure for amending fundamental legislation, and especially without a real and structured consultation with the business environment and other stakeholders, according to the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), one of the biggest organizations representing foreign companies in Romania.
“Legislative changes, even if they are in the governing program, cannot be done in this way, not even with the argument that the changes are useful to the business environment because they do not fulfil two key elements: transparency and predictability,” FIC representatives said in a press relase.
“OUGs, like any legislative initiative, need a consultation period, a period of understanding the mechanisms that will change and a minimum assessment of implementation efforts. That is why the legislative framework and good practice provide for a period of between 10 to 30 days of consultation and even this is not enough for complex projects. In recent months the Government has managed to shrink this period down to 24-72 hours,” they added.
The organization says it’s overwhelmed by the way in which decision-makers, and especially the Government, are addressing important decisions that affect the business environment and the Romanian society in general.
“The Government is creating an undue sentiment that the economy is facing unprecedented risks which need to be addressed with legislation adopted at lightning speeds and without any proper consultation… Official data show a certain level of macroeconomic stability and thus we see no reason for legislating in such a hurry,” FIC said.
In the past 12 months the Government has adopted Emergency Ordinances on subjects of utmost importance: transferring social contributions from employer to employee, public-private partnerships, salaries of staff paid out of public funds, budget rectification, public procurement, absorption of European Funds, insolvency law, Sovereign Fund for Investments and Development, Fiscal Code and Fiscal Procedure Code.
“We consider that most of the measures adopted by the Government should take the form of draft laws that will then be debated in the Romanian Parliament. Such a law-making process, using Parliament's rightful role, will produce laws that are better suited to the real economy and more stable over time,” FIC suggested.