Romania’s ruling party wants to push lobby law through Parliament

A new parliamentary session starts on Monday, September 3, and one of the main points on the ruling coalition’s agenda is a lobby law.

The law would make lobby firms legal in Romania, allowing the public to participate in the legislative process, according to a document discussed by the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) on Saturday, September 1. It would also introduce the lobbyist job in Romania. The law draft was initiated by PSD’s junior coalition partner ALDE, local Mediafax reported.

Another initiative by ALDE that PSD decided to back up is the creation of a National Authority for Interceptions, which would handle all technical surveillance needed for criminal investigations and remove the secret services from this process. The ruling coalition’s leaders have been contesting the Romanian Intelligence Service’s involvement in criminal investigations and the collaboration protocols the service had with other state institutions, especially in the justice sector.

The offshore law, which regulates the offshore gas operations in the Romanian Black Sea section, is also an important topic on the Parliament’s agenda. The law was adopted in July but president Klaus Iohannis sent it back for review. PSD’s coalition partner ALDE were also not happy with the form that was voted and PSD agreed that some provisions need clarification. However, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on Saturday that he wouldn’t give up on the important provisions in the law, namely the tax on extra revenues and the obligation to sell half of the gas on the Romanian market.

The ruling party also wants to adopt a law for state-owned companies, to set up an agency for strategic investments and exports and to launch the Sovereign Development and Investment Fund. Some of these projects will be promoted through emergency ordinances.

Meanwhile, the opposition will likely file another no-confidence motion against the PSD-ALDE cabinet led by Viorica Dancila.

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