Romania

V - 136(3) TFEU

At the 16/17 December 2010 European Council a political decision was taken to amend the Treaties through the simplified revision procedure of article 48(6) TFEU. On March 25, 2011 the European Council adopted the legal decision to amend article 136 TFEU by adding a new third paragraph: “The Member States whose currency is the euro may establish a stability mechanism to be activated if indispensable to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole. The granting of any required financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality.” 
The process of approval of this decision by the member states in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements as prescribed by article 48(6) has been completed and the amendment has entered into force on 1 May 2013.

Negotiation
V.1
What political/legal difficulties did Romania encounter in the negotiation of the amendment of article 136 TFEU?

No significant political or legal difficulties were encountered in the negotiation of Article 136 TFEU amendment.

The President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, represented Romania in the Spring European Council of 24-25 March 2011.

In the context of the economic crisis period in the EU, the Romanian Government[1] and the President[2] supported the creation of a European stability mechanism and, implicitly, the restricted amendment of the Treaty.

Romania will have to contribute to the European Stability Mechanism after its accession to euro area, which is a national medium-term priority (currently the adoption of Euro is planned for January 2019).[3] In this context, the main concern of Romania in the negotiations was the level of its contribution rate in the perspective of accession to the European Economic and Monetary Union.[4]

After the European Council meeting, the President considered that the results of the negotiations were a successful compromise for Romania.[5] According to the President, if the mechanism were to apply the following day, Romania would have had to pay a lower contribution by 50% compared to the one originally proposed. The President declared that the initial contribution of 2,3 – 2,4 billion Euro which would be applicable to Romania was reduced to approximately 1.3-1.4 billion Euro in the final compromise for Member States which are still in the process of ‘catching up’, including Romania. [6]

Approval
V.2
How has the 136 TFEU Treaty amendment been approved in Romania and on what legal basis/argumentation?

The Treaty was ratified by the Romanian Parliament on the 12th of June 2012 with the enactment of organic Law no. 85/2012 for the ratification of the European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro, in force as of 22 June 2012, pursuant to Article 148 (3) of the Romanian Constitution on the amendment of EU treaties.[7]

Prior to the ratification, the Romanian President issued Decree No. 892/2011,[8] undersigned also by the Romanian Prime-Minister, in order to ask the Parliament to approve the Decision of the European Council 2011/199/EU. The legislative initiative was taken by the Romanian Government when presenting on December 12, 2011 the proposal to the Parliament, in accordance with the provisions of Article 148 paragraph 3 of the Romanian Constitution.[9] The Parliament rejected the Government proposal to ratify the European Council Decision 2011/199/EU by emergency parliamentary legislative procedure. Therefore, the ordinary legislative procedure was employed, the ratification process lasting over six months.

The legislative background Fundamentation note attached to the ratification law proposal described the treaty amendment initiative process at the EU level as of 2010 and further explained that the amendment intends to put in place a EU primary legal basis for a permanent stability mechanism. No socio-economic or financial impact assessment was conducted.[10]

The Legislative Council, a body of legal experts with the main objective to present advisory opinions on draft legislation, endorsed unanimously the adoption of the aforementioned ratification law.[11]

After approval by the four Parliamentary Committees concerned (the Legal Committee of each House of Parliament and the Committee for European Affairs of each house), the Parliament, in joint session of the two Chambers, adopted the Law on 12 June 2012 with a majority of the votes cast (307 for, 1 against, 1 abstention).[12]

On the 19th of June 2012 the Romanian President promulgated the Law no. 85/2012, approving the Treaty amendment of Article 136(3) TFEU.[13]

Ratification difficulties   
V.3
What political/legal difficulties did Romania encounter during the ratification of the 136 TFEU Treaty amendment?

During the ratification of the Article 136 TFEU amendment, the members of the Parliament made no modification proposals.

Pursuant to Article 148(1) and (3) of the Romanian Constitution, amendments to the EU founding treaties are adopted by organic law, in a joint session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, by two-thirds of the Deputies and Senators. According to the stenograph, during the joint session of the United Chambers of the Parliament of 12 June 2012, the rapporteur presented the legal proposal in five lines.[14] No public intervention was made by any individual member of the Parliament or political groups. The members of the Parliament present adopted the ratification law with 307 votes FOR, one abstention and one vote against. So, it can be said that the only “difficulty” encountered was the passivity of the Parliament.

Case law  
V.4

Is
there a (constitutional) court judgment in Romania on the 136 TFEU Treaty amendment?

No, there is no constitutional or ordinary court judgment on the amendment of Article 136 TFEU.

Miscellaneous
V.5
What other information is relevant with regard to Romania and the 136 TFEU Treaty amendment

No further relevant information.

[1] Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, Information note, available at: http://ue.mae.ro/en/local-news/562

[2] Romanian Presidency, Declaration of the President of Romania, Spring European Council, March 25, 2010, available at: http://cms.presidency.ro/?pag=59&year=2011&sid=13115&id_p=13121

[3] National Convergence Programme 2014-2017, p. 5, available (Romanian) at: http://discutii.mfinante.ro/static/10/Mfp/pdc/ConvergenceProgramme2014_2017ro_5mai.pdf

[4] Source: written answers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, 24 September 2014.

[5] Romanian Presidency, Declaration of the President of Romania, Spring European Council, March 25, 2010, available at: http://cms.presidency.ro/?pag=59&year=2011&sid=13115&id_p=13121.

[6] Ibidem.

[7]Parliament of Romania, Legislative file PL nr. x- 764/2011, http://www.cdep.ro/pls/proiecte/upl_pck.proiect?cam=2&idp=12454

[8] Ibidem.

[9] Law 85/2012 transposing the Council Decision 2011/199/EU of 25 March 2011, background Fundamentation note, available at: http://www.cdep.ro/proiecte/2011/700/60/4/em1036.pdf

[10] The background Fundamentation note states that: “[d]uring the European Council of 28-29 October 2010, based on a Franco-German proposal the negotiations for establishment of a permanent mechanism for the management of the euro-zone crises were initiated. The creation of such a mechanism does not have a legal basis in the [EU] primary law [currently] in force, the legal basis for the introduction of such a mechanism cannot be introduced by consequence through secondary legislation. Therefore, the amendment of the [TFEU] is required with the view of creating the necessary legal basis needed for the establishment of the permanent mechanism by Article 136 amendment.” [author’s translation from Romanian] Law 85/2012 transposing the Council Decision 2011/199/EU of 25 March 2011, background note, available at: http://www.cdep.ro/proiecte/2011/700/60/4/em1036.pdf

[11]Legislative Council, Opinion No 1146/1.11.2011, available at: http://www.cdep.ro/proiecte/2011/700/60/4/cl1036.pdf

[12] Parliament of Romania, United Chambers, session of 12.06.2012, debates, available (Romanin) at: http://www.cdep.ro/pls/steno/steno.stenograma?ids=7129&idm=5&idl=1

[13] President of Romania, Decree 424/2012 of 19.06.2012.

[14] Parliament of Romania, Joint session of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of 12.06.2012, debates, available at: http://www.cdep.ro/pls/steno/steno.stenograma?ids=7129&idm=5&idl=1