ROMANIA: PM changes almost all civil society representatives in Economic and Social Council

( The Romanian Government has changed 13 of the 15 representatives of the civil society in the Economic and Social Council (CES), one of the most important bodies in Romania that analyzes and issues opinion on legislation changes and decisions of the Parliament and Government.

The change was made through a decision signed by prime minister Viorica Dancila, local reported. The PM apparently took this decision to accelerate the adoption of the Government’s projects, which were often delayed because the CES members who had to issue their opinion needed time to study the legislation, according to sources close to CES.

“From now on, things will be more fluid, will move faster,” the same sources said.

Each CES member gets a RON 3,000 (EUR 645) monthly compensation but needs to be present at all four monthly meetings.

The CES members were last selected in 2015 by the Ponta cabinet, with a mandate of four years. Besides representatives of the civil society, the Economic and Social Council also includes representatives of employers’ association and trade unions.

Pro Romania and Romania Together Movement, two parties led by former prime ministers Victor Ponta and Dacian Ciolos, both criticized the Government’s decision, calling it an abuse. They said the appointments of the new members were made without a transparent selection process and that respected members were replaced for criticizing the Government’s projects.

Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry replied that it made the proposal for changing the CES members on June 22 and that some members were constantly absent from the CES meetings.