The Coalition for Clean Romania Asks Ombudsman to Petition Constitutional Court on Education Emergency Ordinance

Avocatul poporuluiSAR President Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and the Coalition for Clean Romania (CCR) officially requested the Romanian Ombudsman to challenge the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 49 of 26 June 2014 modifying the national education law on 95 points, before the Constitutional Court. The open letter sent by the alliance to Ombudsman Victor Ciorbea was signed by various education stakeholders, NGOs, teachers, researchers, students and academic organizations, representing thousands of people.

The main claims were that education is not a field where legislation should follow an emergency procedure, thus shortcutting public consultation and immediate parliamentary approval, and that some of the changes are not constitutional. CCR considers that emergency ordinances, which have been for many years the ordinary legislative procedure, being counted in the hundreds are ‘a constitutional abuse’. Ordinances enter into force immediately after being adopted by government and are submitted for approval in the Parliament, sometimes years later. Earlier this year, a four year old ordinance creating the national research foundation UEFISCDI came for approval in the Parliament and was rejected, creating chaos in the field of research. Prime Minister Ponta has strongly criticized this approach to legislating when in opposition, but then promulgated as many emergency ordinances as his predecessors.

Following this petition, a delegation from the Coalition for Clean Romania met with Ciorbea, yet the Ombudsman has so far deferred notifying the Constitutional Court.

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