Ministers nominated in Boc Cabinet get approval

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The ministers nominated to be included in the Cabinet formed by Premier designate Emil Boc got the approval on Tuesday from the specialist commissions in Parliament.

The 15 ministers are: Vasile Blaga, Minister of Administration and the Interior, Adriean Videanu, Minister of Economy, Trade and the Business Environment, Radu Berceanu, Minister of Transports and Infrastructure, Mihail Dumitru, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Catalin Croitoru, Minister of Education, Research, Innovation, Youth and Sports, Mihai Seitan, Minister of Labour, Family and Social Protection, Elena Udrea, Minister of Regional Development and Tourism, Gabriel Sandu, Minister of Communications and Information Society, Hunor Kelemen, Minister of Culture, Religious Affairs and National Patrimony, Laszlo Borbely, Minister of the Environment and Forestry, Attila Cseke, Minister of Health, Catalin Predoiu, Minister of Justice, Sebastian Vladescu, Minister of Public Finance, Gabriel Oprea, Minister of National Defence, Teodor Baconschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Bela Marko, leader of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, was designated Vice- Premier. The new Government will be submitted to Parliament for the investiture vote on Wednesday, during a joint meeting of the Senate and the Chamber of deputies, when Premier designate Emil B oc will also present the governing programme.

Parliament grants confidence to the Government by a vote of the majority of the deputies and senators. The new Boc Cabinet needs 236 votes in order to be invested. The vote will be secret.
President Traian Basescu on December 17 designated chairman of the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) Emil Boc for the position of Prime Minister. The Head of State insisted on the fact that the Government should be invested on December 23 for it to be able to submit the draft of the state budget for 2010 by the end of the year to Parliament.

Emil Boc was designated to form the Government after the Cabinet he also headed was dismissed through the adoption of the censure motion in parliament on October 13. After the parliamentary election in November 2008 Boc formed the coalition Government between PD-L and the Social Democratic Party, but after the Social Democrats stepped down from power the Democrat Liberals were a minority government.

According to the 2009-2012 Governing Programme worked out by the new ruling line-up and which will be presented in Parliament, 80 percent of Romania’s population will be connected to the drinking water supply networks, and 69 percent will be given access to sewage systems in the time span covered by the programme.
Another important environment-related point on the Government’s agenda in the next five years refers to the revising of the National Waste Management Strategy, and the working out, approval and monitoring of the implementation of the National Waste Management Plan for the period 2009-2013.

Also envisaged are the use of municipal waste for ‘green’ power generation and the employment of inert industrial waste in constructions and transport infrastructure.
The ‘Investments’ chapter provides for the rehabilitation, review and exact delimitation of the Natura 2000 sites and protected areas, as well as the grant of economic and financial incentives for investments in waste management and waste usage technologies.

The chapter devoted to the sustainable management of natural resources and the conservation of biodiversity refers to the rehabilitation and restoration of the Danube Delta channel network, the setting in place of a system of normative state budget financing of the management of national and natural parks, support for zoo modernization projects so as to get these sites compliant with environmental performance standards, as well as the transfer of protected areas under the management of local non-governmental organizations, associations of landowners or local authorities.

The development of cultural economy by ensuring an efficient legal, economic and financial- fiscal framework, the halt to the process deteriorating the national cultural patrimony, the development of some common policies between culture and education as well as the implementation of a public policy for the development of cultural tourism are only a few of the aims of the Emil B oc Government, which are to be found in the 2009-2012 governing programme that is to be voted on by the two chambers of Parliament.

In the field of culture the Government aims at promoting national patrimony, the one belonging to the culture of the national minorities included, but also at developing the synergy between the field of culture and other fields of activity such as the educational, social and economic fields, and at drawing up some trans-sectoral public policies.

The Romanian diplomacy will have to prepare institutionally for the participation in the European External Action Service of the European Union, stipulated in the Treaty of Lisbon, to consolidate its influence on European institutions and to ensure this country’s joining the Schengen space in 2011, these are the foreign policy priorities included in the governing programme of the new Executive.

The establishment of a European External Action Service (EEAS) is something quite new brought by the Treaty of Lisbon. The EEAS will support the activity of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and will cooperate closely with the diplomatic services of the member states. The service will be made up of officials and employees of the outstanding departments of the European Commission and of the General Secretariat of the Council as well as of diplomats of the member states.

Another guideline included in the governing programme refers to coherent diplomatic actions meant to help leave behind the stage of post-accession monitoring.
They also aim at consolidating the dialogue at European level and the domestic expertise in preparing the 2013-2020 financial prospect so that Romania’s interest should be properly represented.

According to the document mentioned before, it devolves on the foreign policy to promote Romania’s economic, tourist and cultural aims as part of the EU Danube Strategy and to identify opportunities for the development of the Carpathians region and Romania’s active involvement in partnerships with a view to implementing them.

Other aims refer to ensuring a nondiscriminatory treatment for the Romanian workers in the EU space (the free movement of labour force), to the domestic institutional preparation up to European standards for ensuring Romania’s joining the Schengen space in keeping with the calendar that was established, in 2011, to the “energetic resumption” of the preparations for joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in order to make it easier for Romania to possibly take part in new decision-making global formats.

The improvement of the population’s health, the approval of a national strategy of development of the medical services on a eight-year period at least and the development of the rural medical care are the main targets forecast in the new government programme.

Thus, the new Cabinet is putting forward as action directions to bring into mutual relation the reform of medical insurance with the reform of the public health system; the enforcement of an investment national programme to allow the medical infrastructure to the European standards, within 8 years, by attracting European funds included; the setting up of a national plan of beds correlated with the needs for medical care of the population.

The Government also wants to develop the family medicine through an increase in the allocations from the health insurance fund, the endowment of the medical offices with diagnose and treatment instruments, the upgrading of the specialty ambulatory care by increasing the funds and the accession of the European funds, as well as the development of the public-private partnership and the attraction of the business milieu into the development of the integrated medical networks.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the priorities of the 2009-2010 governing programme worked out by the new ruling line-up that will be submitted to Parliament.
The Cabinet headed by Premier Designate Emil Boc will further treat SMEs as a priority, adopting to this aim in a fast-track procedure a series of economic and fiscal regulation measures aimed at supporting and stimulating this business category.

The policies promoted by the Government will also be correlated with the goals of the Treaty of Lisbon, providing at the same time the adoption of decisions that should favour the development of the technological capacity of the SMEs.
Farms and family businesses as well as production activities and the capitalization on local resources will be one of the levers used by the new Government to raise the population’s living standards in agricultural areas and disadvantaged regions.

Last but not least, the governing programme also pledges support for innovative activities and the development of the sustainable entrepreneurship. Next year’s tax policy provides the narrowing of the budget deficit to 5.9 percent of the GDP by measures that envisage the correction of the ratio of current expenditures to investment expenses, reads the 2009-2012 governing programme proposed by the new ruling line-up.

To this end, the programme provides the streamlining of the public sector’s institutional structure, of the number of employees and related costs, the strengthening of structural reforms in the pension system by broadening the contribution base and by a better management of disability pensions and early retirements, improved targeting of existing social assistance programmes and the consolidation of the more than 200 existing social aid categories, as well as by a cautious wage policy in the public sector, which should take into account the macroeconomic and budgetary constraints.

The fundamental goal of the tax policy will be to restore the credibility and stability of public finances by establishing a balance between the short-term response to the economic crisis and the medium term goals of strengthening public finance, observing the budget deficit target set for 2010 and reducing the governmental sector’s net need for financing, the further fiscal consolidation with a view to meeting the deficit target of 3 percent of the GDP by structural measures aimed at ensuring the medium-term sustainability and maintaining the calendar for the adoption of the euro, promoting a counter-cyclical fiscal policy capable of rendering the process of economic growth sustainable.

The governing programme also provides the promotion of the fiscal accountability law and of the law on the reform of the pension system.

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