Chairman of the Romanian Senate Calin Popescu-Tariceanu has delivered a speech on bicameralism to the 20th meeting of the Association of European Senates (AES) in Paris in which here he mentioned some major developments in bicameralism in Europe.
The meeting takes place June 13-15, discussing "Bicameralism: an asset for democracy."
The debates highlighted a shared vision of the upper chambers of the European parliaments that the senates play a key role in the operation of a political system based on the principle of checks and balances, with Parliament in the middle as the main guarantor of democracy.
According to a press statement released by the Romanian Senate, Tariceanu in his speech mentioned some milestones in the development of bicameralism in Europe, highlighting the contribution of the upper chambers - with similar or asymmetric powers in relation to a lower chamber - in fulfilling their legislative duties and exercising control over governmental activity.
Tariceanu emphasised the historical role of bicameralism in transforming and modernising the Romanian society, showing that, after the communist period, bicameralism rediscovered its forms of action, contributing significantly to the process of democratic consolidation of the society.
He also referenced the revision of the Romanian Constitution in 2003, when the powers of the two chambers of the Romanian Parliament were differentiated, creating the necessary premises for reinforcing the role of the senate in the lawmaking process.
In particular, this year's AES meeting agenda also included a section for dialogue with African countries with bicameral parliamentary systems, where invited to attend were the senate chairs of Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria , Namibia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tariceanu highlighted the traditional friendly co-operation relationships between Romania and the African countries, the contribution of Romanian specialists to the democratic stabilisation and economic and social progress in various countries on the African continent, and the importance of successfully completing negotiations over a new agreement partnership between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the implementation of the new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.
He also mentioned Romania's interest in deepening co-operation with African countries, including at parliamentary level, mentioning to the point the Romanian Senate hosting this year at Parliament Palace in Bucharest, as part of the parliamentary dimension of the Romanian presidency of the EU Council the 53rd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 37th Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
On the side-lines of the meeting, Tariceanu had a bilateral meeting with Stanislaw Karczewski, chairman of the Polish Senate.
The two chairs reviewed the main aspects of the bilateral relationships between Romania and Poland with an emphasis on the important role parliamentary diplomacy plays in diversifying them. Also discussed were the future of Europe, and regional co-operation, including the B9 parliamentary dimension. The two dignitaries also exchanged views on the recent political developments in Ukraine and Moldova.
The Romanian Senate retinue included Cristian-Sorin Dumitrescu, chairman of the Romanian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee.
The meeting was thought to continue the exchange of views at the level of senate leaders and the advancement of new multilateral co-operation proposals, both among the AES member states and with partner countries outside the European area.
Established in 2000, the ASE brings together the presidents of the upper chambers of parliaments from 16 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UK, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain) and Luxembourg ?s State Council, as an observer.
The association aims to: develop relations between its members; promote bicameralism within the framework of parliamentary democracy; strengthen European identity and awareness. ASE meetings usually take place annually in one of the member states.
The Senate of Romania is a founding member of the ASE and hosted two ASE meetings, in 2007 and in 2018.