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Iohannis files constitutional challenge to law declaring June 4 Trianon Treaty Day

klaus iohannis

President Klaus Iohannis sent on Friday the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) a challenge to the Law declaring June 4 Trianon Treaty Day, the Presidential Administration informs.

On May 19, 2020 Parliament forwarded to the President, with a view to promulgation, the Law for the Declaration of June 4 Trianon Treaty Day.

In the challenge filed with the Constitutional Court, the President says that the law runs counter to both the constitutional provisions concerning respect for the principle of separation of powers in the state and the stability of legal relations, as well as to those related to the quality of the law.

"We appreciate that the wording of this content, in such a manner, denotes the purely declarative nature of the regulations, without the scope of the law being clearly defined," the President also comments on the law which has been referred to him by Parliament.

Thus, Iohannis states that the "provisions set forth and, in particular, those which should be the subject of regulation are purely declarative in nature, since they are not determined by the need to regulate a particular area of social relations and its specificity, but are rather driven by the desire to unequivocally preset, in a one-off case, the declaration of June 4 as Trianon Treaty Day".

"However, the essence of a law, as a legal act of Parliament, results from its very normative character, and not from an eminently declarative one, devoid of legal effects", the head of the state argues in the referral to the Constitutional Court.

"The purpose of the criticised law is not an individualised, precisely determined one, since it does not clearly show what the envisaged general social interest is," he goes on to write.

"Taking into account all these aspects, we consider that the legal instrument by which this act for the declaration of the Trianon Treaty Day on June 4 in carried out, is not the proper one, since this declaration per se cannot be imposed and/or carried out by a law, as a legal act of Parliament, but can only be carried out by a secondary, executive/administrative act or may possibly take the form of a declaration with a political character," Iohannis stresses.

The President also states that, through the respective law, Parliament has "stepped into the area of competence of the Executive authority, the only one with the above-mentioned powers, through a secondary regulatory act subsumed to the competence of the central public administration authority".

Moreover, he notes, "the criticised law does not impose, through its provisions, clear rules or general principles to guide the entire regulation, which is unclear about who it is intended for and their conduct, as those cannot be specified or identified by means of the provisions referring to the organization of demonstrations for marking the Trianon Treaty Day".

Iohannis also refers to the reasons for the initiation of this law.

"The analysis of the reasons for the elaboration of this legislative proposal, as well as of the regulations established by Article 2 of the law subject to the constitutional check reveals that the purpose of the law is to highlight the importance of the said Treaty by the organization of cultural-educational and scientific manifestations. We consider that, in this way, the imprecise purpose of the regulation risks to remain unfulfilled, since the organization of those demonstrations may give rise to events contrary to those pursued by the legislator. This is why we consider that the regulation is poorly constructed, worded in an unclear and unpredictable manner," the President adds.

Addressing the issue of the financing of the demonstrations that should mark the anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon, as provided for in the law sent to him for promulgation, Iohannis states that the local authorities can choose whether or not to support those demonstrations.

"We appreciate that, by these dispositions, the law contains provisions with the character of recommendation, and has therefore no implementation effects," the President points out.

Moreover, by establishing a possibility and not an obligation of the public authorities/institutions with regard to the financing of the demonstrations, "the legislator establishes a norm that has no objective and rational justification".

At the same time, the President also challenges the article that provides for the flying of the Romanian flag on this day, stressing that it does not fit into the existing legal norm.

The President also takes issue with the article that provides for the inclusion in the programmes of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Company and the Romanian Public Television Company of specials or aspects from the demonstrations.

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