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Constitution of Romania

 

Constitution of Romania

Constitution of Romania
The current version of the Constitution of Romania, as published in the Official Gazette of 31 October 2003, following the approval of amendments in a referendum on 18 October.
Created 21 November 1991
Ratified 8 December 1991
Author(s) Antonie Iorgovan et al.
Purpose Replaced the Communist 1965 constitution
Coat of arms of Romania
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Romania

The Constitution of Romania was adopted on 21 November 1991. It was approved that same year in a national referendum on 8 December and introduced on the same day. It remains the current fundamental law that establishes the structure of the government of Romania, the rights and obligations of the country's citizens, and its mode of passing laws. It stands as the basis of the legitimacy of the Romanian government.

The constitution was amended once by a referendum on 18 October 2003. The new text took effect on 29 October 2003.

Contents

  • Structure 1
  • Background 2
  • Initial version (1991) 3
  • First revision (2003) 4
  • Proposed second revision 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Structure

The Constitution of 1991, as revised in 2003, contains 156 articles, divided into 8 titles:

  • Title I - General principles
  • Title II - Fundamental rights, liberties, and duties
  • Title III - Public authorities
  • Title IV - The economy and public finance
  • Title V - Constitutional Court
  • Title VI - Euro-Atlantic integration
  • Title VII - Revising the Constitution
  • Title VIII - Final and transitional provisions

Background

The first constitution of the United Principality (later Kingdom) of Romania was adopted 1 July 1866. After the extension of national territory in 1918, a new constitution was approved 29 March 1923. It was repealed by King Carol II in 1938, when an authoritarian regime formed around the National Renaissance Front adopted a new, corporatist constitution on 27 February this document was, in turn, cancelled in 1940 by the Iron Guard's National Legionary State government. The 1923 constitution was reinstated after the fall of the Ion Antonescu dictatorship in 1944 (see Romania during World War II).

The new constitution of Communist Romania was adopted in 1948 following the Soviet model,[1] with subsequent variants appearing in 1952 and 1965 (the former "building the socialism", the latter announcing the "socialism has won"[1] and notably making the change from a People's Republic to a Socialist Republic). The Communist regime fell in 1989, after which large portions of the 1965 document were suspended, and the present document was adopted in 1991.

Initial version (1991)

The 1991 Constitution enshrined the return to democracy after the fall of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate) and elected for four years. After the prime minister is named by the president, Parliament validates the composition and programme of the Government and can dismiss it following a motion of censure. The constitution provides for fundamental civic rights and freedoms, and creates the office of Romanian Ombudsman to ensure these are respected.[2]

First revision (2003)

A sign in front of Cercul Militar Naţional counts down to the "complete professionalization" of the Romanian military, that is, the end of conscription (May 2006).

The 1991 Constitution has been amended one time, in 2003. Articles were introduced on “Integration into the NGOs[4] alleged serious irregularities. 89.70% voted yes and 8.81%, no. It came into force ten days later.

Proposed second revision

The issue of constitutional reform was raised repeatedly in the early 2010s, especially after a major political crisis in the second half of 2012. The ruling coalition at the time, the Social Liberal Union, claimed that insufficient constitutional constraints led then-incumbent President Traian Băsescu to abuse his presidential powers, thus justifying new amendments. A public debate began in 2013 and a Parliamentary Commission for the Revision of the Constitution was established. However, the reform project stalled as the Social Liberal Union dissolved in early 2014 and Băsescu ended his term later that year.[5]

Băsescu's successor, Klaus Iohannis, expressed support for a second revision of the Constitution, as did Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who stated that such a revision should be a political priority in 2015, as there are no elections scheduled in Romania that year.[6][7] On 18 January 2015, the vice-president of the Parliamentary Commission, Valeria Schelean, requested the immediate convocation of the commission to begin working on amendments.[8]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Mihaela Cristina Verzea, "Constituţia RPR din 27 septembrie 1952" ("1952: The Constitution of People's Republic of Romania"), Dosarele Istoriei, 8/2003, pp. 22-26
  2. ^ a b Stoica
  3. ^ Mirela Luca, “Opozitia acuza ca referendumul pentru Constitutie a fost fraudat” (“The Opposition Charges that the Constitutional Referendum was Rigged”), Ziarul Financiar, October 21, 2003.
  4. ^ “Grave incalcari ale legii si nereguli organizatorice, produse la scara nationala, cu ocazia referendumului din 18 - 19 octombrie” (“Serious violations of the law and organisational irregularities, produced on a nationwide scale, on the occasion of the referendum of 18 - 19 October 2003”)
  5. ^ "Mai este oportună revizuirea Constituţiei?". Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ponta: Modificarea Constituţiei trebuie să devină o prioritate în 2015, an fără presiuni electorale". Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Klaus Iohannis: Revizuirea Constituţiei trebuie făcută în perioada următoare. Sunt şi texte care au permis interpretări forţate". Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Vicepreședintele comisiei pentru revizuirea Constituției Valeria Schelean(PNL) cere convocarea rapidă a lucrărilor comisiei". Retrieved 22 January 2015. 

References

  • Stoica, Stan (coordinator), Dicţionar de Istorie a României, p. 94-5. Bucharest: Editura Merona, 2007.

External links

  • (English) The Constitution of Romania at the Chamber of Deputies' website
  • (Romanian) Text in Romanian
  • (Romanian) 1991 version
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