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Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Business in Romania blog
-A reduction in the use of emergency ordinances.

-The laws on the freedom of information and transparency in the legislative process should still be fully implemented.

-Efforts to improve the policy -making and legislative process should continue.

-Further efforts are needed to strengthen local and regional governance with a view to ensuring proper implementation of the acquis.

-The management of court cases and the quality of judgments needs to improve, and implementation on the ground is a matter of priority for organisational and legislative changes introduced in Romania's judicial system.

- The ability to curb continuing serious and widespread corruption will depend on the effective implementation of the anti-corruption law. In particular, additional efforts are required to ensure the independence, effectiveness and accountability of the National Anti-Corruption Prosecution, which should concentrate its resources on investigating high-level corruption.

-The economic situation of many mass media organisations remains precarious and further efforts are necessary to guarantee media independence.

-A more speedy and transparent approach is needed to further the restitution of buildings and religious property.

-Efforts to address the problems of ill-treatment in custody, trafficking in human beings and prison overcrowding should be sustained.

-De facto discrimination against the Roma minority remains widespread.

-Romania complies with the criterion of being a functioning market economy, and vigorous implementation of its structural reform programme should enable it to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.

-Improvements can be made in sustaining macroeconomic stability and in deepening structural reforms. Priority should be given to preserve the momentum in disinflation and safeguard the sustainability of the external position by maintaining a prudent policy mix and by further reducing the deficit of the broader public sector. To achieve this, significant improvements in enforcing financial discipline, continuous adjustments of energy prices towards cost recovery levels and improved financial performance of public enterprises are vital. Fiscal sustainability needs to be strengthened by advancing expenditure reform and further improving tax compliance.

-The privatisation process should be accomplished, post-privatisation disputes be settled and non-viable enterprises more actively dismantled. In key sectors, such as energy, mining and transport, perseverance in restructuring and a more manifest strive for privatisation should go hand in hand.

-Substantial progress in the functioning of the judiciary and the public administration, including an even and predictable application of law, is required to create an enabling business environment with a level playing field.

-Due attention should be given to the full and timely implementation of the strategies and action plans for the reinforcement of administrative capacity.

-In the internal market, transposition of public procurement legislation must be completed, and practices which put Romania's commitment to open and transparent procurement procedures into question should be discontinued. Alignment needs to be completed on free movement of persons as regards citizens' rights, and administrative and training capacities should be enhanced in general. In freedom to provide services, Romania should continue to pay attention to the removal of identified barriers against the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services and to the development of the insurance and financial securities markets. Outstanding restrictions to capital movements and payments should be removed and the enforcement record of the National Office for the Prevention and Control of Money Laundering needs to be improved.

-On the protection of intellectual and industrial property rights, enforcement has not kept pace with legislation.

-Legislative alignment on accounting and auditing should be completed.

-On competition, alignment of the state aid legislation is needed; the enforcement record of the competition authority needs to be improved in state aid matters, and restructuring aid may be given to steel companies only in line with the Europe Agreement.

-On agriculture, overall administrative and enforcement capacities should be enhanced, including reinforcing the SAPARD Agency and establishing the necessary control elements. Upgrading plans for non-compliant establishments in the veterinary sector should be introduced with no delay.

-On fisheries, sustained efforts are needed to recruit sufficient staff in the Fisheries Inspectorate and provide it with adequate inspection tools. The fishing database should be established.

-On transport, the technical state of the inland waterway fleet should be improved.

-On taxation, attention should be paid to completing alignment and strengthening administrative capacity.

-On social policy and employment, efforts should focus on completing legislative alignment in the area of labour law and on strengthening the Labour Inspectorate to ensure proper implementation in the area of health and safety at work. Due attention should be paid to the promotion of social dialogue and to the improvement of the health status of the population, which is well below the EU average. Administrative capacity with regards to European Social Fund management should be strengthened as a matter of priority.

-On energy, full implementation and increased administrative capacity are needed on the internal energy market structures; and the restructuring of energy markets needs to be completed.

-On industrial policy, the key challenge is implementation, as structural weaknesses limit the capacity for enforcement. Transparency of the privatisation process should be fully ensured.

-On regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments, efforts need to be continued to bring the administrative capacity up to the level required in order for Romania to reap full benefits of the structural instruments.

-On environment, implementation is lagging behind legislation: further transposition should concentrate on completing the alignment in the areas of horizontal legislation, air quality, waste management, water quality, and nature protection. Implementation of the transposed acquis remains a key challenge and requires enhanced efforts. It is of utmost importance that the environmental administration at all levels obtains sufficient resources in order to cope with the increasing recruitment, training and equipment needs. Strategic planning, adequate investment and financing plans also have to remain in the focus of the public services in the field of environment.

-On consumer and health protection, the consumer movement should be strengthened.

-On justice and home affairs, implementation capacity should be significantly strengthened in almost all areas, as should inter-agency co-operation. Many agencies and institutions involved in law enforcement are still affected by staff shortages, which will also require enhanced training capacity. The independence of the judiciary must be ensured on the ground. As regards the fight against corruption, implementation capacity should also be significantly strengthened and the existing legislation should be rigorously enforced. Romania should implement its current plans to fully address the above issues of concern and in particular increase its administrative capacity in the relevant institutions, implement an effective reform of the judicial system, recruit and train the necessary staff and take measures that have a significant impact on corruption.

-On custom, legislative alignment should be completed, and internal co-ordination improved; and any customs duties and charges having equivalent effect with regard to export and import to and from the Community will have to be abolished.

-On financial control, the legislative framework should be completed in external audit and protection of the Community's financial interests. Administrative capacity should be strengthened to implement sound financial system.

-The capacity of the public administration to implement and enforce the newly adopted legislation should be enhanced. These concerns extend beyond the adoption of the acquis and also apply to the management of EU financial assistance. Further efforts will be needed to complete the work in company law, competition policy, environment and justice and home affairs, customs and financial control.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 10/12/2004 05:33:00 pm What Romania still needs to do for EU accesion:
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