Government practice on engaging liability toward Parliament is contrary to the principle of separation of the powers in a state and undermines the rule of law
The practice of assumption of responsibility by the Government before Parliament runs counter to the fundamental principles of a state with the rule of law. This procedure has been abused given that the Government assumed responsibility for 22 laws in the recent past, the principle of separation of powers in the state being thus violated. Such a conclusion was formulated by the director of the Resource Center for Human Rights (CReDO) Sergiu Ostaf based on a report by the organization.
In a news conference at IPN, Sergiu Ostaf said such a practice is used in only four of the 90 democratic states, namely Moldova, Romania, France, and Italy. Except for Moldova, the legislation of the other three states lays down very clear rules as to when responsibility can be assumed by the executive. In France, for example, only two laws can be adopted this way during the term of a legislature. In Romania, they should initially adopt the law by normal procedure. If the bill is not passed, but it is important, they can resort to such a practice. In Italy, Parliament should give its consent for the executive to assume responsibility for particular bills.
Olga Bitca, CReDO expert and the chairman of the Anticorruption Alliance, said the assumption of responsibility for laws referring to the budget by the Government is allowed in other states too, but this procedure is limited qualitatively and quantitatively. In order not to paralyze the work of state institutions, the legislation in other states allows adopting by such a procedure only one bill related to the budget, not all of them, as it was done in Moldova and the principle of transparency was thus violated.
CReDO recommends the legislature to amend the Constitution as regards the assumption of responsibility for particular laws by the executive. The Center considers this practice should be limited to one law during the term of a legislature. The Constitutional Court, which examined a challenge concerning this practice in relation to the budget-related laws, is recommended to study the European practice in such cases.
The state budget, social insurance budget and health insurance budget laws as well as the law on the budgetary-fiscal policy for this year were adopted by assuming responsibility by the Government, which is without the Parliament s vote. President Nicolae Timofti promulgated this package of laws.