Ten NGOs called on the Senate to reject the legislative change (L 169/2019) to the NGO Law
In early June 2019, several civil society organisations issued a statement calling on the Senate to reject the proposed legislative change (L 169/2019) to the NGO Law (the Government Ordinance no. 26/2000 on associations and foundations) initiated by Liviu Pleșoianu, representative of the ruling PSD party. The organisations criticised a specific provision regarding the criteria for the dissolution of organisations as they claim is "redundant" because the issue is already regulated by the Criminal Code and other legislation.
In a separate development, on 11th July 2019, the Law for preventing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing was promulgated by the Romanian President, and a few days later, the legislation was published in the Official Gazette. As reported previously on the CIVICUS Monitor, civil society organisations firmly criticised the earlier version of the bill.
The version of the bill that passed was amended due to civil society advocacy efforts. For example, the definition of “real beneficiaries” was changed in a seemingly favourable way. However, as Georgiana Gheorghe, executive director of APADOR-CH told CIVICUS Monitor:
"The current law leaves room for interpretation as it is still unclear whether or not all associations fall under the definition of real beneficiaries."
On 10th August 2019, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Bucharest to protest the Social Democrat-led government on the one-year anniversary of a violent police crackdown. The protest was organised by Romanians living abroad being angry at the widespread corruption in the country.
In addition, anti-government protests are also being fuelled by anger over the recent rape and murder of a girl who could have been saved by the police, had they not showed up 19 hours after she called the emergency number 112.