How Parliament of Romania works
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Sittings

During the sessions, the Chambers of Parliament work in sittings held in keeping with their Standing Orders. As to the sittings, it must be considered that the Constitution provides for the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to sit separately, and occasionally in joint sittings.

The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate meet in joint sittings for:

  • receiving the message of the President of Romania;
  • approving the state budget and the budget of the social state insurance, for rectifying laws, and for approving the budgetary execution account;
  • declaring general or partial mobilization;
  • declaring a state of war;
  • suspending or ceasing military hostilities;
  • examining the reports of the Supreme Council of National Defence and of the Court of Audit;
  • appointing the director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, at the proposal of the President of Romania, and for exercising control on the activity of this service;
  • debating legislative texts on which there is division of opinion, in case the mediation committee has not reached an agreement or its report has not been approved as a
  • whole or in part by one of the Chambers as well as for adopting a final text on
  • issues on which there is divergence of opinion;
  • re-examining the Law on the state budget and the Law 'on the state social insurance budget as well as re-examining a aw adopted in joint sitting in the terms of Article 113 of the Constitution by engaging the responsibility of the Government;
  • adopting drafts or proposals for the revision of the Constitution in case the Chambers fail to reach and agreement by the mediation procedure;
  • taking of the oath by the President of Romania;
  • indicting the President of Romania for the felony of high treason;
  • suspending from office the President of Romania or the person ensuring the duties of ad interim in the exercise of this office, in case of the commitment of serious offences violating the provisions of the Constitution;
  • agreeing to the state of siege or to the state of emergency, throughout the country or only in certain localities, instituted by the President of Romania;
  • debating the programme and list of the Government and granting the vote of confidence;
  • withdrawing the confidence granted to the Government by adoption of a motion of censure;
  • deploying the procedure with regard to the engagement of the Government's responsibility on a programme, a declaration of general policy, or a draft bill;
  • electing the magistrates to form the Superior Council of the Magistrature;
  • appointing the members of the Court of Audit
  • appointing the members of the new Supreme Court of Justice;
  • carrying out other appointments in offices which, according to law, are of the Parliament's competence;
  • adopting some declarations, messages, or other documents with an exclusively political character;
  • proclaiming the results of a national referendum;
  • receiving some representatives of other states or of some international bodies;
  • celebrating some national festivals, or in case of some commemorations;
  • setting up some joint inquiry committees, or other special committees;
  • other situations in which the Standing Bureaux of the two Chambers consider necessary their convocation in joint sitting.

The Chambers are convened in joint sitting by mutual agreement of their presidents.

According to the Standing Orders of the Chambers of Parliament, the proceedings are conducted by the President of the Chamber, or, in his/her absence, by one of the vice-presidents, seconded by two secretaries. The proceedings of the joint sittings are alternatively conducted by the President of the Chamber of Deputies and by the President of the Senate assisted by two secretaries, one each from each Chamber. The proceedings of the first sittings, after elections, up to the election of the presidents of the Chambers and of the standing bureaux are presided over by the oldest Deputy or Senator, assisted by four secretaries designated from among the youngest parliamentarians.

The sittings are held at the seat of Chamber, on the days and at the time set by the working programme adopted by the Chamber.

The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate deploy their activity in plenum, by parliamentary groups and committees, over the span of four consecutive days of the week, according to the programme approved at the proposals of each standing bureau. The fifth day of the week, according to the programme, is reserved for activities in the constituencies in which the deputies were elected. At the proposal of the standing bureaux, sittings may also be held according to another programme. Entitled to participate in the sittings, besides deputies and senators, are members or representatives of the Government, diplomats, representatives of the press, radio and television as well as citizens.

Deputies and Senators are obliged to be present at the proceedings of the Chamber and to enter their name on the list of attendance held by one of the secretaries. The Deputy or Senator who cannot participate in the sitting for reasons independent of his/her will must give notice of the fact in advance to the standing bureau, mentioning the causes preventing their participation.

In order to discuss the issues inscribed on the agenda, Deputies and Senators take the floor from the rostrum in order of their names entered on the speakers' list. Members of the Government may also take the floor if they ask, regardless of whether they have entered their names on the speakers' li.st or of the order on it. Speakers must stick to the issues entered into the agenda. If the speaker digresses from the point for which he/she has taken the floor, the president may draw his/her attention, and in case of non-compliance with the instruction, may withdraw the permission to speak. A dialogue between the speaker on the rostrum and people in the hall is prohibite.

Parliamentary debates are recorded on magnetic tape, taken down in shorthand, and published in the Monitorul Oficial (Official Gazette of Romania), except those of secret sittings.

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