In respect to the alert created on August 3, 2020 regarding the topic: Judicial Intimidation Targeting the Romanian Union of Journalists and Daily Newspaper "Libertatea"
The Romanian legislative framework guarantees the protection of freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of media.
Article 30 of the Romanian Constitution provides for the inviolable right to freedom of expression and freedom of media and forbids any censorship or suppression of publications. Civil liability for the information made public falls upon the publisher or the producer, and indictable offences of the press shall be established by law.
Freedom of the press is intrinsically related to the right to information, provided by Article 31 of the Constitution, which provides for a correlative obligation for the journalists: ”public and private media shall be bound to provide correct information to the public opinion”.
Furthermore, Article 41 of the Constitution provides for the freedom of association, and complements Article 9 related to trade unions, employers' associations, and vocational associations.
In addition, both the Labour Code (Law no. 53/2003) and the Law on social dialogue (Law no. 62/2011) prohibit any direct or indirect intervention of public authorities, owners or patronal organisations in the establishment of the employers’ associations, the exercise of their rights, or in the dissolution of these associations. The judiciary is the only competent authority when the legality, the establishment or the representability of an employers’ association is at stake. As stated in the alert, the proceedings are currently pending.
Moreover, there are several other national mechanisms which could be activated in order to determine and punish any abuse related to the observance and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms: the National Council on Combating Discrimination, Ombudsman, and the Labour Inspectorate.
Finally, the National Romanian Television is a public autonomous institution, under parliamentary control, which is annually audited by the Court of Auditors and is under a permanent supervision of the competent structures of the Ministry of Public Finances.