Constitutional Background

The current Romanian Constitution was adopted in November 1991, and came into force after the referendum on 8 December 1991. The Constitution was amended for the first time in 2003.

Romania's Constitution provides a "Right to Dispose of Oneself" (Art. 26) and sets the maximum daily working hours to eight (Art. 38). The Constitution specifies the right to property also by guaranteeing governmental debts (Art. 41). It explicitly provides for martrimonial equality, legitimacy equality, and civil marriage (Art. 44). The constitutionality of laws and orders can be submitted to judicial review even before they are adopted (Art. 77, 114, 144). Romania's President has a very powerful office, informally controlling foreign affairs, defence, police, secret service, and appointment of the Prime Minister. The mandate of the President was prolonged from 4 years to a 5 years term in 2003.

History and News

  • Sep 2004: new electoral legislation adopted: a Law on Election of the President of the Republic, and a Law on Election of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
  • Aug-Sep 2004: Debates on the new electoral legislation.
  • March 2004: A new law on the election of local public administration authorities (local governments) adopted. The local electoral system basically remains the same: a proportional one.
  • Dec 2003- Feb 2004: Ongoing debates on electoral reform.
  • Oct 2003: First amendment of the Romanian Constitution (2003). Political preparations started in year 2000. The text of the amendment was prepared by a special parliamentary board. In June 2003 the Chamber of Deputies adopted the Law; the Senate approved it in September 2003, in different wording. The conciliated version were approved on 18th Sep 2003 by both parliamentary chambers. On 18-19 Oct 2003 the referendum approved the Law for the Revision of the Constitution.
  • March 2003: Romania signed the Protocol of Accession to NATO.
  • Nov 2002: NATO formally invited Romania (and six other countries) to accession talks. The invited countries are expected to join NATO in 2004.
  • May 2001: The new law on local government is drafted (Law no. 215/2001 on local public administration).
  • Feb 2000: Romania's EU accession negotiations officially began.
  • Dec 1999: EU invites Romania officially to join its membership process (European Council of Helsinki).
  • June 1995: Romania applied for EU membership.
  • Feb 1993: Romania signed the Europe Agreement (EU association agreement). Two years later, the agreement came into effect.
  • Sep 1992: Parliamentary and presidential elections won by PDSR (Party of Social Democracy of Romania) and Ion Iliescu.
  • 8 Dec 1991: New Constitution approved by referendum.
  • Nov 1991: Parliament adopts new Constitution.
  • May 1990: First parliamentary and presidential elections are won by FSN (National Salvation Front) and Ion Iliescu as president.
  • Dec 1989: Collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorial regime.
  • 1965: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej dies and Nicolae Ceausescu comes to power. The third soviet-type constitution was adopted.
  • 1952: The second soviet-type constitution was adopted.
  • 1948: The first soviet-type constitution was adopted.
  • 1938: The 1938 Constitution inaugurated the personal dictatorship of King Carol II.
  • 1923: The constitution of the interwar Romania came into force. It is considered today as well a generally democratic constitution.
  • 1866: The first modern constitution of Romania, based on the Belgian Constitution from 1831, was approved.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - 21.4.2022 / Thanks to Emöd Veress.
For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.