On 14 April 2020 the Presidential Decree no. 240 regarding the extension of the state emergency in Romania was published in the Official Monitor of Romania, applicable as of today, 15 April 2020.

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Decree no. 240 from 15 April 2020

On 14 April 2020 the Presidential Decree no. 240 regarding the extension of the state emergency in Romania was published in the Official Monitor of Romania, applicable as of today, 15 April 2020.

According to the Decree the state of emergency is extended for an additional 30 day-period starting with 15 April 2020.

Moreover, the Decree provides new measure with direct enforceability, applicable in the following fields:

  1. Public order field

During the state of emergency, it is forbidden to organize and conduct in open spaces meetings, demonstrations, processions or any other meetings, as well as to organize and conduct in closed spaces cultural, scientific, artistic, religious, sporting or entertainment activities.

With respect to the ministers of religious worship which are officially recognized in Romania, they can officiate practices and rituals with public character in the places of worship, in public or in private spaces, without the participation of the public. Also, they can officiate baptisms, weddings or funerals, with the participation of the minimum number of persons and with strict observance of the measures of individual and collective protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  1. European funds field

According to the provisions of the Decree, the managing authorities and intermediary bodies will issue specific instructions in relation with the beneficiaries, so that the implementation of the financing contracts will be carried out in accordance with the legal provisions and with the measures established to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

In addition, during the state of emergency, at the request of the beneficiaries, the managing authorities and the intermediary bodies can approve the reorganization, restructuring or reprogramming of the activities that are object of the financing from European funds without prejudice to the result indicators of their specific projects or objectives, as the case may be, and without the extension of financing contracts to exceed December 31, 2023.

  1. Labor and social protection field

During the state of emergency the provisions of Law no. 19/2020 regarding granting parents free days for the supervision of children, in the situation of temporary closure of the educational units will not be applicable to the employees of the national defense system, employees of the penitentiaries, personnel from the public sanitary units, as well as the personnel from the residential social services. However, they will be entitled to a salary increase, if the above-mentioned law is not applicable to the other parent as well.

In addition, the Decree stipulates that during the state of emergency, collective labor contracts and agreements will maintain their validity.

  1. Justice area

If  the number of judges required to complete the panel within a section cannot be ensured, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the president of the court or his substitute, will order the participation of judges from other sections of the court, which will be appointed by drawing lots.

During the state of emergency, the activity of drafting and communicating the court decisions, recording the requests for legal proceedings introduced during the state of emergency, as well as any other activities, will continue in compliance the rules of health discipline and the provisions stipulated by the decree.

In addition, the Decree stipulates that, during the period of emergency, the acquisitive prescription shall not begin to run, or if began to run, it is suspended.

Also, in urgent cases, if it is possible, court hearings may also be conducted by videoconference, and the communication of the procedural documents will be done by fax, electronic mail or by other means that ensure the transmission of the text of the document and the confirmation of its receipt.

In such case, the audio-video equipment needed in order attend the court hearings by videoconference will be provided by the court in the district in which the parties, the representatives of the parties or other participants at the trial are located, through a judge appointed by the president of the court.

Also, the Decree expressly mentions that, during the period of emergency, the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code regarding the delegation of the court are applicable. Thus, if due to exceptional circumstances, the competent court is prevented for a longer time to operate, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, at the request of the interested party, will appoint another court of the same rank to judge the trial. In this case, the file will be sent to the delegated court in electronic format, if it is possible

With respect to the trade register, the recordings of the mentions regarding legal and natural persons will continue and will be performed either by electronic means or by correspondence. The affidavits can be either a document under private signature either an electronic one and can be sent to the trade register office without any other formality.

(v)Transport and infrastructure area

The electronic communications services providers can also use SMS services to fulfill the obligations regarding the submission of pre-contractual and contractual information, the conclusion of contracts and obtaining confirmation of the conclusion of the contract. In this case, the electronic communications services providers must prove the compliance with the legal obligations.