For the attention of:
– Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis – the President of Romania,
– Ms. Anca Dragu – Speaker of the Senate of Romania,
– Mr. Florin Roman – Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies,
– Mr. Florin Vasile Cîțu – Prime Minister of Romania and president of PNL,
– Mr. Ion Marcel Ciolacu – president of PSD,
– Mr. Dacian Julien Cioloș – president of USR+,
– Mr. Hunor Kelemen – president of UDMR,
– Mr. George Nicolae Simion – president of AUR.
Severe situation, unprecedented institutional impasse in the Romanian public Radio and Television!
Deliberately or not, the public Radio and Television have been condemned!
Ladies and gentlemen,
On the 1st November 2021, Radio Romania should have celebrated 93 years since its establishment, and on the 31st December TVR will have reached 65 years of uninterrupted presence on Romanians’ TV screens. At this time of celebration, the employees of the two public media institutions are outraged and desperate because, although they have worked and served their institutions with professionalism, loyalty and sacrifices over the years, in return they will not receive even their due rights.
We hereby inform you that the two strategic, public media institutions of the Romanian state, the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation (SRR) and the Romanian Television Broadcasting Corporation (SRTV), find themselves in a situation where they have no leadership whatsoever as of the 29th October 2021 (pursuant to Art. 18 of Law no. 41/1994 republished).
As of that date, SRR and SRTV have suspended all payments to beneficiaries! There is no holder of an administrative position entitled to sign documents as Chief Authorising Officer.
The employees are distressed over the prospect of not receiving their salaries in November, in accordance with the respective Collective Bargaining Agreements, while the two public media institutions are in default.
Moreover, for the first time since the endorsement of Law no. 41/1994 on the organisation and functioning of SRR and SRTv, the employees’ right to elect and be elected as employee representatives in the two Boards of Administrators has been breached, in defiance of Art. 19(2)(b) of Law no. 41/1994 republished.
We would also like to mention the following facts:
- On Thursday, 28th October 2021, PSD challenged at the Constitutional Court the bill endorsing the Government Emergency Order no. 89/2021, which regulates the continuity of the interim leadership of the two public radio and television services, in the case of the mandates approved by Resolution of the Standing Bureaus of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies,
- On Friday, 29th October 2021, the terms in office of Mr. Liviu Popescu (Radio) and Ms. Ramona Săseanu (TVR) ended, without a solution to extend these terms or to replace the interim directors general of SRR and of SRTV endorsed by the Parliament of Romania.
- Also on 29th October 2021, at 16.00, the Standing Bureaus of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate convened jointly and determined the procedures for appointing the members of the boards of administrators of the Romanian Television Broadcasting Corporation and the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation.
- The deadline for submitting candidacies for the boards of administrators of the two institutions is the 12th of November 2021, with the candidates to be interviewed by Parliament’s committees on Culture and Mass Media and appointed as members of the boards of administrators by Parliament by the 15th
In order to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and to avoid the collapse of the two strategic public media institutions, we hereby suggest the following solution:
- Cancel the procedure to appoint new members of the boards of administrators (CA),
- Appoint interim directors general for SRR and SRTv for 30 days,
- Initiate procedures to establish the two boards of administrators for SRR and SRTv.
This would enable the interim directors general to manage the administrative and economic situation, to pay salaries and to initiate elections for the employees’ representatives in the CA, while also allowing political parties in Parliament, the Presidency and the Government of Romania to appoint their representatives in the boards, in keeping with the seat distribution algorithm.
With grave concern and distress, Bucharest, 1st November 2021
The Federation of Trade Unions in the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Corporation
The Trade Union for the Unity of Employees in the Romanian Television
The Association of Independent Journalists in Romania – the Romanian branch of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ)
Freedom House Romania