International Union of Bilateral Chambers to restore headquarters back to America, keeping only a local representative entity in Romania
Sub-headline The International Union of Bilateral Chambers has announced that it will be restoring its headquarters back to America and keeping only a local representative entity in Romania.
The Chambers of Commerce Law no. 335/2007 has been under siege following the approval by the Romanian Senate as a preliminary chamber of some amendments and changes that clearly violate the right to freedom of association. As a sign of vehement protest, the International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry Worldwide Headquarters announces the decision to relocate the headquarters back to the USA and its registration in Washington, D.C. (see Annex). Only a local representative entity for Romania will be kept at the local level. This decision was made to better protect members’ interests worldwide and prevent any future attempts to violate their rights. The Chamber will continue to work closely with its members in Romania to ensure that their interests are represented and protected.IUBCCI Worldwide Headquarters will continue to fight to restore a democratic legislative system of bilateral chambers of commerce in Romania that benefits from all the tools that would normally benefit from it in a democratic and free country like the USA.
In the short term, IUBCCI will closely observe the evolution of the legislative process currently underway in the Romanian Parliament and before the Legal Commission of the Chamber of Deputies as a decision-making chamber and therefore requests that Romanian legislators vote on this draft law only after careful consideration and deliberation, in respect of the democratic process and in accordance with the Romanian Constitution. Only in this way will Romania show that it is a country worthy of the trust granted to it by the Euro-Atlantic structures and foreign partners globally.
IUBCCI will inform all the representative bodies and authorities in the U.S. of the status and situation of the legislative approach in the Romanian Parliament, which seriously violates the right to freedom of association that should be enjoyed by the existing associative environment in any democratic country and which respects the rule of law. This piece of legislation puts excessive pressure on non-governmental organizations, making it more difficult for them to function and depriving them of their independence.
The provisions of the current Draft Law regarding the amendment of Chambers of Commerce Law no. 335/2007 are inadmissible, totally discretionary, and unconstitutional in the form adopted by the Romanian Senate. The law gives a superior position to a local and private NGO with responsibilities only at the national level over the entire professional associative environment existent in Romania, which aims to promote and support the business environment, bilaterally and internationally, constitutes a dangerous precedent both for bilateral economic relations and for the predictability and credibility currently enjoyed by the business environment in Romania. Adopting such a law would be equivalent to discrediting all the international business environment’s efforts to build partnerships with other crucial actors in the global economy. If this law is passed, it will result in a significant decrease of confidence in the professional associative system in Romania and, generally speaking, it will eliminate any desire foreign investors might have to do business in Romania. Consequently, this would be a major setback for Romania’s economy and its image on the international stage.
Moreover, in the short term, we strongly believe that the Strategic Partnership between Romania-USA can be directly affected from the perspective of the security of business and economic field and can affect the celerity of Romania’s acceptance into the Visa Waiver program. At the same time, we consider that the legislative process of the law in question will also produce negative effects from the European Union’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism regarding Romania, as well as on the process of Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area.
Finally, IUBCCI Worldwide Headquarters congratulates the initiative of the Romanian Government regarding the establishment of the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments and Promotion of Exports under the direct coordination of the Prime Minister of Romania, in the current context of the geo-strategic crisis in the region, and also appreciates the letter of dissent sent to the Romanian Parliament regarding the Draft Law and amendment of the Chambers of Commerce Law no. 335/2007. This fact assures the local associative environment that the Government of Romania represents a real guarantee of respect for the rule of law in this country, irrespective of the unconstitutional legislative attempts of some groups of parliamentarians.