Parliament of Romania
|President of the Senate|| Nicolae Văcăroiu, |
Social Democratic Party
|President of the Chamber of Deputies|| Bogdan Olteanu, |
National Liberal Party
|Political groups|| Senate: PSD, PNL, PD, PRM, UDMR, PC, Independents|
Chamber of Deputies: PSD, PNL, PD, PRM, UDMR, PC, National minorities, Independents
|Meeting place||Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest|
Prior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses. If the text differed, a special commission (comisie de mediere) was formed by deputies and senators, that "negotiated" between the two houses the form of the future law. The report of this commission had to be approved in a joint session of the Parliament. After the 2003 referendum, a law still has to be approved by both houses, but in some matters one is "superior" to the other, being called "decision chamber" ("cameră decizională").
The parliamentary history of Romania starts in Wallachia, where a constitutional document was adopted, the Regulamentul Organic ("Organic Statute" or "Organic Regulation"); a year later, this same statute was implemented in Moldavia as well. The organic regulation laid the foundations for the parliamentary institution in the Romanian Principalities.
The Paris Convention, (19 August 1858)  and, especially, the Statutului Dezvoltător ("Statutes of Development") of that convention (which introduced a bicameral parliament, by founding the Corpul Ponderator, later renamed Senat), adopted on the initiative of prince (Domnitor) Alexandru Ioan Cuza, by means of a plebiscite in 1864, perfected and enlarged the principle of national representation. Under the political regime established by the Paris Convention, the legislative power faced an obvious process of modernization, and the legislative power as National Representation, which operated in accordance with the organization and operation mode of parliaments in Western Europe at that time.
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The historical process of formation of the Parliament of Romania in the modern age strongly boosted the affirmation of national sovereignty, subsequently leading to the Union of the two Principalities, in 1859. Under the dome of the Romanian Parliament, on 10 May 1877, the Declaration of Romania's Independence was read, and, in 1920, the documents of union with Transylvania and Bessarabia under the Treaty of Trianon were read, the formal beginning of Greater Romania.
In February 1938, amid the rather chaotic European political association that eventually led to World War II, King Carol II, who always tended to favor his own personal rule over parliamentarism, imposed a rule of authoritarian monarchy. Under the royal dictatorship, the parliament became merely a decorative body, deprived of its main attributes.
Carol abdicated in September 1940, and the succeeding fascist National Legionary State suspended parliament. The National Legionary State as such lasted less than five months, but it was succeeded by Ion Antonescu's military dictatorship, and parliament remained suspended. After 23 August 1944, under the pressure of Soviet and other communist forces, the parliament was re-organized as a single legislative body, the Assembly of Deputies, changed under the 1948 constitution, into the Great National Assembly, a merely formal body, totally subordinate to the power of the Romanian Communist Party.
The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 opened the road for Romanians to restore authentic pluralistic electoral democracy, respecting human rights, and observing the separation of powers and the rulers' responsibility before representative bodies. Thanks to the documents issued by the provisional revolutionary power, Romania has returned to a bicameral parliamentary system. All these stipulations can be found in the country's new Constitution, approved by referendum in 1991.
During more than a decade of post-communist transition, the Chamber of Deputies and Senate debated and adopted numerous laws and regulations aimed at reforming the entire society on a democratic basis, guaranteeing respect of fundamental human rights, promoting reform and privatization, consolidating market economic institutions and those of a state ruled by law, which led to Romania's integration into such institutions at NATO and the European Union.
Prior to the modifications of the Constitution in 2003, the two houses had identical attributes. A text of a law had to be approved by both houses. If the text differed, a special commission (comisie de mediere) was formed by deputies and senators, that "negotiated" between the two houses the form of the future law. The report of this commission had to be approved in a joint session of the Parliament. This French procedure proved to be extremely long and inefficient with respect to the expectations of the Romanians towards democracy. After the 2003 referendum, a law still has to be approved by both houses, but in some matters one is "superior" to the other, being called "decision chamber" ("cameră decizională"). This eliminates the process of "negotiation" between the two houses, and keeps the Senate as the upper house and the Chamber as the lower house.
- (English) Official website of The Parliament of Romania
- (Romanian) Official website of The Parliament of Romania