Powers of the Romanian President


On Sunday, November 16, 2014, Romanians elected their new President, for a 5-year mandate. Klaus Werner IOHANNIS became the fourth Romanian President since the fall of communism and the first President belonging to a minority – the German minority. The President’s powers have been intensely debated during the last years and divided public opinion into two currents: the one considering that the President should only hold an honorific role, acting as mediator between the other State powers, and the one considering that Romania is a semi-presidential regime, in which the President must bear an important role. This week, our article shall present to you in brief the current powers and attributions of the President of Romania, as provided by the Romanian Constitution.


According to the Constitution, the President is the representative of the Romanian State and the guarantor of national independence, of the country’s territorial unity and integrity. The President ensures the compliance with the Constitution and the proper functioning of public authorities.


The President appoints a candidate for the role of Prime Minister and appoints the Government based on the confidence vote expressed by the Parliament. Usually, the President appoints the candidate who is part of the parliamentary majority, since
according to the Constitution he is obliged to consult, during such appointment procedure, the political party holding absolute majority in Parliament. If he appoints another person, there is the risk that the parliamentary majority does not vote in
favour of the proposed candidate.

The President may dissolve the Parliament if it does not grant its confidence vote to the Government within 60 days after an investiture request, but only after the rejection of at least two investiture requests. The President also appoints ministers in vacant ministerial positions and he has the right to only refuse one time the Prime Minister’s proposal (as ruled by the Constitutional Court).


The President concludes international treaties in the country’s name and submits such treaties to the Parliament, for ratification. Moreover, he appoints or recalls ambassadors upon the Government’s proposal and approves the deployment or
termination of diplomatic missions. In terms of defence, the President is the commander in chief of the armed forces and of the Superior Council of Defence. He may, subject to the approval of Parliament, declare total or partial deployment of
armed forces. The President can also declare curfew or state of emergency in the country and he submits his decision to the Parliament’s approval within a maximum period of 5 days.


On the proposal of the Superior Council of Magistracy, the President appoints the President, the Vice-President and Presidents of the High Court of Cassation and Justice. However, he can also refuse, on grounded reasons, the appointment of the person nominated by the Superior Council of Magistracy for these offices. Moreover, the Romanian General Prosecutor, his first deputy and deputy, the Prosecutor of the General Anticorruption Directorate and his deputies, the chief-prosecutors of these public prosecutor’s offices, as well as the chief-prosecutor of the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism are also appointed by the President, on the proposal of the Ministry of Justice, with the approval of the Superior Council of Magistracy. The President can refuse the appointments made by the Ministry of Justice on justified grounds and he must inform public opinion on such grounds. Moreover, the President also appoints three of the nine judges of the Constitutional Court and he has the right to pardon.