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RLWeek November 29-December 5, 2021: Cigarette trafficking scheme exposed in Italy. EU Commission refers Romania to EU Court of Justice over environmental issues. New Romanian ambassadors appointed to the EU and NATO. EU Commission calls on Romania to comply with EU copyright rules. Romania publishes COVID-19 travel list

Cigarette trafficking scheme exposed in Italy

On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, the Palermo Office of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office led an operation against a criminal organized group involved in smuggling tobacco products. The Italian Financial Police of Palermo arrested 12 suspects and seized 1 speedboat, 7 vehicles, and €16,000 in cash.

The suspects are alleged to have organized a counterfeit cigarette trafficking scheme where the tobacco was smuggled from Tunisia to Sicily by two criminal groups that were sourcing the cigarettes, arranging illegal shipments by sea from the North African coast to Southern Italy and selling them on the retail market in Sicily.

The smuggled cigarettes have an estimated value of €3.5 million and have caused damages of more than €6 million to the national and EU budget.

The European Commission refers Romania to the Court of Justice of the European Union over failure to tackle air pollution

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the European Commission has referred Romania, along with the UK, France, Germany, Hungary and Italy, to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to take adequate measures regarding the prevention of air pollution.

Romania allegedly breached EU air pollution limits and has failed to implement an effective pollution control system in the industrial sector. Romania has yet to adopt a control program for tackling atmospheric pollution.

The European Green Deal aims to eliminate pollution and has set the final purpose of reforming the industry and the law system in the interest of overall human health for all its member states.

New Romanian ambassadors appointed to the EU and NATO

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the new Romanian ambassadors delegated to represent Romania in the EU and NATO have received a positive assessment from the specialized commissions of the Parliament.

Thus, Iulia Raluca Matei, state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been appointed to lead the Permanent Representation of Romania to the EU, and Dănuț Sebastian Neculaescu, state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been appointed to lead the Permanent Delegation of Romania to NATO.

The European Commission addresses a request regarding the laws on intellectual property to Romania

On Friday, December 3, 2021, the European Commission has issued a request in which it stresses the importance of respecting the current EU regulations regarding copyright.

The European Commission has decided to send an additional letter of formal notice the Romanian authorities on the grounds that national laws run contrary to EU copyright rules, calling on Romania to comply with the EU’s directives.

The first letter of formal notice of this matter has been issued by the European Commission in December 2017, when the Commission disputed the use of mandatory collective management for the communication to the public of musical works. Consequently, Romania has amended its copyright laws in January 2019 to provide for collective licensing with an extended effect. The Commission regards this amendment as insufficient, and has granted Romanian authorities two months to revise the national copyright laws, before it might consider sending a reasoned opinion.

Romania publishes COVID-19 travel lists

On Friday, December 3, 2021, the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations has adopted the Government Resolution no. 110/03.12.2021 regarding the approval of the classification of countries/territories according to the cumulative incidence rate.

This list comes into force on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

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