Chapter 3 highlighted that Romania is a semi-presidential republic, where the president with the government share executive duties in foreign policy. The Romanian parliament has virtually no ability to provide input, although it has formal avenues in order to exercise oversight over foreign policy. In both issue areas—climate change and relations with Russia—the president and the government are able to act largely without encountering any opposition and debate within the parliament. During the period analyzed, most of Romania’s foreign policy was spearheaded by its president, supported by the governing center right coalition that had a significant majority within the parliament.1 As a consequence, the prime minister was largely absent in dealing with foreign policy, while the Romanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs informally became subordinated to the presidency. The president’s direct involvement was more evident in the case of the policy toward Russia—which he saw as having prime security implications for Romania and the EU—than that of climate change where decision-making was left to the government and its agencies which were committed to acting through the common framework of the EU (Băsescu, 2008a; Boc, 2009; Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2009b).
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