Martin Harris

Martin Harris

Minister and Deputy Head of Mission to Russia

17th February 2012 Moscow, Russia

Less Emergency, More Order

The media are reporting today that the new Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu has said the Government should make less use of Emergency Ordinances. This would be welcomed by British investors in Romania. One of the most common concerns I hear from British companies is the need for more predictability in the legislative environment. The phrase ‘Emergency Ordinance’ is not a popular one with them.

The problem with Emergency Ordinances is that, by their nature, they introduce sudden changes in the rules and allow little time for consultation. That means that a company can suddenly discover that the assumptions it based its business plan on no longer hold true. Also that the government does not always take the time to assess the full impact of the measures that are being introduced. In short, extensive use of Emergency Ordinances increases the risks attached to any investment in Romania, and makes the investment climate less attractive. So Prime Minister Ungureanu’s preference to limit their use to genuine emergencies would introduce more order into the legislative process and make Romania a better place to invest and do business.

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About Martin Harris

I am the Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy
in Moscow. In my last job I was the Ambassador at the British Embassy in
Bucharest. Previously I have served at the British Embassies in Kyiv
and Moscow as well as at the UK Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna.
I love music, especially opera, chamber and sacred music. I am
married to Linda MacLachlan. We have three daughters, Catriona, Tabitha
and Flora – and they have one dog Timur and two cats, Pushkin and Tolstoi.

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