EXCLUSIVE/ Dacian Cioloș, the former Commissioner for Agriculture in the executive led by José Manuel Barroso, will be Romania’s new premier, two credible sources told EurActiv today (5 October).
As protests in Romania continue, despite the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, it has become clear that Cioloș will take over as prime minister until elections are held in December 2016.
Having the former Commissioner in charge seems like a good idea. Not only will it be seen well in Brussels, but Cioloș is one of the rare public figures in Romania who is not perceived as corrupt.
Indeed, Cioloș didn’t spend much time in public office in Romania. Before becoming Commissioner in 2009, he worked for the European Commission’s delegation to Romania, and before that, as a scholar on internships in France. His wife Valérie is French.
Cioloș briefly worked as Agriculture Minister from October 2007 to December 2008 in the cabinet of Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, a liberal politician.
The former Commissioner is perceived as politically independent, although in the Barroso Commission, he was considered to be affiliated with the centre-right European Peoples’ Party (EPP). The reason is that he was nominated by Romania’s then-President, Traian Basescu, an EPP-affiliated politician.
Cioloș has been perceived as being influenced by France, and many called him “the second French Commissioner” in the Barroso team. This wasn’t harmful domestically, as Romania nourishes strong sympathies for France.
Despite his good credentials, Cioloș did not have a second term as commissioner, because the then Prime Minister Victor Ponta wanted to have a fellow social-democrat in the EU executive, and Corina Cretu got the job.
EurActiv has also learned that Cioloș will lead something that might be called a “government of national salvation”, because the situation in the country is considered very worrying.
In the meantime, Iohannis chose today Sorin Campeanu, up to now Education Minister, as interim PM. According to practice, an interim leader is to handle administrative work until a new government is voted in by parliament. Campeanu’s “term” is not expected to last more than a couple of days.