Romanian PM hails decade of EU membership as time in office ends

Dacian Cioloş will soon vacate his post as Romanian premier and has looked back fondly on the country's decade of EU membership. [Gabriel Petrescu/ Shutterstock]

Former European Commissioner and outgoing Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloş has hailed his country’s decade of EU membership as a period of growth, development and consolidation of democracy. EURACTIV Romania reports.

In a video message posted on the European Commission’s representation in Romania Facebook page, Cioloş, who was the Barroso II Commission’s agriculture tsar, said that the last ten years represented a “very intense experience” both for the country and himself.

“Ten years in the European Union for Romania has meant ten years of growth, development and consolidation of democracy. For Romanians, a decade of membership can be seen on a daily basis, from young people who can study and work in European Union countries to rural communities, whose villagers, thanks to European funding, have managed to take a more prosperous road,” the outgoing prime minister said.

Cioloş also looked back fondly on his time as Commissioner for Agriculture, and insisted that Romania has only benefited from its membership of the bloc.

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The former EU man is set to vacate his post as prime minister after the country’s president, Klaus Ioannis, finally accepted the Socialist Democratic Party’s nomination for the position after it won the general election in early December.

Ioannis rejected the party’s initial candidate, Sevil Shhaideh, and Romanian media reported that his decision was based on her alleged close ties to the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, who was ruled out of the running after the president made it clear he would not accept the nomination of an individual with a criminal conviction or questions of integrity hanging over them.

Shhaideh would have been the Eastern European country’s first female and first Muslim prime minister. But her relationship with Dragnea, who was found guilty of vote-rigging in the 2012 referendum, ultimately cost her.

Cioloş’ time in office, which started following the fall of the Victor Ponta government, will be up once the prime minister elect, Sorin Grindeanu, faces a vote of confidence in the Romanian parliament.

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