Dutch MEP Sophie In’t Veld wants to be new Renew president

Sophie in't Veld: "As Group leader, it would be my mission to further consolidate and strengthen our political family." [EPA-EFE/JEROEN JUMELET]

Dutch EU lawmaker Sophie In’t Veld has staked her claim to become president of the centrist Renew Europe, the third-biggest political group in the European Parliament, after the current president, Romania’s Dacian Cioloş, announced plans to step down.

“As Group leader, it would be my mission to further consolidate and strengthen our political family. We are more than the sum of its parts, we are one for Europe,” she told EURACTIV on Saturday (2 October).

” I have witnessed, and passionately supported, the broadening of our political family. I believe we have to rebuild the political centre in Europe and Renew is in pole position to do that,” she added.

On Friday (1 September) Cioloş was elected president of Romania’s USR PLUS party, narrowly beating his rival Dan Barna. At a press conference following his election, he announced he would quit as Renew leader.

USR PLUS may play a pivotal role in the ongoing government crisis in Romania, where the party is a junior partner in the ruling coalition and has indicated it would like to stay in the government, but with a different prime minister.

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Ciolos explained earlier in September that leading the party would be a full-time job and he would need to give up the Renew presidency. Sources in Renew, however, have told EURACTIV that he was out of favour with most of the national delegations and could be forced to leave.

It is not immediately clear when Renew will launch the process to elect its new leader but a party source told EURACTIV this should be done “as soon as possible so as not to be steerless at the extremely important time of the mid-term” in the European Parliament mandate.

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