The Romanian parliament ousted the Social Democrat government of Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă on Thursday (10 October) with 238 votes in support of a no-confidence motion.
The socialists lost their majority after their junior coalition partner, the liberal ALDE, left the coalition. Dăncilă, a former MEP, is currently the party’s candidate for the presidential elections in November but her chances are very slim.
The president of the country, Klaus Iohannis, is now the one who selects the interim prime minister, and it is more than certain that his nominee will not come from the socialist party.
This will directly affect the much-discussed selection of Romania’s next EU Commissioner who will join Ursula von der Leyen’s team, considering that the choice will be at the hands of the interim prime minister.
Muresan as Commissioner
A high-ranking source from the European People’s Party (EPP) told EURACTIV.com that the Romanian centre-right National Liberal Party, which spearheaded the no-confidence motion against the socialist government, will push for Siegfried Muresan, an MEP and vice-chair of the EPP group, to be the next transport Commissioner.
In an interview with EURACTIV.com, Muresan said: “Under no circumstances, will Iohannis appoint a socialist interim PM. We are now leading the polls, we are the biggest opposition party and we are the winners of the EU elections. We are also campaigning for the president of the country and we are by far the closest party that aligns with his pro-EU agenda,” Muresan said.
“If we have the majority to oust the government, we believe that we can also find the majority to install a prime minister, it will be difficult, but it won’t take much time,” he added.
Dăncilă initially proposed two former colleagues for the Commissioner post – Rovana Plumb and Dan Nica. Von der Leyen selected Plumb, but the JURI committee rejected her due to a conflict of interest.
EURACTIV.ro reported that PSD had explored many names for her replacement but ultimately insisted on Nica. However, Nica cannot be considered an expert in the transport field and appointing him would also break the Commission’s gender balance that von der Leyen strives for.
*EURACTIV Romania’s Bogdan Neagu contributed to this article.