Romania’s PSD blocks approval of EU’s own resources decision

Prime Minister Florin Citu is running against the incumbent president, former prime minister Ludovic Orban, and seems to be the favourite in the race. [EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT]

The Romanian parliament planned to convene on Wednesday to approve the EU Council’s own-resources decision, but the meeting did not go ahead, with Prime Minister Florin Citu accusing the Social-Democrats of derailing it and thus potentially damaging the EU’s borrowing plans to finance the Next Generation EU programme.

Citu accused PSD of blackmail after Social-Democrats leader Marcel Ciolacu stated the PSD would not vote on Romania’s contribution to the EU budget unless the government presented the national recovery and resilience plan.

“This type of blackmail doesn’t work with me. Social-Democrats will have to explain to their colleagues in Italy, Spain or France, who are eagerly waiting for this programme, why they do not want to ratify the project,” Citu said.

“If Romania does not ratify [the decision], then the EU cannot borrow the funds [needed for the programme], and PSD will need to explain to the whole Union why they did not want to ratify,” he added.

The government coalition has a narrow majority in parliament, but for the adoption of the contribution to the EU budget, a two-thirds majority is needed.

But Prime Minister Citu said the recovery plan is the job of the government, and it will be made public for all citizens. European Investment and Projects Minister Cristian Ghinea presented a brief outline of the plan, which should be finalised in the coming days, to the EU affairs committee of the parliament’s lower chamber on Tuesday, in a session also attended by Marcel Ciolacu.

However, the PSD leader said the recovery plan needs to be agreed upon by all political forces because it will be a programme for all citizens and not only for the government coalition.

Social Democrats have vehemently criticised the coalition for rejecting all amendments to the budget law, a project that required a simple majority to pass in parliament, saying the government is punishing PSD voters. “We do not want the same thing to happen with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan,” Ciolacu said. (Bogdan Neagu |

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