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AnalysisRomania's Obama moment

21.11.14 @ 12:00

A book fair in Bucharest: hundreds of people queuing up, all wanting to get their copies signed. After three hours, Klaus Iohannis, the writer of the autobiography - Step by Step - stands up, the final book waiting for ...

Romanians elect first ethnic German president

17.11.14 @ 07:21

University Square, Bucharest: "Milestone of democracy", the place where 25 years ago people were being shot and street protests ultimately led to Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu being ousted, tried and executed. On ...

Romania to elect new president after 'wretched' campaign

14.11.14 @ 09:16

Romanians head to the polling stations on Sunday (16 November) to choose between Socialist prime minister Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis, a Liberal mayor of German ethnicity, with questions raised about the fate of ...

OpinionWhy don't young people vote?

07.11.14 @ 09:19

In an overlooked research study released last week by Eurobarometer, the turnout rate of voters in May’s European elections was revealed. For anyone interested in young people and their engagement in civic life and ...

Romanian PM ahead in presidential elections

03.11.14 @ 09:29

Romanian Socialist prime minister Victor Ponta won the first round of the country's presidential election on Sunday (2 November), with an ethnic German mayor set to challenge him in the run-off on 16 November. Ponta won ...

Romanian political class rocked by Microsoft bribe scandal

02.10.14 @ 19:53

Romania’s political and business class has been rocked by a bribery scandal involving distributors selling Microsoft products, that has incriminated nine former ministers ahead of a crunch presidential election in ...

Romania has contingency plan for Russian attack

08.09.14 @ 09:29

Romanian president Traian Basescu has said Nato has a contingency plan for the "0.01 percent" chance that Russia will one day attack his country. Romania, the EU's most easterly member state, has a 650km border with ...

Post EU ElectionsRomania's ruling party revives nationalism ahead of presidential election

18.06.14 @ 09:54

Romania’s governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) looks set to base its presidential election campaign on conservative nationalism that mixes religious devotion and home security. The party won the European elections in ...

Post EU ElectionsEP candidate runs on anti-gay ticket

22.05.14 @ 09:53

February 2013. It was supposed to be a pleasant night out for urbane movie-lovers. Bucharest's ethnographic hub, the National Museum of the Peasant, was hosting Lisa Cholodenko's film 'The Kids Are All Right', starring ...

EU court: Countries are entitled to reject benefit claims

21.05.14 @ 09:12

Countries can reject benefit claims by citizens of other EU countries if they are engaging in 'social tourism', the advocate general of the European Court of Justice said Tuesday (20 May) in an opinion likely to be ...

Post EU ElectionsRomanian renegade bids for EP seat

19.05.14 @ 09:27

A Romanian politician running as an independent in the EU elections could be heading for an EP seat, helped by backing from a powerful media group facing indictment for blackmail. A Comunist-era actor and theatre ...

Post EU ElectionsRomanian candidates exploit EU election for presidential race

15.05.14 @ 08:58

Romania’s European election campaign is dominated by the faces of candidates bidding to become President in November’s elections for a new head of state. With incumbent President Traian Basescu forced to step down in ...

EU keen to sign Moldova pact despite Russia threats

13.05.14 @ 12:56

The EU and Russia are locked in a Ukraine-type tug of war on Moldova, with an overflight scandal highlighting Russia’s effort to destabilise the country. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy PM and special envoy on ...

Post EU ElectionsAnti-Roma views rampant across all Romanian political parties

29.04.14 @ 09:20

Snow, wind and sub-zero temperatures descended on Romania in February, gridlocking the roads, isolating villages, killing pensioners and causing panic across the country. Social Democratic Party (PSD) MP for Bucharest ...

Post EU ElectionsThreat of voter fraud haunts EU vote in Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia

18.03.14 @ 09:30

A sharp insight into the abuse of European democracy was revealed in the recent trial of Croatia's ex-Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. The ex-leader of the now-opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was sentenced in ...

Post EU ElectionsRomanian elite's relatives and friends run as MEPs

10.03.14 @ 09:30

Clientism, nepotism and corruption scandals among Romanian MEPs are set to contribute to a predicted record low turnout for the nation’s European elections. Romania’s leading parties are drawing up lists of MEP ...

Roma are EU citizens too, Romanian President says

31.01.14 @ 21:06

Romanian President Traian Basescu on Friday (31 January) strongly defended freedom of movement within the EU, saying Roma have the same rights as other EU citizens and should not be misused for populist campaigns. Seven ...

Merkel backs Ukrainian opposition as army warns of war

31.01.14 @ 17:12

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has thrown her support behind the Ukrainian opposition and urged President Viktor Yanukovych to deliver on his promises to roll back anti-protest laws. "We think the opposition's claims ...

Romanian journalists challenge EU opinion on media freedom

27.01.14 @ 11:32

The European Commission last week said Romanian media have made a “step forward,” but leading journalists disagree. Media freedom is not something which Brussels normally looks at in its so-called Co-operation and ...

AnalysisBulgaria: One step forward, two steps back

24.01.14 @ 11:37

When Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007, they still had serious shortcomings in crucial areas, such as the rule of law, fighting corruption and organised crime, and reforming the judiciary. Regardless, ...

EUobservedOn blustering and finger-wagging

24.01.14 @ 09:14

It has all the feeling of one of those long-running musicals. The audience is dwindling, the actors are jaded, but the show must go on. Yet another ‘corruption-remains’ report on Bulgaria and Romania was published this ...

EU: Bulgaria, Romania must put criminals behind bars

22.01.14 @ 14:52

Seven years after becoming EU members, Bulgaria and Romania still have trouble putting corrupt politicians behind bars, the European Commission said on Wednesday (22 January). "What we've seen over the last seven years ...

UK to benefit from Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, study says

15.01.14 @ 16:03

A Swedish economist has said Bulgarians and Romanians who work in other EU states are likely to contribute more to the economy than they take out in benefits. A study published last week by Joakim Ruist, a research ...

UK vows to control immigration as Bulgaria, Romania curbs end

02.01.14 @ 09:29

The UK has vowed to control immigration, as restrictions on the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania are lifted throughout the whole of the EU. “We’ve already capped welfare and cut immigration and this ...

Bitter debate marks lifting of Bulgaria and Romania labour restrictions

30.12.13 @ 09:30

The restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians being allowed to work throughout the EU will be lifted on Wednesday (1 January) but the debate surrounding the move has been bitter. On 1 January, Austria, Belgium, France, ...

Romanian MPs decriminalise political corruption

11.12.13 @ 09:05

The Romanian parliament on Tuesday (10 December) exempted top politicians and lawyers from corruption crimes, in a move which flies in the face of agreements with the EU. The snap amendments, voted without parliamentary ...

German conservatives stir up 'welfare tourism' row

04.12.13 @ 08:52

Several German conservatives are following the footsteps of their British colleagues, stoking fears about "welfare tourism" by Romanian and Bulgarians. A regional labour court in North Rhine-Westphalia last week ruled ...

Romania threatens to block Canada-EU trade deal

25.10.13 @ 09:24

Romania has threatened not to ratify a recently signed EU-Canada free trade deal unless Ottawa lifts visa requirements for Romanians. "I do not believe the Romanian parliament will ratify the EU-Canada free trade ...

Romanian government hit by corruption cases

08.10.13 @ 09:59

Romania's deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea on Monday (7 October) was charged with electoral fraud and economy minister Varujan Vosganian resigned over a disputed natural gas deal - the latest in a series of high- ...

Romania gold mine referendum possible during EU elections

04.09.13 @ 09:29

Three days into street protests against a controversial gold mine project, Romanian President Traian Basescu on Tuesday (3 September) said he may call a referendum during EU elections in May 2014, if society remains " ...

FocusPoorest regions get least out of EU funding

19.04.13 @ 17:40

Countries with a poor public administration are absorbing less EU cohesion funds, meaning some of the poorest regions are getting the least out of the available money, the EU commission has said. "Results are sometimes ...

British migration fears overblown, says report

05.04.13 @ 09:28

Fears of massive migration and exploitation of the British welfare system are overblown, says a report published on Friday (5 April) by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. "Survey evidence suggests ...

OpinionNobody to blame for Europe's problems? Pick a Romanian!

08.03.13 @ 09:43

"These bloody Romanians. And Bulgarians. About to raid our countries, abuse our welfare systems, steal our jobs, probably our cars and wallets, too ..." No German or British politician will say it so bluntly, but that ...

EU ministers target 'benefit tourism'

07.03.13 @ 17:50

Interior ministers from Austria, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK want to put an end to so-called ‘benefit tourism’ whereby foreign EU nationals take advantage of the social welfare systems in host countries. The four ...

EU wants tougher media laws in Romania

04.02.13 @ 17:38

The independence of Romania's judiciary is being threatened by media campaigns, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has warned. Speaking in Brussels on Monday (4 February) alongside Romanian Prime Minister ...

AgendaEU budget talks to dominate this WEEK

01.02.13 @ 16:45

EU leaders gather in Brussels at the end of the week (4-10 February) for a second attempt to agree the bloc's budget framework for 2014-2020. At stake is how to spend the around 1 trillion euro over the seven year ...

EU still unhappy with Romania's rule of law

30.01.13 @ 09:18

Romanian ministers accused of corruption should resign and MPs should stop shielding themselves from anti-graft investigations, the European Commission is set to say on Wednesday (30 January) in a report on Romania's ...

UK moots blocking health access for EU migrants

30.01.13 @ 08:46

EU migrants could be prevented from using Britain's National Health Service (NHS) under government measures to dissuade Romanian and Bulgarian citizens moving to the UK. Mark Harper MP, immigration minister, indicated ...

Fears of Bulgarian migrants going to UK 'exaggerated'

16.01.13 @ 09:28

With restrictions preventing Bulgarians and Romanians from working in the UK to expire at the end of the year, the debate about new migrants arriving in the country has already begun. UK communities secretary Eric ...

Centre-right leaders in Romania for political showdown

17.10.12 @ 09:28

Angela Merkel is joining other centre-right leaders in Bucharest on Wednesday (17 October) for a party congress, even though local politicians seem nowhere near to burying the hatchet on recent infighting. Compared to ...

How to buy EU citizenship

14.09.12 @ 16:48

A man named Vladimir is about to acquire a Romanian passport and with it, the right to work within the EU. His grandparents, according to his invented ancestry, were citizens of Romania in the first half of the ...

EU keen to rank justice systems in member states

13.09.12 @ 17:39

EU justice commissioner Vivane Reding announced on Wednesday (12 September) a "justice scoreboard" to rank rule of law in the EU. "I am prepared to come once a year before this house to share with all of you the ...

Romania court rules to reinstate President Basescu

21.08.12 @ 18:14

Romania’s constitutional court on Tuesday (21 August) ruled against a 29 July referendum to oust President Traian Basescu. The judges voted six to three to reinstate the suspended president and invalidate claims made by ...

Political battles 'taking a toll' on Romanian economy

15.08.12 @ 10:24

Political infighting risks wrecking urgently needed reform of the Romanian economy, according to a progress report released on Tuesday (14 August) by the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ...

Barroso to Ponta: Stop fighting, protect judges

11.08.12 @ 12:50

The head of the EU commission on Friday (10 August) sent a harsh letter to Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, urging him to stop political infighting and ensure that top judges can do their work without threats. "I ...

Romanian judges report death threats

08.08.12 @ 17:44

The European Commission has expressed concerns that threats made against judges in Romania's constitutional court could undermine its independence. EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding reassured Augustin Zegrean, the ...

Romanian court under 'shocking' political pressure

07.08.12 @ 17:47

A European advisory panel of constitutional judges on Tuesday (7 August) said it is "shocked" by the political being pressure put on Romania's top court, pending a decision on a referendum aimed at impeaching the ...

Romania referendum decision put off to September

02.08.12 @ 15:59

The political crisis in Romania is to drag on until 12 September at least after judges on Thursday (2 August) postponed their decision on the validity of last weekend's referendum. President Traian Basescu on Sunday ...

AnalysisSomething is rotten in the state of Romania

31.07.12 @ 17:48

There is a saying in Romania: "Beautiful country, too bad it's inhabited." It is the kind of black humour Romanians developed during the dark years of Communist dictatorship, when they had given up hope anything will ...

Romanian President: 'I survived a coup'

30.07.12 @ 09:26

Political instability looks set to continue in Romania despite claims of a referendum victory by President Traian Basescu. The country's Central Electoral Commission announced after polls closed at 11pm local time on ...