Saturday

28th May 2022

Romanian candidates exploit EU election for presidential race

  • Ex-tourism minister Elena Udrea with MEP candidates, despite not standing for an EU seat (Photo: Michael Bird)

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 November after two five-year mandates, it remains unclear who will succeed him as ruler of the EU's seventh largest country.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in the foreground; MEPs in the background (Photo: Michael Bird)

Positioned across the boulevards of cities and towns, along the country roads of villages and throughout social media, are portraits of the contenders likely to stand in the Autumn poll, pushing the candidates for the European Parliament into the background.

These include Social Democratic (PSD) Prime Minister Victor Ponta, National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Crin Antonescu and ex-tourism minister Elena Udrea from a new party, Popular Movement (PMP).

None of these seasoned Romanian politicians are fighting for a European seat.

While Ponta and Antonescu are likely to stand for their parties for President, President Basescu has thrown his support behind Udrea, if she chooses to run.

Recently, Udrea posted pictures of herself, Basescu and the PMP’s young and female members cavorting at the seaside on her Facebook page, wearing T-shirts inviting the electorate to vote for her party.

Prime Minister Ponta declared this was in violation of the constitution, which forbids a President to be involved in the election campaign.

He filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court which, if upheld, means parliament has grounds to suspend Basescu from his role.

His attempt to strike a political blow further indicates that the battle for Europe has become a rehearsal for the fight over Romania’s top job.

Meanwhile, polls in Romania show a union led by the Social Democrats (PSD) winning 40 percent of the votes.

The Liberals (PNL) and right-of-centre Democratic Liberals (PDL) are polling between 11 and 20 percent, and the PMP look set to double their voter share from around five to 10 percent.

Apathy is set to be the biggest winner, however, as no more than 30 percent of Romanians intend to vote next Sunday (25 May).

Romanian renegade bids for EP seat

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.

EP candidate runs on anti-gay ticket

While figures with a history of anti-homosexual discourse freely run as candidates for the European Parliament, gay people remain silent about their sexuality in Romania.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us