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Home > Alegeri europarlamentare 2014 > EU Elections in Romania: central-left nucleus and right wing fragmentation

EU Elections in Romania: central-left nucleus and right wing fragmentation

Publicat: 18 Aprilie 2014 @ 12:43

EU Elections in Romania: central-left nucleus and right wing fragmentation
Although the European agenda is filled with pressing European and geo-strategic issues (i.e. economic situation, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Transnistria), the Romanian electoral campaign for the European Elections (25 May 2014) will more likely be connected to internal politics.

by Andrei Schwartz / EurActiv.ro

Romania is preparing for its third electoral campaign for the European parliament. On the 25th of April, a full month before Election Day, all the parties and all the independent candidates who have met the necessary legal requirements will begin campaigning and competing for the 32 seats that Romania will have in the new legislature of the European Union.

Although the European agenda is filled with pressing problems spanning from economic issues, debates on freedom of movement and Euroscepticism, to issues related to the enlargement of the Union, and the current developments involving Russia, Ukraine and, more recently, Moldova and Transnistria, in the context of the approaching presidential election, the Romanian electoral campaign will more likely be connected to internal politics.

In this sense, albeit raised and debated by the main Romanian political parties, the European topics of this year’s European elections that touch on the interests of Romania, such as economic development or security, will be cast in the shapes of the current national political landscape and its corresponding tensions.

A prequel for the 2014 presidential elections?

Because of the Romanian institutional framework, that splits executive power between a government confirmed by the parliament and a president elected through popular vote, both institutions play an immense role in shaping Romanian politics, creating in today’s political arena a complex tension between multiple actors, and placing a significant relevance on the results of this year’s presidential elections. This context pushes the elections for the European Parliament in a subsidiary position to the presidential election scheduled for this autumn, as the results of the first will shape the political strategies developed for the latter. Political parties will attempt to capitalize on this important early opportunity to strengthen their position and to gain public support. The ruling center-left coalition will search for methods to promote its political agenda and to counteract all opposition critiques, while all the right wing parties will look for positive ways into the public’s focus, aiming at improving the chances of their candidates for the presidential election.

In this context, notwithstanding the European public agenda, including the growing crisis that threatens the northern and Eastern neighbors of Romania, most party leaders seem to show focus primarily in regard to internal affairs. Although, both the president and the prime minister have started to publicly address the situation developing in Ukraine, and more recently in Transnistria, with direct references to Russia’s actions in respect to international law, most of the Romanian public agenda continues to be fixed on the shifting political landscape and to be saturated with political accusations of corruption.

Predicted (left) versus existing (right) situation of the no. of seats in the EP

 Source graph: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk

The Romanian Political landscape

After the dissolution of the coalition that won the 2012 parliamentary elections (the Social Liberal Union), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) retained its parliamentary majority through an alliance with the Conservative Party (PC) and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR). Their former partner, the National Liberal Party (PNL), shifted towards the opposition, while, in the same time, a newly formed right wing political formation, the Popular Movement Party, managed to attract several former members of the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), including the support of the current president Traian Basescu.

The resulting landscape illustrates a ruling nucleus in the central-left part of the political spectrum and several right wing parties competing between each other over leadership within the opposition.

The Romanian membership of the current European legislature

The transformations undergone by the national political landscape have also reflected at European level, the current European legislature showing a different Romanian parliamentary lineup than the results of the 2009 elections. The final Romanian ensemble picture of the 2009 European legislature will be composed of 14 MEPs affiliated with the European People’s Party (from 4 national parties PDL, PMP, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania - UDMR and the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party – PNCD, and one nationally independent politician), 11 MEPs affiliated with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (from two national parties PSD and PC), 5 MEPs affiliated with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (all from PNL), and 3 unaffiliated MEPs.

Parties and candidates lined up for a place in the European Parliament

The final lists of PSD will be opened by current MEPs and former Ministers (Corina Cretu, MEP, vicepresident of the S&D group, Catalin Ivan, MEP, head of the Romanian Delegation of PSD). In the case of the PDL, the party has kept his prominent MEPs for the first four positions (the ones credited with real chances) - Theodor Stolojan, head of the Romanian PDL Delegation, Monica Macovei, formerly Minister of Justice, Marian-Jean Marinescu, vice-chairman of the EPP), and promoted for the rest of the list an important number of nearly unknown figures.

Similarly, in the case of the liberal party (PNL) and of UDMR, respectively, the current MEPs open the list: Norica Nicolai (PNL), Renate Weber (PNL), Adina Ioana Valean (PNL) and Iuliu Winkler, Csaba Sobor.

Surprisingly, Elena Basescu, the daughter of president, a PDL MEP who switched to PMP, will not run for a new mandate. From this party, the first three candidates will be MEP Cristian Preda, Siegfried Muresan, European People's Party Political Advisor in charge of Economics and Social Policy, and Teodor Baconschi, formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The political actors lined up for the electoral competition for the European Parliament this year seems to perfectly correspond with the political landscape previously described and follow closely the current European legislature with the exception of a fragmentation developed in the right wing of the national political spectrum. Thus, on the main scene of the campaign with good results in current polls, PSD allied with PC and UNPR will cover the left spectrum, while PNL, PMP, PDL, PNTCD, UDMR, the Civic Force – FC, and the New Republic will share the center right and right wing electorate.

The electoral race will also feature less known parties that have yet to make themselves noticed in the Romanian political landscape, such as the Socialist Alternative Party, the Social Justice Party and the National Alliance of Farmers. The Green Party and the Ecologist Party of Romania will also run for seats in the European Parliament.

The final political party contending within this year’s elections will be the Greater Romania Party (PRM), a nationalist party that has won in 2009 2 seats in the European Parliament.

In addition to these political formations, 8 independent candidates have also enlisted in the electoral race.

The finalization of the list of candidates has been a complicated process, as the Central Electoral Bureau has rejected several political parties and independent candidates. Most of them have contested the decisions of the Bureau at the Tribunal of Bucharest. Ultimately, after a final stage at Bucharest’s Court of Appeal most decisions were overturned and the parties and independent candidates were allowed to run in the elections.

The most notorious case was that of former PNL senator Mircea Diaconu. He was found in a position of incompatibility by the National Agency of Integrity and restricted from participating in the electoral race. In the end, the court recognized his right to run for a seat in the European Parliament, and the Electoral Bureau was forced to overturn its initial ruling and to confirm the candidacy of Mr. Diaconu.

Statistics


List of candidates, the current main political parties in the European Parliament

PDL (EPP)

PSD (S&D)

No. on the list

Name

Position

No. on the list

Name

Position

1

Theodor Dumitru STOLOJAN

MEP, Head of the Romanian Delegation in the EP

1

Corina CRETU

MEP, Vice-chair of the S&D group, formerly spokesperson of the president of the country Ion Iliescu

2

Monica Luiza MACOVEI

MEP, Former Minister of Justice

2

Ecaterina ANDRONESCU

Formerly Minister of Education

3

Traian UNGUREANU

MEP, formerly journalist (i.e. senior producer with BBC Word)

3

Catalin IVAN

MEP, head of the Romanian delegation, PSD spokesperson

4

Marian-Jean MARINESCU

MEP, vice-chairman of the EPP group

4

Dan NICA

Formerly Minister of of Communication and Information Technology

5

Daniel BUDA

Public notary / lecturer University of Cluj

5.

Damian DRAGHICI


Roma minority, Member of the national Parliament, advisor on Roma issues of the Prime Minister

6

Orest ONOFREI

Parliamentary counsellor (profession: veterinary physician)

6.

Maria GRAPINI

Formerly Minister of Business and Tourism

7.

Dragos Florin DAVID

Company Director (Engineer)

7.

Daciana SARBU

MEP

8.

Iustin-Marinel CIONCA-ARGHIR

Project Manager

8.

Ioan Mircea PASCU

MEP, formerly Minister of Defense

9.

Mihai Cristian APOSTOLACHE

Academic (lecturer)

9.

Viorica DANCILA

MEP

10.

Gabriela Catalina MONTOIU

PR specialist

10.

Sorin MOISA

Deputy Head of Cabinet European Commission (DG Agriculture)

11.

Gheorghe Mircea HAVA

Mayor

11.

Victor BOSTINARU

MEP

12.

Sorin Dan MOLDOVAN

Marketing Director

12.

Ciprian TANASESCU

MEP



PNL (ALDE)

UDMR

1

Norica NICOLAI

MEP, head of the Romanian Delegation PNL

1.

Iuliu WIKLER

MEP

2

Adina VALEAN

MEP

2.

Csaba SOBOR

MEP

3

Ramona MANESCU

MEP, vice-president ALDE

3.

Lorant VINCZE

general secretary of UDMR

4

Cristian BUSOI

MEP

4.

Csilla HEGEDUS

Secretary of state Ministry of Culture

5

Renate WEBER

MEP

5.

Antal Lorant.

Representative of UDMR (youth)

6.

Eduard HELLVIG

MEP

PMP

7.

Mihai TURCANU

Formerly head of National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority

1

Cristian PREDA

MEP, head of the party

8.

Claudia BENCHESCU

PNL - Youth

2

Siegfried MURESAN

Advisor EPP

9.

Romeo STAVARACHE

mayor of Bacau

3

Teodor BACONSCHI

formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Eight Independent candidates: Mircea Diaconu, Corina Ungureanu, Danut Liga, Pericle Iulian Capsali, Paul Purea, Peter Costea, Constantin Filip Titian, Valentin Daeanu



Links: Biroul Electoral Central: Raman definitiv candidaturile a 23 de competitori pentru europarlamentare, dintre care 8 independenti

http://www.euractiv.ro/uniunea-europeana/articles|displayArticle/articleID_25977/Biroul-Electoral-Central-Raman-definitiv-candidaturile-a-23-de-competitori-pentru-europarlamentare-dintre-care-8-independenti.html

HotNews.ro Analysis: Alegeri europarlamentare. La vremuri noi, tot ei

http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-politic-16863924-alegeri-europarlamentare-vremuri-noi-tot.htm


Video EPIO Briefings in Romania

VIDEO Care este rolul Parlamentului European in alocarea fondurilor europene? Europarlamentarii in dialog cu jurnalistii si alti reprezentanti de seama din Timisoara


VIDEO Dezbatere interactiva - Oportunitati pentru tineri: educatie, cultura si locuri de munca - care este rolul Parlamentului European?


Dezbaterea video "Rolul Parlamentului European in extinderea Uniunii Europene", Iasi, 21 februarie 2014


VIDEO Care sunt provocarile aderarii la Uniunea Europeana? Despre rolul Parlamentului European in politica de extindere a UE, in direct cu euro-parlamentari romani, la Iasi, vineri, 10:00-13.00


Other links

Alegerile europarlamentare, simultan cu referendumul pentru modificarea Constitutiei: avantaje, riscuri si costuri/ Exemple din alte tari si observatiile OSCE

Links Dossier [EN]: 2014, hard electoral year in Romania: EP elections, "combined" with a national referendum and also seen as an "exercise" for the presidential elections in winter

[EN] NGOs' initiative: Setting criteria for the EU Elections candidates

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