Analysis

In 2019, Romania will hold both presidential and European Parliament elections, as well as hold the EU Presidency from January-July. The pressure on the coalition government and the scrutiny from the rest of the EU will be intense.

A political shift occurred in Romania following the formation of the coalition between Social Democrats (PSD) and Liberal Democrats (ALDE) after the general election in December 2016. Although their campaign was mostly based on the promotion of a liberal programme, once elected the new governing coalition passed an emergency ordinance which granted amnesty for certain corruption offenses, leading to a series of mass street protests against the Government. The political agenda of the ruling coalition focused on changes to the judicial system and modification of the fiscal policy agenda, which has led to political instability. In addition, internal problems within the Social Democrats has resulted in two governments in one year.

This political instability has raised serious concerns at the EU level over the past 18 months, leading to critical statements about the ruling coalition`s efforts to slow down anti-corruption efforts. Romania is still under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, and the European Parliament held a debate on the rule of law in Romania on 3 October.

Although in the past the interest of both the public and politicians for EP elections has been very low, recent political events and the upcoming race for the presidency will heat up the electoral campaign and discussion of key issue on the European agenda. The European elections will be a test for both government and opposition. Recent polls show that the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition has seen a significant drop in support, and the EP elections will be a mid-term verdict on the coalition. The opposition, including the National Liberal Party (PNL), Union Save Romania (USR) and the new party of the former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, Romania Together Movement RO+, will be keen to see how their support has developed and what their chances are to form a government after the general elections in 2020.

Romania will gain one extra seat thanks to the share-out of seats following the departure of British MEPs.

The key issues raised in the campaign are likely to be Justice, preservation of rule of law, migration, and the situation of the 4 million Romanians living and working in other EU member states. National Liberal Party, Union Save Romania as well as the Romania Together Movement will all position themselves as pro-European parties and will take advantage of the EU’s criticism of the governing coalition. The PSD-ALDE alliance will seek to reassure the public and the EU that it is committed to EU values. They are acutely aware of the situation in Hungary and Poland where article 7 proceedings have been initiated.

EPP (13 MEPs)

The National Liberal Party (PNL) is looking at putting on the list a number of…

S&D (14 MEPs)

The Social Democrats (PSD) managed to win half of the seats in 2014 , including the…

ALDE (3 MEPs)

The Liberal Democrats (ALDE) will count on experienced candidates such as Norica Nicolai,…

Other

The leadership of the new party, Union Save Romania (USR) has decided that candidates for…

Comunicat de presă - Controlul programat al inspectorilor AEP la sediul central al PSD:

Astăzi, 23 septembrie 2018, începând cu ora 21.00, Liviu Dragnea, preşedintele #PSD, va participa la emisiunea „Sinteza zilei”, moderată de Mihai Gâdea, la postul de televiziune Antena 3.

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