Rovana Plumb, Romania’s nomination for the new European Commission, has been overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament’s oversight committee. According to Siegfried Mureșan, a Romanian MEP, ust six members of the committee voted in favour of Mrs Plumb’s nomination, while 15 voted against.
Mrs Plumb had been summonsed by the oversight committee to explain a number of irregularities in her wealth declaration, which included a loan of 800,000 lei (around 168,000 euros), the repayments on which were far higher than her declared annual income. Mrs Plumb also appears to have herself made a loan of the same amount – 800,000 lei – to Romania’s ruling party, the PSD, of which she is a member.
Having failed to get the approval of the oversight committee, Mrs Plumb – who had been handed the transport commissioner’s portfolio by the president-elect of the new commission, Ursula von der Leyen – will not now be allowed to attend parliament’s specialist hearings and her appointment will not be put to a vote in the parliament itself.
“Parliament will now inform the president-elect of the commission that Rovana Plumb does not fulfill the conditions to be a commissioner,” said Mr Mureșan.
As such, Romania will in all likeliness need to nominate a new commissioner. This could cause renewed friction between the country’s president, Klaus Iohannis, and the government, led by prime minister Viorica Dăncilă.
Mrs Plumb was a government nominee, but the president has long claimed that the nomination should be made by his office. Mrs Plumb’s failure to pass the first hurdle will strengthen his hand.