News & Analysis

European Parliament vetoes appointment of Romanian commissioner

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.