Home Featured Romanian centrist lawmakers won’t back von der Leyen – POLITICO
Romanian centrist lawmakers won’t back von der Leyen – POLITICO

Romanian centrist lawmakers won’t back von der Leyen – POLITICO

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A former transport minister, Drulă said the Commission was releasing post-Covid recovery funds to Romania despite Bucharest’s failure to implement required reforms, and that Brussels was soft-pedaling criticism of Romania’s backsliding on judicial independence and press freedom. While the Commission’s technical experts are aware of irregularities, they’re being “overruled politically,” he said.

 “We’re not going to vote for her. It’s a fundamental breach of the mission and the mandate of a head of Commission,” Drulă said in a conference room at the USR party headquarters, not far from the Romexpo stadium where von der Leyen formally became the EPP’s Spitzenkandidat last week.   

European Commission spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment.

The EPP is currently projected to win 175 of 720 seats in the European Parliament, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls, far from the 361 votes needed for another mandate. In 2019, von der Leyen cleared the threshold by just nine votes.

The latest projection shows USR winning four seats in June’s election. Citing internal polls, Drulă predicted eight to 10 MEPs would be elected as part of a new alliance with two smaller parties, all of whom plan to vote against von der Leyen.

USR is the main opposition party in Romania, where the center-right and the social democrats govern as a grand coalition under socialist Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu. The EPP and the European Socialists will run together on a joint ticket in the June European Parliament election, and are on track to win a combined 19 seats.

Hanne Cokelaere contributed reporting.

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