Romania will nominate two Liberal European lawmakers to be the country’s European Commissioner, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday after his first Cabinet meeting.
The picks are Siegfried Muresan, an outspoken critic of the former government’s contentious judicial overhaul and Adina Valean, a veteran member of the European Parliament.
The unusual proposal came after reports from Brussels that the Social Democrats, irritated at losing influence in the commission after the Social Democrat government was toppled in Bucharest last month, indicated they would vote against Muresan, for reasons of gender.
The incoming president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has asked Bucharest to put forward a woman for the job to ensure a gender balance in the commission, media reported in Bucharest.
It’s unclear what post Bucharest will obtain. Hotnews reported that Bucharest could be offered the post of European Commissioner for Enlargement, with Hungary taking Commissioner for Transport.
Both Muresan and Valean are considered competent lawmakers with good language skills, but neither has served as a minister something which is considered desirable for a European Commissioner.
Muresan, 38, has been a European lawmaker since 2014. He’s vice chair of the European People’s Party group.
Valean, 51, is one of the most experienced Romanian members of the European Parliament, first taking a seat in 2007 when Romania joined the EU. She served as vice president of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2017 and has held key positions on a number of committees for the past 12 years.
Before her ouster on Oct. 10 in a no-confidence vote, ex-Prime Minister Viorica Dancila proposed three candidates including her ally Rovana Plumb, but the nomination was rejected over integrity issues. The other two picks were also rejected.
The dismissal of Dancila’s government sparked political turmoil which also delayed the set-up of the new European Commission.