Veteran Liberal European lawmaker Adina Valean has been accepted as Romania’s pick for Transport Commissioner in the EU’s new executive.
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.
Liberal Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Wednesday nominated two Liberal European lawmakers for the post: Valean and Siegfried Muresan, an outspoken critic of the former government’s contentious judicial overhaul.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission was quoted by G4Media as saying: “Both candidates had interviews with the President-elect and did well. The President-elect decided for Adina Valean to take on the portfolio of transport.”
The unusual proposal of two candidates came after reports that 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 had asked Bucharest to put forward a woman for the job to ensure a gender balance in the commission, media reported in Bucharest.
Valean 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. The former maths teacher currently chairs the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy among other roles.
Viorica Dancila, the prime minister of the previous Social Democrat government, proposed her ally Rovana Plumb, but the nomination was rejected over integrity issues. Two other candidates were also turned down.
Parliament dismissed Dancila’s government in a no-confidence vote on Oct. 10 sparking political turmoil which also delayed the set-up of the new European Commission.
Valean has been married to Crin Antonescu, the former leader of the National Liberal Party since 2009.