By Ioan Bucuraș
It’s not over yet. And certainly words like integrity, professionalism, the respect for the rule of law and decency are nowhere to be found in the vocabulary of populist parties like the Romanian PSD or the Hungarian Fidesz. Today it was (re)confirmed that neither of them is apt to become Commissioner. The Hungarian nominee already took to Twitter and promised to challenge the decision in court.
Meanwhile, the blundering PSD government stated that it will insist with the same candidate – Rovana Plumb – who magically fabricated a letter to justify her fortune. It seems it was too little, too late, as the JURI committee rejected the justification. This also prompted the Romanian National Integrity Agency (ANI) to launch an investigation. It seems that repeating untruthful narratives and changing them overnight only brings you more troubles.
Insisting now with the same candidate is completely nonsensical and in all honesty, I believe von der Leyen’s patience surely has its limits as well. The Commission President-elect already warned Romanian PM Dancila that Plumb is most likely not going to pass the hearings. It turned out that she did even make it to the hearings.
Like a good old fashioned populist party, PSD is now proceeding according to the book: they accuse opposition parties in Romania and President Iohannis to work ‘against the interests the country’, and that their candidate’s rejection was engineered by some occult anti-Romanian forces. Dismissing realities while selling your own might work in the short term, but never in the long run – and that’s a fact, and a reality that PSD already felt at the last European elections.
There were numerous rumours about what will happen next, with the most extravagant one being that PM Dancila will quit government and propose herself to become the next Romanian Commissioner. It almost sounds like a merry-go-round move, also because the government will likely fail to survive the motion of no confidence that will be tabled against it next week.
It’s unclear who will form the new government and at least some of the opposition parties will stay away, because it would make little to no sense to govern without having a parliamentary majority.
All in all, PSD is treading water, gasping for breathable air. The only thing that could save it is the best ally it had: the apathy of the voters.
One final point about the Romanian nominee: so far, the most realistic rumours are Romanian Foreign Minister and former MEP, Ramona Manescu, and the Romanian Permanent Representative to the EU, Luminita Odobescu. However, seeing how this government has acted, everything is possible.