EUROPEAN COMMISSION - The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen presents today the members of the future Commission. On Monday she endorsed the list of commissioners appointed by the member states, which was provided by the Council of the EU. Romania's representative is the Social Democrat MEP Rovana Plumb. According to Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, Romania is interested in the transport, energy or environment portfolios. The Liberal opposition in Bucharest has called on the PM to withdraw Rovana Plumb's candidacy and to make another nomination. The USR-PLUS Alliance strongly opposes the appointment and expresses concern about the integrity and competence of the candidate, whom the People's Movement Party also believes to be inadequate to manage a European portfolio. The European Parliament must agree to the entire College of Commissioners, including the president and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission.
VISIT - The Minister for Romanians Abroad, Natalia Intotero, is on a one-week visit to Italy. The minister will attend, together with representatives of the Foreign Ministry, of Parliament and of the Permanent Electoral Authority, meetings with members of the Romanian community and of the Romanian associative environment in Turin, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Cagliari, Catania, Cosenza, Bari, Naples and Rome, in order to inform the Romanian citizens in Italy about the ways of exercising their right to vote in the November 2019 presidential elections. The agenda of the visit also includes meetings and talks with representatives of the local authorities. Italy is host to the largest community of Romanians abroad, of around 1.2 million people, according to data published in January by the National Institute of Statistics of Italy.
ROMANIAN SENATE - Elections are scheduled today for the appointment of the successor of Calin Popescu-Tariceanu as head of the Romanian Senate. The position remained vacant last week, after the Liberal - Democratic leader resigned, along with the withdrawal from the governing coalition of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats - ALDE. There are three candidates in the race for the second office in the state. The ruling Social Democratic Party has reconfirmed its support for the former foreign minister Teodor Melescanu, the vice -president of ALDE. The other candidates are Alina Gheorghiu from the opposition National Liberal Party and Ion Popa from ALDE. According to the Rules of the Senate, the Speaker of this forum is elected by secret ballot. The candidate who wins the vote of the majority of senators present in just one round is declared Speaker.
FESTIVAL - The George Enescu International Festival is underway in Bucharest until September 22. Today, on the 11th day, two Romanian orchestras are invited to perform in the capital. In Sibiu, in central Romania, La Grande Chappelle Madrid will perform at the Catholic Church and in Cluj, in the north-west, music lovers will enjoy the performance of the famous pianist Elisabeth Leonskaya. The Ion Voicu Chamber Orchestra will perform in the section Midnight Concerts at the Athenaeum. The capital and another ten cities in Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the Republic of Moldova are hosting performances associated to the Festival. Radio Romania has been a co-producer of the event ever since its first edition, back in 1958.
EXERCISE - Some 300 soldiers from Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, the US and Ukraine are attending this week a training module part of the Black Sea Rotational Force 19 multinational exercise, hosted by the town of Babadag, in the south-east. According to a communiqué issued by the Defence Ministry, several tactical drills are scheduled, including firings with the equipment provided, first aid in the operation areas, as well as trainings in command and control procedures at subunit level. BSRF is an annual exercise, aimed at enabling the promotion of regional stability, increasing interoperability and building and enduring partnership with allied and partner nations.
FOOTBALL - Romania's youth representative meets, tonight, away from home, Denmark, in its debut match in Group 8 of the European Under-21 Football Championship preliminaries. Also today, Ukraine will play against Malta and Finland against Northern Ireland. In the first matches in the group, Finland defeated Ukraine 2-0 away from home, and Northern Ireland and Malta ended their match in a draw. Mirel Radoi, who in June led the Under 21 team up to the semi-finals in Italy, has voiced confidence that Romania can qualify again. As regards the seniors, the draw for Euro 2020 will take place in Bucharest on November 30. Romania will also host 4 matches in the final tournament, 3 in the group stage and one in the eighth-finals. (translated by M. Ignatescu)