Romanian Social Democrat Rovana Plumb, European commissioner-designate for transport
SENATE The former foreign minister Teodor Meleşcanu, vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Romania, until recently a junior member of the ruling coalition in Romania, is the new Speaker of the Senate. Backed by the Social Democratic Party, in power, he was elected with 73 votes, whereas his challenger, the Liberal Alina Gorghiu, only got 59 votes. Teodor Meleşcanu replaces Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who last week resigned as head of this Parliament chamber as his party left the ruling coalition. After the vote, Călin Popescu Tăriceanu announced that he would challenge the procedure at the Constitutional Court, because 2 candidates from the same parliamentary group took part in the race: Teodor Meleșcanu, a member of ALDE but supported by the Social Democrats, and another candidate nominated and backed by the Liberal Democrats.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Tuesday presented the distribution of portfolios to Commissioners-designate, with the Romanian Social Democrat Rovana Plumb nominated for the transport portfolio. A minister in several cabinets in Bucharest, Plumb was nominated for the Commissioner post by PM Viorica Dăncilă. The National Liberal Party in opposition has called on the PM to withdraw the candidacy and make a different nomination. The USR-PLUS Alliance also opposes the nomination and voices concerns regarding the candidate’s integrity and competence, while the People’s Movement Party also sees Plumb as not suitable to head a EU portfolio. The European Parliament is next to approve the College of Commissioners as a whole, including the President-elect and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Commission vice-president.
BREXIT The British Parliament dismissed Boris Johnson's second attempt to hold an October 15 general election, with the Opposition saying they will only accept early elections after PM Boris Johnson has requested a postponement of Brexit. Parliament is shut down until October 14, just 2 weeks before the deadline for the UK exiting the European bloc. Last week Parliament passed a bill blocking a no-deal Brexit. The British PM claims he can secure a new deal with Brussels at the October summit, and that he will deliver Brexit on October 31, as promised. The Opposition on the other hand insists that the exit deadline be delayed, so as to avoid a withdrawal without an agreement.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)