September 30, 2019 / 4:24 PM / 2 months ago

Romania to propose new EU commissioner - PM

FILE PHOTO: Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila casts her vote during the European Parliament Elections in Bucharest, Romania, May 26, 2019. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania will propose a new EU commissioner after the European Parliament blocked its first candidate, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Monday.

Dancila’s first choice for transport commissioner was European lawmaker Rovana Plumb, who was rejected on Monday, along with Hungary’s candidate, by the legal affairs committee of the EU parliament because of conflicts of interest.

With both Romania and Hungary prepared to propose new candidates, incoming commission president Ursula von der Leyen will be spared having to choose between pushing the two candidates through over parliament’s objections or picking a fight with the two governments.

Plumb said her rejection was politically motivated and that she would complain to the heads of the Commission and Parliament about the handling of her case.

Her rejection is the latest in a slew of setbacks for the ruling Social Democrats.

Their former party leader Liviu Dragnea has been sentenced to prison for abuse of office, and voters punished the party in the European election for changes to the judicial system that were seen as undermining the rule of law and triggered massive street protests.

Earlier inn September, the party lost its junior coalition partner. Dancila will now have to face a vote of no confidence in parliament in the next few weeks.

President Klaus Iohannis has asked Dancila to consult him this week before proposing a new candidate for European commissioner.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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