Romania to lobby for agriculture commissioner

ROMANIA

Despite uncertainty over the number of commissioners in the next EU executive, which stems from the as yet unfinished ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, Romania has announced that it will propose a former agriculture minister as its next commissioner.

Dacian Cioloş (pronounced Dachian Chiolosh) is Romania’s candidate for the post of agriculture commissioner, the country’s foreign minister, Cristian Diaconescu, announced in a radio interview yesterday (31 August). 

“We had a meeting today of the government coalition […] and the decision was taken that we can make official the candidacy of Mr. Dacian Cioloş, former agriculture minister, for commissioner responsible for agriculture,” Diaconescu stated.

Diaconescu admitted it would be difficult to obtain the agriculture portfolio, seen as one of the EU’s most important, but said Romania would mobilise all its political and diplomatic resources to achieve the goal.

The present agriculture commissioner, Danish liberal Mariann Fischer Boel, is expected to stand down (see EurActiv LinksDossier on the new European Commission).

The Romanian foreign minister added that as soon as the next Commission president had been elected – by the second half of September – Romania would send him or her an official letter proposing Cioloş for the position. He said the Swedish EU Presidency had told him that the full list of commissioners, to be approved by the European Parliament, should be ready by 25-26 October.

Forty-year-old Dacian Cioloş served as minister of agriculture between October 2007 and December 2008 in the government of Calin Popescu Tariceanu. Having studied agriculture in Romania and in France, he has worked for the Commission representation in Bucharest for several years as an agriculture expert. At present, Cioloş chairs the agriculture commission, a consultative body, under the president of Romania. He speaks French and English.

Asked if Cioloş was sufficiently well-known in Brussels to take up such a position, Diaconescu said only that “it is important that the Romanian candidate obtains the support of major political groups in the European Parliament”. Cioloş has no party affiliation.

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