UPDATE November 17: All proposed members of the Ciolos government have received favorable votes in the speciality committees of Parliament during Tuesday hearings, Vasile Dancu, who had been postponed due to health issues, included.
However, the ministerial team has suffered a change in structure after Dacian Ciolos decided to withdraw his proposal for the justice minster spot, replacing Cristina Guseth with Raluca Alexandra Pruna, following Guseth’s poor presentation during hearings. Though Guseth had received a positive vote from the commission, the PM said the replacement was needed in order to prevent “vulnerability in the trust afforded to the justice minister”.
Raluca Alexandra Pruna is a former founding member and director of the Romanian Association for Transparency, currently known as Transparency International Romania (1999-2003). She worked as a lawyer and legal assistant (September 1996 — September 2000).
Pruna is a former advisor with the European Commission Representation in Bucharest — Justice and Internal Affairs, Anticorruption subchapter (September 2000 — December 2004) and is advisor and programme manager with the European Commission Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security, the Financial Solidarity for Asylum, Immigration and Border Controls section (starting June 2007).
She is a former lawyer-linguist with the juridical service of the Council of the European Union (January 2005 — May 2007) and external consultant on anti-corruption issues at the World Bank (May 2000 — September 2000). She has also collaborated on projects financed by the UK government (human trafficking — 2005; management of courts — 2007) at the Social Alternatives Association in Iasi.
November 16: Appointed prime minister Dacian Ciolos announced his list of proposed government representatives, saying that he hopes to finish his hearings on Tuesday. The new representatives are mostly apolitical professionals, business people and NGO representatives.
On Monday the future ministers have been meeting with specialized committees from the Parliament. Representatives that have met the commissions until now have received favorable votes, including Petre Toba, Mihnea Motoc, Lazar Comanescu, Dan Stoenescu, Achim Irimescu, Anca Dragu Paliu, Costin Borc, Victor Vlad Grigorescu, Ioan Dragos Tudorache, Dan Marian Costescu, Marius Bostan, Victoria-Violeta Alexandru, Patriciu Achimas, Cristina Pasca Palmer, Claudia Ana Costea, Cristina Guseth, Ciprian Bucur Elisabeta Lipa, Vlad Alexandrescu, Adrian Curaj and Aura Raducu. Vasile Dancu is set to see the committees tomorrow, as he encountered some health issues today and was postponed. Meetings will be held until late in the evening and on Tuesday the Chamber of Deputies plenaries will gather in order to debate the cabinet’s governance plan and give their confidence vote.
His list of ministers includes:
- – Costin Grigore Borc – deputy prime minister and minister of economy, trade and tourism. He is currently the general director of CRH Romania (since 2013). Borc has served as special assistant to the President Ion Iliescu, between 1991 and 1994 and was later head of the prime minister office for Radu Vasile, during the administration of Emil Constantinescu (between 1998 and 1999).
- – Vasile Dancu – deputy prime minister and minister of regional development and public administration. He is president of the Romanian Institute for Evaluation and Strategy (IRES) since 2009 and director of weekly “Transilvania reporter” and “Sinteza” magazine. He has been actively involved in the Social Democratic Party (PSD), holding several leading positions in it until 2008, when he resigned to focus on his professional activities.
- – Lazar Comanescu – minister of foreign affairs. He has held this position once more in 2008, and since February 2015 he is external politics adviser for Klaus Iohannis. Comanescu has been with the ministry of foreign affairs since 1972 and holds an international relationships doctorate.
- – Petre Toba – minister of internal affairs. He has held various positions within the Bucharest police and the ministry of internal affairs, where he was state secretary between 2011 and 2012. Toba holds a doctorate in military and informational science.
- – Mihnea Ioan Motoc – defense minister, is the Romanian ambassador to Great Britain. He led the Romanian representative to the European Commission for seven years (2008-2015), previously Romanian ambassador to the UN, in which quality he represented Romania in the UN Security Council.
- – Anca Dana Dragu Paliu – finance minister, is an economist in the Economics and Finance Directorate of the European Commission. She worked in the local office of the IMF, and in theNational Bank of Romania. Paliu is an economy doctor.
- – Achim Irimescu – minister of agriculture and rural development. He holds the position of minister-counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Romania to the European Union, agriculture department chief and representative of Romania in the Special Committee on Agriculture. He has held a ministerial position before, between 1990 and 1998, as senior adviser and head of office.
- – Victor Vlad Grigorescu – minister of energy, SMEs and business, has been a board member of Electrica for one year, previously holding the director post for AG Industrial Consult, consulting company specializing in public policy.
- – Adrian Curaj – minister of national education and scientific research. He is a professor at the Automatics Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, and was a consultant to the World Bank, UNESCO and the European Commission for studies on tertiary education, on science and innovation policies.
- – Vlad Alexandrescu – minister of culture, is a French professor of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Bucharest, a historian and a diplomat.
- – Aura Carmen Raducu – minister of European funds. She has held the position of Programme Manager – Romania Unit, Directorate General for Regional Policy in theEuropean Commission (EC) and Principal Manager, EU Programme under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
- – Cristina Guseth – justice minister, is the director of the Freedom House Romania Foundation since 1998, an NGO active in the integrity and anti-corruption policy area. She has coordinated the BBC program in Romania and supports the “Young journalist of the year” contest, which awards investigative journalism pieces. Her mandate includes the nominations of the DNA chief and the General Prosecutor in the spring of 2016, when mandates of Laura Kovesi (DNA) and Tiberiu Nitu (Prosecutor General) expire.
- – Cristina Pasca Palmer – minister of environment, water and forests, graduated in 1996 from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Bucharest (UB), followed by a Masters of Science, ecological systems and the natural capital management, also in the UB (1996-1997). She continued her studies abroad with a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University – Kennedy School of Government.
- – Claudia Ana Moarcas – minister of labor, family and social protection for the elderly. She is a professor in labor law, social security law and European social law at the Faculty of Law in Bucharest. Moarcas was public advocate between 2001-2002 and deputy secretary general in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001.
- – Marius-Raul Bostan – minister for information society is a board member of Telekom and founder of VMB Partners. He worked on implementing programs of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank and European Commission, and for the local government.
- – Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu – minister of health. He is the general director of the Institute for Oncology of Cluj-Napoca since 2012, holds a Master in Advanced Oncology from the Ulm University in Germany. Cadariu replaces Andrei Baciu, the PM’s first proposal, who has been dropped following public reactions to the first option.
- – Elisabeta Lipa – minister of youth and sport. Lipa is a former olympic champion, president of the Romanian Rowing Federation and vice-president of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee.
- – Marian Dan Costescu – transport minister, is CEO of the National Railway (CFR) since March 2015. He held several leadership positions at the Romanian Railway Register, was the director of Romania Railway Authority and had a role in the acquisition, restructuring or repositioning in the market of companies such as Romvag (Romania), KEG (Germany) or the Romanian Railway Authority.
- – Victoria-Violeta Alexandru – minister for social dialogue is the director of the Institute for Public Policies (IPP), an NGO active in research, advocacy and promotion in areas such as public administration reform, transparent institutions, elected officials and civil integrity.
- – Dan Stoenescu – minister for relations with Romanians abroad has wide foreign studies, is the author of several books and articles on the Arab world and has worked in Cairo for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration. He is a diplomat and founder of the League of Romanian Youth from Everywhere.
- – Ciprian Bucur – minister for relations with the parliament, is chief of service to the Legal, Discipline and Immunities of the Chamber of Deputies.
- – Ioan Dragos Tudorache – head of the prime minister office. He is a lawyer by profession and has extensive managerial experience in international institutions. He worked for the United Nations in Kosovo and was responsible unit dealing with Schengen and international relations within the Internal Affairs. Currently, Tudorache is working in the European Commission.
The prime minister stated he looked for gender equilibrium in his proposed team, saying this was the first government having such a large share of women (one third). The parliament will revise the proposals during Monday and Tuesday and the M hopes to have a result by Tuesday evening at the latest.
Last week, Ciolos, a former European Commissioner for Agriculture, was chosen by President Klaus Iohannis to form a new government replacing the social democratic one headed by Victor Ponta. Ponta had resigned from his function in the midst of heavy protests following a fire in a Bucharest nightclub that has claimed the lives of over 50 people and left over 100 injured.