Romania

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    Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Protests have continued in Romania despite the government agreeing to withdraw a controversial piece of legislation that would have weakened the country’s anti-corruption laws. Diana Popescu writes that while media coverage has tended to portray the protests as a popular show of unity against the government, the situation is more complex in reality. She highlights the story of one […]

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    Survey evidence: Why people are protesting in Romania

Survey evidence: Why people are protesting in Romania

What has motivated Romanians to hit the streets in numbers unseen since the 1989 Revolution? Mihnea Stoica presents new survey evidence showing a breakdown of the protesters’ incentives. He concludes that the topic of corruption has developed into one of the main political cleavages prompting political action.

The last few days have seen massive protests all around Romania, triggered […]

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    Romania: Reflections on the street protests and the country’s communist past

Romania: Reflections on the street protests and the country’s communist past

Protests have continued in Romania despite the government revoking a controversial decree that would have decriminalised some forms of misconduct by public officials. Dennis Deletant traces the roots of the protest through Romania’s communist past, writing that corruption, autocratic impulses, and incompetence have characterised the attitudes and actions of successive governments and the bureaucracy since the revolution.

Communism has cast […]

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    Romania’s protests: A response to a three-pronged assault on anti-corruption measures

Romania’s protests: A response to a three-pronged assault on anti-corruption measures

Romania has witnessed large anti-government protests over a proposed amnesty for prisoners which has the potential to free several officials currently in jail for corruption. Daniel Brett lays down the background, explaining that attacks on Romania’s anti-corruption efforts have been threefold, coming through the legislative process, through a domestic campaign against the anti-corruption directorate (DNA) and its chief prosecutor Laura […]

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    The rejection of Romania’s first female and Muslim PM leaves the Social Democrats in a difficult position

The rejection of Romania’s first female and Muslim PM leaves the Social Democrats in a difficult position

Despite winning Romania’s parliamentary election on 11 December, the country’s Social Democrats (PSD) had their proposed candidate for prime minister rejected by Romania’s president, Klaus Iohannis. Mihnea Stoica writes that the PSD now faces a difficult situation as any attempt to remove Iohannis from office would likely prove counter-productive.

Less than three weeks ago, Romania’s Social Democrats (PSD) won the […]

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    Social roots: How Romania’s Social Democrats won the 2016 election

Social roots: How Romania’s Social Democrats won the 2016 election

Romania’s Social Democrats (PSD) emerged as the largest party from the country’s parliamentary elections on 11 December. Clara Volintiru and George Stefan assess the roots of their success, writing that the party managed to mobilise supporters in areas where it has a strong local presence, but that there is now a growing generational divide which could shape Romanian politics […]

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    Romania’s election: In spite of the PSD’s comeback, anti-establishment sentiment is stronger than ever

Romania’s election: In spite of the PSD’s comeback, anti-establishment sentiment is stronger than ever

Only a year ago, Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) were in deep trouble over corruption allegations, whose magnitude was exposed after a deadly incident in a Bucharest night club. How did the PSD, then, end up winning the 11 December parliamentary elections? Mihnea Stoica explains that the hesitation showed by the technocratic PM Dacian Cioloș to shake up the country’s administrative […]

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    Romania may have the most to lose from Moldova’s presidential election

Romania may have the most to lose from Moldova’s presidential election

Moldova is due to hold presidential elections on 30 October. Alexandru Damian examines what the implications of the election may be for Romania, which has previously expressed support for the current Moldovan government. He suggests that with the government’s preferred candidate facing a challenge to make the second round of the contest, supporting Maia Sandu from the Action and […]

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    Mergers and splits: How party systems have changed in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990

Mergers and splits: How party systems have changed in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990

The party systems of Central and Eastern Europe are generally viewed as being less stable than those in Western Europe, with a greater level of volatility in terms of the parties that compete in successive elections. But how has this picture changed since 1990? Using a new dataset covering 11 countries, Raimondas Ibenskas and Allan Sikk outline some of […]

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    Book Review: British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War by Dennis Deletant

Book Review: British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War by Dennis Deletant

In British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War, Dennis Deletant attends to the relationship between Britain and Romania preceding and during World War II. The book illustrates the international context of the period, while outlining the cultural and diplomatic relations between these two countries. This is a necessary and valuable contribution to the history of Romania that should serve […]

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    Romania’s local elections: Why has the ‘old guard’ done so well?

Romania’s local elections: Why has the ‘old guard’ done so well?

The fall of Victor Ponta’s PSD government in November 2015 was supposed to usher in a new era of politics for Romania. However, local elections held on 5 June resulted in victories for the PSD across the country, including in Bucharest, with several politicians who are either under investigation, or even (in one case) currently in jail, being elected. […]

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    On different tracks: Bulgaria and Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

On different tracks: Bulgaria and Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism

Romania and Bulgaria both joined the EU in 2007 and became subject to an ad hoc tool, the ‘Cooperation and Verification Mechanism’ (CVM), which was created by the European Commission to evaluate the progress of the two countries. Today, however, there is a growing gap between the two states: while Commission officials have suggested the possibility of Romania graduating out […]

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In the Balkans, investors operate within a devil’s circle

Promoting entrepreneurship is often viewed as a key component for generating growth in the transition economies of eastern Europe. Tim Vorley and Nick Williams write that tackling corruption has an important role in this process. Drawing on recent research in Bulgaria and Romania, they assess the challenges posed by corruption for entrepreneurs in the region, noting that the issue […]

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    Governing a dysfunctional state: The challenges facing Romania’s new technocratic government

Governing a dysfunctional state: The challenges facing Romania’s new technocratic government

Following the resignation of Romania’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, a new ‘technocratic’ government led by former European Commissioner Dacian Cioloș entered office on 17 November. Neculai-Cristian Surubaru assesses some of the key challenges facing the new government. He argues the government may have a limited window of opportunity to implement reforms, but that it is becoming increasingly clear Romania’s […]

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    Romania’s coming of age: How the transition generation could push Romania toward real political change

Romania’s coming of age: How the transition generation could push Romania toward real political change

Romania’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, resigned on 4 November following a deadly fire in a nightclub in Bucharest. Following the resignation, a new ‘technocratic’ government led by Dacian Cioloș entered office on 17 November. Cristian Nitoiu writes that the recent developments in Romania have coincided with the political coming of age of the country’s ‘transition generation’. He argues that […]

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    Romania’s politics on fire: Why Victor Ponta resigned and what it means for the country

Romania’s politics on fire: Why Victor Ponta resigned and what it means for the country

A tragic accident at a Bucharest nightclub resulted in 32 people losing their lives and triggered a series of events that culminated in the resignation of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on 4 November. Ponta was already under significant pressure to quit following corruption allegations, but had resisted handing in his resignation until now. Why this change of heart? […]

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    European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Romania, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg

European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Romania, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg

The success or failure of David Cameron’s planned renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership will depend to a large extent on how the other 27 EU member states respond to his proposals. But how do countries across the EU view the UK’s renegotiation? Building on a report published in 2014 by the German Council on Foreign Relations, EUROPP is […]

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    Romania’s party system remains in flux ahead of next year’s local and parliamentary elections

Romania’s party system remains in flux ahead of next year’s local and parliamentary elections

In the last eight months Romania has experienced a surprise victory for Klaus Iohannis in the country’s presidential election, and a major political crisis following corruption allegations against incumbent Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Mihnea Stoica writes that ahead of local and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2016, Romania’s party system is now in flux, with a lack of ideological clarity […]

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    The corruption charges levelled at Victor Ponta have triggered a major political crisis in Romania

The corruption charges levelled at Victor Ponta have triggered a major political crisis in Romania

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been charged with corruption, following a long-running investigation. Daniel Brett writes on the likely consequences of the charges, with Ponta resigning from the leadership of his governing Social Democratic Party (PSD), but refusing to vacate the office of Prime Minister. He argues that the early signs are the PSD intend to use the […]

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    Romania’s anti-corruption drive might still fall short of cleaning up the country’s politics

Romania’s anti-corruption drive might still fall short of cleaning up the country’s politics

In recent months an anti-corruption drive, led by public prosecutor Laura Kövesi, has resulted in numerous high profile politicians and business figures being arrested in Romania. Daniel Brett writes on the roots of Romania’s corruption problem, noting that while many have attempted to draw a link to the country’s Communist past, the existence of several cases involving politicians who were […]

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