The EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe find themselves at a crossroads. As Alina Bârgăoanu and Clara Volintiru write, strategic realignments by the EU to cope with various geopolitical challenges could carry the risk of an East-West divide developing between EU states. They argue that any reform efforts pursued at the EU level must be as inclusive […]
How the political capture of state owned enterprises is damaging democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
Corruption is still viewed as a key problem in many states across Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing on recent research in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania, Clara Volintiru, Bianca Toma and Alexandru Damian highlight the problem of political actors using resources from state owned companies to help win elections. They argue that a widespread lack of accountability in […]
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 […]
Following a tense election campaign, Romania’s new President must work to heal the divisions within the country’s party system
On 16 November, Klaus Iohannis was elected as the next President of Romania, defeating the country’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, in what many observers saw as a surprise result. Clara Volintiru writes that Romanian politics is now at a crossroads, with deep divisions between parties and widespread mistrust of politicians likely to lead to a recalibration of the country’s […]
The European Parliament elections in Romania will highlight the deep divisions within the country’s political system
The European Parliament elections in Romania will be held alongside a constitutional referendum, and ahead of Presidential elections in November. Clara Volintiru writes that while the elections will serve as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Presidential elections later in the year, they will potentially have wider significance for Romanian democracy. She argues that given the fragile governing coalition and continuous […]
Bucharest’s recent protests show that Romanians are beginning to embrace western styles of civic engagement.
Street protests have taken place in Bucharest since the start of September. Clara Volintiru writes that while the aims of the protesters have been focused on the fairly narrow issues of Bucharest’s stray dog population, and a controversial mining project, the real conflict is between competing identities. Both issues reflect strains between the old values Romanians held during the communist […]
After a period of political turmoil, Romania is building on its strengths and looking outwards for investment to stimulate growth.
Last year, Romanian politics was rocked with infighting between the country’s Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, and President, Traian Basescu. Clara Volintiru writes that the country has largely moved on from its political squabble, and is now positioning itself as an attractive target for investment compared with its neighbours in Central and Eastern Europe. Whether this strategy will bring the growth […]
Today EUROPP launches the second episode in our voxEUROPP series of podcasts. Presented by Chris Gilson and Stuart A Brown, voxEUROPP draws on academic experts from EUROPP to discuss the latest issues across European governance, economics, politics, culture and society, both at the European Union and national levels.
In this voxEUROPP episode we hear from specialists on politics in Eastern Europe and take an in-depth […]
It is unlikely that large numbers of Romanians will flock to the UK, but those that do migrate will benefit both countries.
In December of this year, the UK’s restriction on the free movement for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania will be lifted. Many UK commentators have predicted a ‘flood’ of new migrants from the two countries as a result. Looking closely at Romania, Clara Volintiru finds that the present debate ignores the relatively positive economic situation in the country and the […]
In Romania’s elections, the Social-Liberal Union is likely to be the clear winner. But, President Băsescu may yet block Victor Ponta from returning as Prime Minister.
Romanians go to the polls on Sunday for the country’s parliamentary elections. While the incumbent Prime Minister, Victor Ponta’s Social Liberal Union is widely tipped to win the election, Clara Volintiru writes that the president Traian Băsescu may yet be able to block Ponta from returning to office. Romanians go to the polls tomorrow, and by all signs—local election scores […]
Posturing by Romania’s political parties ahead of December elections shows that they are not just competing for power, but for their own survival.
This month has seen massive rallies for Romania’s political parties ahead of parliamentary elections in December, with the European People’s Party holding its congress and the ruling USL alliance hosting an 80,000 strong rally. Clara Volintiru looks at this political posturing between the rival factions of the President and Prime Minister, and argues that these rallies ignore the general political […]
Despite President Traian Băsescu’s referendum ‘victory’, Romanians are continuing to lose trust in their government and governing institutions.
At the end of July, Romanian President Traian Băsescu survived a national referendum on his dismissal, initiated by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Clara Volintiru looks at the lead-up to the current political conflict in Romania, and finds few reasons to be optimistic. Even as all sides now claim victory, further political turmoil may have severe ramifications for Romania’s economy. As […]
Romania’s efforts in the fight against corruption may not be effective if they increase mistrust in political figures and institutions
Clara Volintiru looks at the recent indictment of Romania’s former prime minister on corruption charges. Whilst it is undoubtedly positive to pursue justice for corrupt politicians, there is a dilemma in how to tackle corruption and other sources of institutional mistrust, when questionable and selective prosecutions may reinforce this distrust. On the 20th of June, the international press enthusiastically announced […]
Romania’s recent protests have become a social movement calling for the dignity of the people in the face of an unaccountable government.
While originally sparked by the government’s plan to partially privatize the health-care system, Clara Volintiru argues that the recent protests and demonstrations in Romania are ultimately not only about the reform of social security systems and austerity measures, but also have the aim of achieving greater government transparency and accountability. Remus Prata lives in the small village of Baia de […]