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EU's Von Der Leyen Selects Romanian MEP To Serve On Commission

Adina Valean has been a member of the European Parliament since 2007.
Adina Valean has been a member of the European Parliament since 2007.

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has chosen European lawmaker Adina Valean to fill Romania's EU commissioner position.

Three previous nominees from Romania's previous Social Democratic government had been rejected by the bloc amid uncertainty over whether a new center-right minority cabinet would win parliamentary approval.

Von der Leyen, who wants her new team to be up and running by December 1, had urged Romania to propose a new EU commissioner "without delay."

A center-right National Liberal Party (PNL) cabinet eventually won parliamentary approval on November 4, and new Prime Minister Ludovic Orban proposed as candidates two PNL members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to break the impasse with the EU -- Valean and Siegfried Muresan.

The PNL is part of the European People's Party (EPP) bloc in the European Parliament to which von der Leyen also belongs.

Von der Leyen made her choice within hours of receiving the letter from the Romanian government putting forward the two candidates.

Valean, 51, is the wife of Crin Antonescu, a former leader of PNL and onetime acting president of Romania.

An MEP since 2007 and vice president of the European Parliament in 2014-19, she must still face questioning by the parliament's Legal Committee.

France's candidate, Thierry Breton, and Hungary's Oliver Varhelyi are also yet to undergo the parliament's vetting.

Von der Leyen on November 6 also asked Britain to name a candidate after the latest delay to the Brexit process.

Romania had been given the transport portfolio in the incoming commission but Orban said on November 6 that a swap with Hungary for the enlargement brief may be possible.

Von der Leyen wants to achieve gender parity in the new commission.

With reporting by,, AFP, and dpa
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