Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AFP: Romania eyeing EU agriculture post: president

31 August 2009, (BUCHAREST)
Romania is hoping to secure the post of agricultural commissioner within the new European Commission, President Traian Basescu was quoted in media reports Monday as saying."Our aim is to secure the post of Agriculture Commissioner and we're conducting an intensive diplomatic campaign to that end," Basescu said."I've already talked with a number of heads of state and government and they've assured me of their support," he said.

Bucharest can count on the backing of countries such as Poland and France which are in favour of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the president said.If a Romanian candidate wins, he or she would not be biased towards Romania, Basescu insisted."But it's about recognising (Romania's) agricultural potential and its position within the commission," he said.One of the most likely candidates is Romania's former agricultural minister Dacian Ciolos, who studied in France and is said to be a personal friend of former commissioner and French farming minister Michel Barnier.

Naming a candidate could create tensions within the ruling coalition of liberal democrats and social democrat, and Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu was summoned before a parliamentary commission on Monday to present the various options.Romania, which joined the EU in January 2007, currently holds the post of commissioner for multi-lingualism. Analysts believe this position does not adequately reflect the true importance of the country of 22 million inhabitants.

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