Outgoing PM says PM-designate cannot decide on European commissioner pick

Outgoing Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, national leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), said in Constanta on Thursday evening that a prime minister-designate cannot make a decision on Romania's pick for European commissioner, arguing that President Klaus Iohannis made a "big mistake" by saying in Brussels that a government duly dismissed in Parliament cannot make a proposal for European commissioner. "As the President has mistaken France for Finland, I think he has mistaken an interim prime minister for a prime minister-designate. We have a prime- minister designate, but we do not have a government. That does not mean that a prime minister-designate can make a decision regarding the European commissioner. So I think the president made a big mistake," Dancila said at a news conference when asked about Iohannis' assertion that he would reject the proposal made by Romania for the position of European commissioner. Iohannis said in Brussels on Thursday that duly dismissed by Parliament government cannot make a proposal for a European commissioner as it have no role in the next European Commission. "There is on our side, unfortunately, a blockage called the Dancila government. (...) I will strongly oppose this, because a government that has been lawfully dismissed by the Romanian Parliament cannot make a proposal on behalf of Romania for the next tenure of the commission in which this government surely will have no part," Iohannis said before a summit of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday. He mentioned that he would not discuss with the officials in Brussels potential picks for European commissioner. "But I will say very clearly to the president-elect [of the European Commission] that I cannot accept an ousted government making a proposal that is also accepted; as for the portfolio, I have discussed with Mrs. von der Leyen, who assured me that the portfolio extended to Romania is the same and I have no reason to believe that unilateral changes are now occurring," Iohannis added. AGERPRES (RO - author: Nona Jalba; editor: Antonia Nita; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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