Dan Nica

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Dan Nica (born July 2, 1960) is a Romanian engineer and politician. A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), he has been a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Galaţi County since 1996. In the Adrian Năstase cabinet, he was Minister of Communications and Information Technology from 2000 to July 2004. In the Emil Boc cabinet, he was the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Administration and Interior between February and October 2009. In the Victor Ponta cabinet, he served as Communications Minister for a second time, from May 2012 to February 2014.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

He was born in Panciu, Vrancea County and in 1985 graduated from the Electronics and Telecommunications Faculty of the Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iaşi. He also holds a 2005 doctorate in Communication Sciences, has co-designed three patented inventions, and authored the 2001 book Guvern, cetăţean, societatea informaţională ("Government, Citizen, IT Society"). From 1985 to 1996, he worked at the Galaţi County Telecommunications Directorate, and was its director from 1991 onward. In this capacity he coordinated a telephone-extension project, which resulted in the county becoming one of the first in Romania in which over 90% of households had a telephone. Concurrently, from 1993 to 1996, he was an associate professor at the University of Galaţi, teaching Telecommunications and Data Transmission.[1]

In 1996, Nica was elected to the Chamber for the PDSR (PSD from 2001); he sat on the industry and services committee. From 1997 to 2003, he headed the Galaţi municipal party organisation, while from 1999 to 2003, he was first vice president of the PSD Galaţi County chapter, and from 1999 to 2004, he sat on the party's central executive bureau. He was re-elected in 2000, and was also part of the Năstase cabinet until July 2004, when he was dismissed during a reshuffle.[1][2] During this period he belonged to the Chamber's public administration, land management and ecological equilibrium committee and introduced a law for supporting and promoting small and medium-sized businesses. Also, from 2002 to 2004, he was a member of the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force. He was elected again in 2004, following which he became vice president of the information technology and communications committee.[1] During the 2004 campaign, the Coalition for a Clean Parliament, an NGO, accused him of lacking the moral integrity needed to sit in Parliament, claiming he had taken decisions as minister that benefited certain private companies at the expense of the state and of market competition. Cited were an order regulating taxes on mobile telephone carriers that allegedly saved one company around 10 million a year, and the charge that Nica dropped a clause in the Romtelecom privatisation contract in 2003. He sued for 1.5 billion lei (some $50,000) in damages, but lost.[3][4]

In government and subsequently[edit]

A month after the 2008 election, in which Nica won yet another term in the Chamber,[5] he was named vice premier in the Boc cabinet.[6] In January 2009, following the resignation of Gabriel Oprea and before Liviu Dragnea took office, Nica was interim Interior Minister;[7] when Dragnea resigned the following month, Nica again took over the ministry,[8] a scenario that was one of several options discussed within the PSD.[9] As vice premier, Nica had to play a balancing act when tensions appeared within the ruling PSD—PD-L coalition, both urging that PSD (and PD-L) ministers show "restraint" in their public statements about the other party,[10] and criticising the PD-L at times himself, for instance accusing Regional Development Minister Vasile Blaga of "arrogance" in his attitude toward PSD ministers.[11] As Interior Minister, he took note of alleged fraud during the 2009 European Parliament election, promising that those who voted more than once would be arrested,[12] and announcing soon after the polls closed that 35 penal dossiers had already been opened for offences that included attempted fraud and giving money and food to influence voters.[13] In late September 2009, Nica alleged that all available buses had been rented for the first and second rounds of the upcoming presidential election, and that these would be used to transport voters to multiple polling stations so they could cast more than one ballot.[14] Citing these comments and a deteriorating public safety situation that included a general rise in crime and a spate of armed robberies, Boc moved to dismiss Nica.[15] On October 1, President Traian Băsescu approved Nica's dismissal,[16] prompting all eight of his PSD cabinet colleagues to resign in protest that day.[17]

He was elected one of the PSD's vice presidents in 2010.[18] In May 2012, as part of the incoming Ponta cabinet, he returned to head the Communications Ministry, vowing to dismiss some 300 administrative staff and 90 of 100 managers at Poşta Română.[19][20] At December's parliamentary election, he won a new seat in the Chamber with 75.4% of the vote,[21] and was subsequently renamed as Communications Minister.[22] By the time a new Ponta cabinet was created in early 2013, Nica was already on the PSD's electoral lists for the May European Parliament election, and opted against continuing in government—the only minister from his party to do so.[23] At the election, he won a seat as an MEP.[24]

Nica is married and has one child.[1] Along with holding several prizes for his government and technical work, he has been a Knight of the Order of the Star of Romania since 2002.[1] He is a philatelist.[25]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e (Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Government site; accessed July 2, 2009
  2. ^ (Romanian) "Remaniere degeaba" ("Futile Reshuffle"), Adevărul, 12 July 2004; accessed July 2, 2009; re-linked February 5, 2014
  3. ^ (Romanian) Anca Răscutoi, "Guvernul Emil Boc în alb şi negru" ("Emil Boc Government in Black and White"), 22, 23 December 2008; accessed July 2, 2009
  4. ^ (Romanian) "Pesediştii au pierdut procesul cu Coaliţia pentru un Parlament Curat" ("PSD Members Lose Suit against the Coalition for a Clean Parliament"), Adevărul, 6 April 2005; accessed July 2, 2009
  5. ^ (Romanian) Election results, alegeri.tv; accessed July 2, 2009
  6. ^ (Romanian) "Guvern de regăţeni, cu 'moţ' ardelean" ("Old Kingdom Government, with a Few Transylvanians"), Adevărul, 19 December 2008; accessed July 2, 2009
  7. ^ (Romanian) "Dragnea demisionează de la conducerea Ministerului de Interne" ("Dragnea Resigns as Interior Minister"), Mediafax, 2 February 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  8. ^ (Romanian) "Băsescu a semnat decretul prin care Nica este numit ministru interimar" ("Băsescu Signs Decree Naming Dragnea Interim Minister"), Mediafax, 4 February 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  9. ^ (Romanian) "Nica, opţiunea cea mai probabilă a PSD pentru MAI – surse" ("Sources: Nica, the PSD's Most Likely Option for Interior"), Mediafax, 3 February 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  10. ^ (Romanian) "Nica, după coaliţie: S-a cerut liderilor PSD şi PDL reţinere în declaraţiile politice" ("Nica, after the Coalition: PSD and PDL Leaders Asked to Show Restraint in Public Declarations"), Mediafax, 22 June 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  11. ^ (Romanian) "Nica îl acuză pe Blaga de aroganţă şi îi recomandă să nu forţeze limitele" ("Nica Accuses Blaga of Arrogance and Recommends He Not Push the Envelope"), Mediafax, 17 June 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  12. ^ (Romanian) "Nica: Toţi cei care au votat de mai multe ori se vor trezi 'Cioc!, Cioc! cu poliţia la uşă'" ("Nica: All Who Voted Multiple Times Will Wake up 'Knock! Knock! With the Police at the Door'"), Mediafax, 8 June 2009; accessed July 2, 2009
  13. ^ (Romanian) "Dan Nica: 'S-au dat bani şi alimente pentru alegători. Am deschis 35 de dosare penale'" ("Dan Nica: Money and Food Were Given to Voters. We Have Opened 35 Penal Dossiers"), Jurnalul Naţional, 7 June 2009; accessed 2 July 2009
  14. ^ (Romanian) "Boc i-a cerut explicaţii lui Nica pentru afirmaţiile privind posibila fraudă la alegeri" ("Boc Asks Nica for Explanations Regarding Comments on Possible Electoral Fraud'"), Mediafax, 26 September 2009; accessed October 1, 2009
  15. ^ (Romanian) "Boc a solicitat remanierea ministrului de Interne" ("Boc Seeks Interior Minister's Dismissal'"), Mediafax, 28 September 2009; accessed October 1, 2009
  16. ^ (Romanian) "Băsescu a semnat decretul de revocare a ministrului Nica" ("Băsescu Signs Decree Dismissing Minister Nica"), Mediafax, 1 October 2009; accessed October 1, 2009
  17. ^ (Romanian) "Miniştrii PSD şi-au depus demisiile la cabinetul premierului Emil Boc" ("PSD Ministers Submit Their Resignations in the Office of Prime Minister Emil Boc"), Mediafax, 1 October 2009; accessed October 1, 2009
  18. ^ (Romanian) Florin Ciornei, "'PSD, un 'dosar' greu pentru procurorul Victor Ponta" ("PSD, a Difficult 'Dossier' for Prosecutor Victor Ponta"), Evenimentul Zilei, 22 February 2010; accessed July 13, 2010
  19. ^ (Romanian) Marius Pandele, "'Dan Nica, noul ministru al Comunicaţiilor, are planuri de concedieri la Poşta Română" ("Dan Nica, New Communications Minister, Plans Layoffs at Poşta Română"), Evenimentul Zilei, 7 May 2012; accessed May 7, 2012
  20. ^ (Romanian) Cristian Andrei, Clarice Dinu, Andrei Luca Popescu, "'Guvernul Ponta a fost aprobat de Parlament, cu 284 de voturi pentru şi 92 împotrivă" ("Ponta Government Approved by Parliament, with 284 Votes in Favor and 92 Against"), Gândul, 7 May 2012; accessed May 7, 2012
  21. ^ (Romanian) Marius Mototolea, "Rezultatele finale ale alegerilor parlamentare 2012 Galaţi" ("Final Results for 2012 Parliamentary Election in Galaţi"), Adevărul, 10 December 2012; accessed January 18, 2013
  22. ^ (Romanian) Andrei Luca Popescu, "Dan Nica, ministrul Comunicaţiilor" ("Dan Nica, Communications Minister"), Gândul, 19 December 2012; accessed January 18, 2013
  23. ^ (Romanian) Anca Simina, Cristian Andrei, "Structura noului guvern şi lista miniştrilor, în negocierile USD-UDMR", Gândul, February 25, 2014; accessed May 27, 2014
  24. ^ (Romanian) "Cine sunt cei 32 de europarlamentari români" ("Who Are the 32 Romanian MEPs"), Gândul, May 26, 2014; accessed May 26, 2014
  25. ^ (Romanian) Ionuţ Fantaziu, "Fabrica de timbre tipăreşte pentru colecţionari" ("Stamp Factory Prints for Collectors"), Evenimentul Zilei, 17 May 2009; accessed October 22, 2013

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