Diaconescu in New York, September 2009
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
24 January 2012 – 7 May 2012
|Prime Minister||Emil Boc
Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu
|Preceded by||Teodor Baconschi|
|Succeeded by||Andrei Marga|
22 December 2008 – 1 October 2009
|Prime Minister||Emil Boc|
|Preceded by||Lazăr Comănescu|
|Succeeded by||Cătălin Predoiu (interim)|
|Minister of Justice|
10 March 2004 – 28 December 2004
|Prime Minister||Adrian Năstase|
|Preceded by||Rodica Stănoiu|
|Succeeded by||Monica Macovei|
2 July 1959 |
|People's Movement Party (2014)
National Union for the Progress of Romania (2010-2012)
Social Democratic Party (2002-2010)
Romanian Communist Party (until 1989)
Cristian Diaconescu (Romanian pronunciation: [kristiˈan di.akoˈnesku]; born 2 July 1959) is a Romanian jurist and politician. An independent, formerly a member of the People's Movement Party (PMP) and prior to that of the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) and of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), he sat in the Romanian Senate from 2004 to 2012, representing Constanța County from 2004 until 2008, and subsequently Bucharest. In the Adrian Năstase cabinet, he was Minister of Justice from March to December 2004; in the Emil Boc cabinet, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs between 2008 and 2009. He returned to the position in 2012, also under Boc, and continued in this capacity under Boc's successor, Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu.
Judicial and diplomatic career
He was born in Bucharest, where his father Mihai was a lawyer; he is a seventh-generation jurist. He completed his mandatory military service in 1978-1979 within a unit troops answering to the Securitate, Communist Romania's secret police, ending as a 2nd Lieutenant and later recalling that his instruction was purely in regular combat. In April 1982, he entered the ruling Romanian Communist Party, advancing from its mass organization, the Union of Communist Youth. Although he denied having held any executive positions within the party, a 2008 investigation by Evenimentul Zilei newspaper concluded that Diaconescu was promoted to a leadership office within the Association of Communist Students, and that he was judged a good student of Marxism. Diaconescu graduated from the Law Faculty of the University of Bucharest in 1983, also earning a PhD in Law in 2007. He was an associate professor at Hyperion University in 1993, a professor at the Carol I National Defence University in 1997 and at the Institute of Law and International Relations from 1998 to 2000, and in 2004 was on the academic staff of the Spiru Haret University in its International Relations and European Studies Faculty.
In 1983, he was an apprentice lawyer in Găești; from 1983 to 1985, he worked as a judge at the Ilfov Agricultural Sector courthouse, and from 1985 to 1989, he was a judge at the Sector 4 courthouse. During this period, he would sometimes travel to villages for trials; according to Silviu Curticeanu (a former high-ranked Communist), these were held before packed audiences forcibly brought there, with judges usually selected based on political criteria often handing out especially harsh sentences for the "preventive-educational" effect these were supposed to have. Following the 1989 Revolution, from 1989 to 1990, he was a specialty inspector at the Justice Ministry, part of a team of youthful specialists who, as he recalled fifteen years later, unsuccessfully toured the country in an attempt to reshape the Communist-era justice system. Then, from 1990 to 1993, he was a diplomat in Romania's permanent delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). From 1993 to 1995, working at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Diaconescu coordinated the cooperation section in the OSCE political–military field. From 1995 to 1996 he was again a diplomat, part of Romania's permanent mission to international organisations in Vienna and deputy head of mission for the OSCE political–military and security fields. From 1996 to 1997, still a diplomat, he worked at the OSCE directorate of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. In 1997-1998, at the same ministry, he headed the directorate for OSCE and cooperation with sub-regional structures. Continuing at the ministry, from 1998 to 2000 he headed its general law and consular directorate; among his attributes was that of chief negotiator for bilateral treaties on borders and minority rights. From May to December 2000, he was deputy general secretary of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
In government and electoral politics
In December 2000, when the PDSR (PSD from 2001) returned to office, Diaconescu became Secretary of State for Bilateral Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Serving until January 2004, he was chief negotiator for the border treaty with Ukraine, for the basic political treaty with Russia and for the law on Hungarians in states bordering Hungary. He also joined the PSD in 2002. From January to March 2004, he was Secretary of State for European Affairs at the same ministry. From March to December 2004, he served as Minister of Justice. As such, he was responsible for conducting and closing negotiations with the European Commission on the Justice and Home Affairs chapter of the acquis communautaire; that November, he reported to the government that negotiations had been concluded, helping move Romania closer to European Union accession. At the 2004 election, which the PSD lost, he won a Senate seat, and chaired that body's defence, public order and national security committee. In 2005, he became a vice president of the PSD; that June, he was named PSD spokesman, a position he kept until January 2009, except during his mayoral campaign. (Additionally, in 2006, shortly before the National Anticorruption Directorate announced it would question his wife in its investigation into the loss of €1 million in state funds while she was a bank president, he announced he would resign his party positions partly in connection with this, but reversed course several days later.) Diaconescu reluctantly agreed to run for Mayor of Bucharest in June 2008, promising a doubling of the minimum monthly salary and an additional pension payment per year. He lost in the first round, coming in third with 13.2% of the vote. He was re-elected as senator in November 2008, and the following month, he was named to the Boc cabinet.
Upon winning confirmation as minister, among the priorities Diaconescu announced were a consolidation of Romania's position within the EU, including by pushing for ratification of the Lisbon Treaty; regional policy, including toward Moldova and the Black Sea area; and securing the rights of the Romanians of Serbia. Later, in an interview, he added that improving relations with Russia and China was also on his agenda, as well as having the EU focus on energy security. He visited the United States in May 2009, meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and commenting that Romania continued to be a "trustworthy partner" for the US, in turn an "essential ally" of Romania. The issue of Moldova vividly appeared on the agenda during the April 2009 civil unrest, when Diaconescu commented that the authorities there had "exceeded limits" by arresting protesters without explanation, requiring visas of Romanians wishing to enter the country, expelling all Romanian journalists, and "provoking" the Romanian government by accusing it of involvement in the events. He soon announced that Moldovans would be able to obtain Romanian citizenship more easily. Additionally, he had to deal with the sometimes tense situation faced by Romanian citizens living in Italy and the United Kingdom. Together with his PSD colleagues, Diaconescu resigned from the cabinet on October 1, 2009, in protest at the dismissal of vice prime minister and Interior Minister Dan Nica.
Defection from PSD and subsequent developments
In February 2010, Diaconescu sought election as PSD president, but withdrew from the race several hours before the party congress that would decide the winner opened. Subsequently, journalist Floriana Jucan alleged that Diaconescu had been subject to round-the-clock surveillance for ten days prior to the congress, and that party colleagues had carried out the monitoring in order to blackmail him. Near the end of the month, he resigned from the party and from its vice presidency, also filing a judicial complaint asking for an investigation into his surveillance. Initially sitting as an independent in Gabriel Oprea's group, he followed the latter into the newly founded UNPR, being elected honorary president in May. In February 2011, he was elected one of the Senate's vice presidents.
Following the dismissal of Teodor Baconschi during anti-government protests, Diaconescu was once again named foreign minister in January 2012. After Boc and his cabinet resigned the following month, Diaconescu was retained in his post by incoming prime minister Ungureanu. He left office in May due to the Ungureanu cabinet's dismissal by a motion of no confidence. Quickly named an adviser to President Traian Băsescu, whereupon he left the Senate, as well as resigning from the UNPR, he was dismissed that August by interim President Crin Antonescu, but resumed his post once Băsescu returned as President. He left the Băsescu administration in April 2014, joining the People's Movement Party (PMP) the following month. In June, he was named the party's candidate for the November presidential election. In August, prior to a move by party president Elena Udrea to take his place as the PMP candidate, he resigned from the party and announced he would continue his campaign as an independent. Ten days later, he abandoned his candidacy and endorsed Udrea.
- (in Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Government site. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Cristian Diaconescu, judecător pe uliță" ("Cristian Diaconescu, Judge on the Road"), Evenimentul Zilei, 15 February 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Florentina Stoian, "Cristian Diaconescu - a șaptea generaţie de juriști din familie" ("Cristian Diaconescu - Seventh Generation of Jurists in His Family"), Adevărul, 3 October 2005. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Biography, cristiandiaconescu.ro; accessed June 29, 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Bogdan Niculescu Duvăz, noul purtător de cuvânt al PSD" ("Bogdan Niculescu Duvăz, New PSD Spokesman"), Mediafax, 26 January 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Răzvan Popa, "Soția pesedistului Cristian Diaconescu, în vizorul DNA" ("Wife of PSD Member Cristian Diaconescu Targeted by DNA"), Gândul, 3 July 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Florin Negruțiu, "Cristian Diaconescu face grevă politică în numele soției sale" ("Cristian Diaconescu on Political Strike in His Wife's Name"), Gândul, 29 June 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Lavinia Dimancea, "Demisie - Diaconescu revine" ("Resignation - Diaconescu Returns"), Jurnalul Național, 3 July 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Adriana Duțulescu, "Cum a devenit Cristian Diaconescu candidatul PSD" ("How Cristian Diaconescu Became the PSD Candidate"), Cotidianul, 11 April 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Dan Duca, "Cristian Diaconescu a început răgușit campania pentru București. Iliescu și Vanghelie au făcut show" ("A Hoarse Cristian Diaconescu Begins His Campaign for Bucharest. Iliescu and Vanghelie Put on a Show"), Cotidianul, 16 April 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Oprescu și Blaga în turul doi pentru Primăria București" ("Oprescu and Blaga in Second Round for Bucharest Mayor"), BBC Romanian, 2 June 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) Election results, Alegeri; Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Guvern de regățeni, cu 'moț' ardelean" ("Old Kingdom Government, with a Few Transylvanians") Archived 22 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Adevărul, 19 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Comisiile au avizat nominalizarea lui Cristian Diaconescu ca ministru de Externe" ("Committees Approve Cristian Diaconescu's Nomination as Foreign Minister"), Mediafax, 20 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Diaconescu: Unii încearcă să-și fundamenteze cariera în MAE pe o ofertă politică" ("Diaconescu: Some Try to Build Their MAE Career on a Political Offer"), Mediafax, 11 January 2009; accessed June 29, 2009.
- (in Romanian) "România+SUA=Love. Ministrul de externe, Cristian Diaconescu, a calificat relațiile româno-americane drept foarte bune, chiar și cu noua administrație" ("Romania+USA=Love. Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu Calls Romanian-American Relations Very Good, Even under the New Administration"), Gardianul, 13 May 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Cristian Diaconescu: Autoritățile de la Chișinău au depășit limita" ("Cristian Diaconescu: Chişinău Authorities Exceed Limit"), Jurnalul Național, 16 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Diaconescu: Nu vom acorda cetățenia română în masă pentru moldoveni" ("Diaconescu: We Will Not Grant Moldovans Romanian Citizenship En Masse"), Mediafax, 28 April 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Ministrul de externe: Situația din Italia 's-a mai calmat'" ("Foreign Minister: Italy Situation 'Calmer'"), Mediafax, 2 March 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "140 de români vor să se întoarcă acasă din Irlanda de Nord" ("140 Romanians Want to Come Home from Northern Ireland"), Cotidianul, 21 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009.
- (in Romanian) "Miniștrii PSD și-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. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- (in Romanian) Marinela Rață, "Diaconescu, urmărit 10 zile, înaintea alegerilor din PSD" ("Diaconescu, Followed 10 Days, Prior to PSD Elections"), Evenimentul Zilei, 21 February 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- (in Romanian) Florin Ciornei and Marinela Rață, "Diaconescu a demisionat din PSD" ("Diaconescu Resigns from PSD"), Evenimentul Zilei, 24 February 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- (in Romanian) Oana Dan, "Sârbu, Oprea, Diaconescu, la conducerea UNPR" ("Sârbu, Oprea, Diaconescu, in UNPR Leadership"), Evenimentul Zilei, 1 May 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- (in Romanian) Carmen Vintilă, "E oficial! Președintele Traian Băsescu a semnat decretul de numire a lui Cristian Diaconescu la șefia Ministerului de Externe" ("It's Official! Presidintel Traian Băsescu Signs Decree Naming Cristian Diaconescu as Head of Foreign Ministry"), Evenimentul Zilei, 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- (in Romanian) "Numirea lui Diaconescu, vizată de Băsescu" ("Diaconescu's Appointment, Approved by Băsescu"), Adevărul, 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- (in Romanian) "Boc, supraviețuitorul moţiunilor de cenzură, a cedat nemulţumirilor PDL și protestelor străzii" ("Boc, Survivor of Censure Motions, Yielded to PDL Grievances and Street Protests", România Liberă, 6 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- (in Romanian) Miruna Badea, "Cristian Diaconescu, ministrul de Externe, avizat de comisiile parlamentare, ședința s-a desfășurat fără cvorum" ("Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu Approved by Parliamentary Committees in Session without Quorum", Gândul, 8 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- (in Romanian) "UNPR i-a solicitat lui Ungureanu ca Diaconescu și Oprea să rămână în noul Guvern pe aceleași posturi" ("UNPR Asks Ungureanu that Diaconescu and Oprea Remain in New Government in Same Positions", Mediafax, 7 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- (in Romanian) "Cristian Diaconescu i-a socilitat premierului desemnat să nu politizeze Ministerul de Externe" ("Cristian Diaconescu Asks Prime Minister Designate Not to Politicize the Foreign Ministry"), Adevărul, 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- (in Romanian) S. Zachmann, "Drăgoi și Diaconescu, numiţi consilieri prezidențiali" ("Drăgoi and Diaconescu, Named Presidential Advisers"), Adevărul, 9 May 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- (in Romanian) "Cristian Diaconescu a demisionat din Senat" ("Cristian Diaconescu Resigns from Senate"), Cotidianul, 29 May 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- (in Romanian) Adelina Turcu, "Cristian Diaconescu, agreat de Băsescu pentru candidatura la prezidenţiale" ("Cristian Diaconescu, Favored by Băsescu for Presidential Candidacy"), Adevărul, 13 January 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
- (in Romanian) Alina Boghiceanu, "Consilierii lui Băsescu, eliberați din funcție" ("Băsescu Advisers Dismissed"), Adevărul, 3 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- (in Romanian) Marius Fratila, "Președintele Traian Băsescu și-a repus în funcții consilierii" ("Președintele Traian Băsescu Brings Back Advisers"), Gândul, 28 August 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- (in Romanian) Sebastian Zachmann, "Cristian Diaconescu merge mai departe cu Mişcarea Populară" ("Cristian Diaconescu Goes Ahead with the People's Movement"), Adevărul, 1 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, "Fostul consilier prezidenţial Cristian Diaconescu s-a înscris în PMP" ("Former Presidential Adviser Cristian Diaconescu Joins PMP"), Adevărul, 20 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, Sebastian Zachmann, "Elena Udrea a fost aleasă preşedintele PMP" ("Elena Udrea Elected PMP President"), Adevărul, 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, "Elena Udrea candidează, oficial, la Preşedinţie" ("Elena Udrea Officially Running for President"), Adevărul, 19 August 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- (in Romanian) Paul Filimon, "Cristian Diaconescu a renunţat la candidatura la Preşedinţie" ("Cristian Diaconescu Abandons Presidential Campaign"), România Liberă, 28 August 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.