Dacian Cioloș

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Dacian Cioloș
2019-07-03 Dacian Cioloș MEP-by Olaf Kosinsky-8138 (cropped).jpg
Cioloș in 2019
Prime Minister of Romania
In office
17 November 2015 – 4 January 2017
PresidentKlaus Iohannis
Preceded bySorin Cîmpeanu (Acting)
Succeeded bySorin Grindeanu
President of USR
In office
1 October 2021 – 7 February 2022
Preceded byDan Barna (USR)
Himself (PLUS)
Succeeded byCătălin Drulă (Acting)
Member of the European Parliament for Romania
Assumed office
2 July 2019
Leader of Renew Europe
In office
2 July 2019 – 19 October 2021
Preceded byGuy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)
Succeeded byStéphane Séjourné
President of PLUS
In office
26 January 2019 – 1 October 2021
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHimself
(party merged with USR)
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
In office
9 February 2010 – 1 November 2014
PresidentJosé Manuel Barroso
Preceded byMariann Fischer Boel
Succeeded byPhil Hogan
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
In office
5 August 2007 – 22 December 2008
Prime MinisterCălin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Preceded byDecebal Traian Remeș
Succeeded byIlie Sârbu
Personal details
Born (1969-07-27) 27 July 1969 (age 53)
Zalău, Romania
Political partyIndependent (before 2018)
PLUS (2018–2021)
USR (2021–2022)
REPER (2022–present)
Other political
EPP (2016–2019)
ALDE (2019–present)
Valérie Villemin
(m. 2000)
EducationUniversity of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
National Graduate School of Agriculture, Rennes
University of Montpellier 1

Dacian Julien Cioloș (Romanian pronunciation: [datʃiˈan ˈtʃoloʃ]; born 27 July 1969) is a Romanian agronomist who served as Prime Minister of Romania from November 2015 to January 2017. He previously served as Agriculture Minister under Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu between October 2007 and December 2008. In November 2009, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso nominated him to be the next Agriculture Commissioner, a position he assumed in February 2010 and held until his term expired in November 2014. In November 2015, President Klaus Iohannis named him Prime Minister; Cioloș assumed office after receiving approval from Parliament.

He remained until after the 2016 parliamentary election, which was lost by the parties that called for Cioloș to continue his term. Cioloș is the founder of the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) within the larger former political construction USR PLUS (2019–2021). Between October 2021 and February 2022, he led the Save Romania Union (USR), into which the party he founded was merged. In May 2019, he was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), subsequently becoming leader of the new Renew Europe political group. He relinquished the leadership upon becoming USR president.

In October 2021, following the ousting of Prime Minister Florin Cîțu through a motion of no-confidence, President Iohannis nominated Cioloș as Prime Minister-designate but the Parliament rejected the proposal. The following May, he quit USR and launched a new party, REPER.


Background and government career[edit]

He was born in Zalău, but spent much of his childhood with his grandparents in nearby Pericei village, where he developed an interest in farming. After graduating from the agricultural high school in Șimleu Silvaniei in 1987, he attended the Faculty of Horticulture at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca, earning a horticultural engineer's degree in 1994.[1] While a student, Cioloș belonged to the Romanian Hearth Union’s youth wing; he states that his activities there were of a cultural nature, and had nothing to do with the party's extreme nationalist stance.[2] He also holds degrees in the economy of agricultural development from the École nationale supérieure agronomique de Rennes and from the University of Montpellier 1, where he respectively earned a master's in 1997 and a doctorate in 2006. He has belonged to the agricultural think tank Groupe de Bruges since 2000.[3] Although in Romania Cioloș was a political independent,[4][5] he was affiliated with the European People's Party (EPP) at the European level.[6][7]

From 1991 to 1996, Cioloș completed thirteen months' worth of internships on organic farms in the French region of Brittany. In the summer of 1995, he prepared a rural development project between Savoie and Argeș County, while working at the Aveyron agricultural chamber of commerce in Rodez during 1997, studying agricultural and rural development in the northern part of that department. In 1997 and 1999, he interned as an agro-economist at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development in Brussels, helping prepare the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD). In 1998–1999, he directed a local rural development programme in Argeș County, again cooperating with Savoie. From 1999 to 2001, he worked at two agricultural development agencies in France, coordinating joint programmes with Romania in that field. From 2002 to 2003, as part of the European Commission's delegation to Romania, he helped manage SAPARD's implementation in his native country. From January 2005 to May 2007, he was an adviser to Romania's Agriculture Minister, and a representative in the Council of the European Union's Special Committee on Agriculture. From May to October 2007, he was undersecretary of state for European affairs at the ministry.[3] Following the resignation of Decebal Traian Remeș due to a corruption scandal,[8] he was appointed Agriculture Minister in October 2007, serving until the following December, when Tăriceanu's National Liberal Party-led government left office after a parliamentary election.[9] Early in 2009, he returned to work at the Agriculture and Rural Development DG,[10] and that July, President Traian Băsescu named him to head a one-year commission looking at public agricultural development policies.[11]

Nomination and term as EU Commissioner for Agriculture[edit]

In October 2009, the Emil Boc government, hoping to secure the Agriculture portfolio in the second Barroso Commission, nominated Cioloș as Romania's EU Commissioner.[12] The proposal was criticised by the opposition National Liberals (PNL) and Social Democrats (PSD), who saw it as a last-ditch maneuver by a government on the brink of collapse, as well as by the Party of European Socialists, who believed that the position ought to have gone to a Social Democrat.[5] Boc's cabinet did indeed collapse the day after nominating Cioloș, when it lost a motion of no confidence.[13]

Cioloș in September 2010 as Commissioner for Agriculture
Cioloș at the October 2012 EPP Congress

At the end of November, Barroso nominated Cioloș to the Agriculture position, observing that he was the "most competent" of those submitted for consideration, and lauding his "modern vision" of agriculture and rural development.[14][15] The British magazine Farmers Weekly considered the nomination "a controversial choice", citing recent mismanagement by Romania of EU funds, but also acknowledged his "broad agricultural experience".[16] England and Wales' National Farmers Union as well as Scotland's NFU welcomed the appointment.[17] Italian Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia[18] and French President Nicolas Sarkozy likewise congratulated Cioloș.[19] German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur and British newspaper The Independent both criticised the nomination due to the funds mismanagement issue, with French daily Ouest-France alleging that the cause of British indignation was the perception that Cioloș would be akin to a second French EU Commissioner, given his close ties to that country.[20]

After winning approval from the European Parliament in February 2010,[21] Cioloș set forth his priority: maintaining a "thriving agricultural sector" in order to ensure food security, environmental preservation and protection of the countryside, help combat global warming and maintain a "fair standard of living" for farmers. As part of this objective, he promised to continue adapting and restructuring the Common Agricultural Policy.[22]

In July 2015, Barroso's successor Jean-Claude Juncker named Cioloș as his special adviser on international food security.[23]

As Prime Minister[edit]

In November 2015, Prime Minister Victor Ponta resigned following protests sparked by a deadly nightclub fire, and President Klaus Iohannis appointed Cioloș as his successor.[24] The latter proposed a technocratic cabinet composed of twenty-one members, a third of them women.[25] The cabinet won approval from Parliament on a 389–115 vote: the main Social Democrats (PSD) and National Liberals (PNL) were both in favour, although a number of legislators from the former party defied the leadership to vote against the cabinet. Additionally, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) was opposed.[26][27] He considers his two main achievements while in office to have been an increase in transparency, including the online release of salaries and expenditures for public institutions and financing contracts; and a reduction in bureaucracy that involved the elimination of numerous formalities.[28] Ahead of the 2016 parliamentary election, Cioloș received the endorsement on behalf of the National Liberals (PNL) and of the Save Romania Union (USR), in turn urging voters to back either party.[29] When these parties lost the election, the prime minister expressed his regret;[30] the following month, he was succeeded by Sorin Grindeanu.[31]

Return to politics[edit]

Cioloș speaking in the European Parliament in 2020

In March 2018, Cioloș announced the creation of a new political party, the Romania Together Movement.[32]

Because the legal registration of the new political party took too long, Cioloș announced on 15 December 2018 the existence of a new party, already registered by some anonymous collaborators, called the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (Romanian: Partidul Libertății, Unității și Solidarității, PLUS), thus dropping the former political project.[33]

In January 2019, at the first national convention of PLUS, Cioloș was elected president of the newly emerged political party with 99.17% of the votes.[34] The following month, Cioloș announced the establishment of the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance between PLUS and the Dan Barna-led Save Romania Union (USR).[35] That May, he was elected a Member of the European Parliament.[36] He subsequently became leader of the new Renew Europe political group, having secured support from En Marche, Ciudadanos and parties from Germany and the Netherlands.[37] He left that post in autumn 2021 in order to focus on domestic politics.[38]

In October 2021, following the merger of USR with PLUS, Cioloș was elected the first president of the unified party, defeating Barna on a 50.9 to 49.1 margin.[39] Later that month, following the collapse of the Florin Cîțu government, Iohannis once again named Cioloș as Prime Minister.[40] Cioloș and his proposed cabinet were voted down in Parliament, on a vote of 88–184.[41] In February 2022, after his program was rejected by subordinates in the USR leadership, Cioloș resigned as party president.[42] That May, he quit USR altogether, citing dissatisfaction with the new leadership, and launched a new party, Renewing Romania's European Project (REPER).[43]

Personal life[edit]

In 2000, Cioloș married Valérie Villemin, a French agriculture expert he met while studying in France. The ceremony took place in his grandparents' village of Pericei. The couple have no children.[44][45][46] He has a younger brother, Sorin.[47] His father insisted on Dacian as a first name, while his French middle name comes from Julien Sorel, protagonist of The Red and the Black, a book that Cioloș's mother read while pregnant with him.[48] Cioloș is a member of the Romanian Orthodox Church.[46]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (in Romanian) Alina Pop, "Dacian Cioloş, de pe hotarul din Pericei la Palatul Victoria" ("Dacian Cioloş, from the Pericei Border to Victoria Palace"), Adevărul, 10 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  2. ^ (in Romanian) Mihnea Măruță, "Dacian Cioloș, primul interviu după lansarea PLUS" ("Dacian Cioloș, First Interview after PLUS Launch"), PressOne, 17 December 2018; accessed August 25, 2021
  3. ^ a b (in Romanian) Profile at the Romanian Government site[permanent dead link]; accessed October 12, 2009
  4. ^ (in Romanian) Steliana Bancu, "Dacian Cioloș refuză postul de secretar de stat la Agricultură și pleacă la Bruxelles" ("Dacian Cioloș Refuses State Secretary Post at Agriculture Ministry and Leaves for Brussels")[permanent dead link], Gardianul, 9 January 2009; accessed October 12, 2009
  5. ^ a b (in Romanian) Dan Carp, "Cioloș aruncat în luptă" ("Cioloș Thrown into Battle")[permanent dead link], Ziua, 13 October 2009; accessed 13 October 2009
  6. ^ "Barroso gets new EU Commission team", BBC News, 25 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
  7. ^ "Barroso II: 13 EPP Commissioners receive key portfolios"[permanent dead link], European People's Party, 27 November 2009; accessed November 28, 2009
  8. ^ (in Romanian) "Tăriceanu a transmis Președinției nominalizarea lui Dacian Cioloș ca ministru al Agriculturii" ("Tăriceanu Transmits to the Presidency the Nomination of Dacian Cioloș as Agriculture Minister"), Mediafax, 12 October 2007; accessed October 12, 2009
  9. ^ (in Romanian) Guvernul Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, Agerpres; accessed 12 October 2009
  10. ^ (in Romanian) Cristi Ciupercă, Clarice Dinu, "Boc i-a trimis lui Băsescu nominalizarea lui Cioloș" ("Boc Sends Băsescu Cioloș' Nomination"), Evenimentul Zilei, 13 October 2009; accessed 13 October 2009
  11. ^ (in Romanian) Dan Odagiu, "Cine este Dacian Cioloș?" ("Who Is Dacian Cioloș?") Archived 2009-11-30 at the Wayback Machine, Cotidianul, 28 November 2009; accessed 28 November 2009
  12. ^ (in Romanian) "Dacian Cioloș, candidatul României pentru postul de comisar european" ("Dacian Cioloș, Romania's Candidate for European Commissioner"), Mediafax, 12 October 2009; accessed October 12, 2009
  13. ^ (in Romanian) "Guvernul Boc 2 a fost demis" ("Boc 2 Government Dismissed"), Mediafax, 13 October 2009; accessed 13 October 2009
  14. ^ (in Romanian) "Dacian Cioloș, comisar european pentru Agricultură" ("Dacian Cioloș, European Commissioner for Agriculture"), Evenimentul Zilei, 27 November 2009; accessed November 27, 2009
  15. ^ Joshua Chaffin (27 November 2009). "Barroso spells out new Commission's agenda". Financial Times.
  16. ^ Philip Clarke (27 November 2009). "Romanian takes EU's top agriculture job". Farmers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  17. ^ Alistair Driver (27 November 2009). "Romanian to take over as EU farm chief". Farmers Guardian. Archived from the original on 2009-12-07.
  18. ^ (in Romanian) "Ministrul italian al agriculturii îl felicită pe Cioloș pentru portofoliul atribuit în CE" ("Italian Agriculture Minister Congratulates Cioloș for Portfolio Handed to Him in EC"), Cotidianul, 28 November 2009; accessed 28 November 2009
  19. ^ (in Romanian) "Sarkozy salută nominalizarea lui Cioloș la funcția de comisar pentru agricultură" ("Sarkozy Salutes Cioloș' Nomination as Agriculture Commissioner"), Cotidianul, 28 November 2009; accessed 28 November 2009
  20. ^ (in Romanian) Mariana Apostol, "Nemții și britanicii și-au înfipt colții în Cioloș" ("Germans and British Attack Cioloș"), Evenimentul Zilei, 29 November 2009; accessed 29 November 2009
  21. ^ "Euro MPs back new European Commission", BBC News Online, 9 February 2010; accessed 20 September 2010
  22. ^ Mandate at the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner's site; accessed 20 September 2010
  23. ^ (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, "Preşedintele Comisiei Europene, Jean Claude-Juncker, l-a numit consilier pe Dacian Cioloş" ("European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker Names Dacian Cioloş Adviser"), Adevărul, 1 July 2015; accessed 9 July 2015
  24. ^ (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, Sebastian Zachmann, "Dacian Cioloş, premierul ales de Klaus Iohannis" ("Dacian Cioloş, the Premier Selected by Klaus Iohannis"), Adevărul, 10 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  25. ^ (in Romanian) Vasile Măgrădean, "Cine sunt miniştrii propuşi de premierul desemnat" ("Who Are the Ministers Proposed by the Designated Premier"), Mediafax, 15 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  26. ^ (in Romanian) Mădălina Mihalache, Sebastian Zachmann, Radu Eremia, "Guvernul Cioloş a fost votat de o majoritate lejeră" ("Cioloş Government Approved with Wide Majority"), Adevărul, 17 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  27. ^ (in Romanian) Cătălina Mănoiu, "ALDE nu votează Cabinetul Cioloş" ("ALDE Not Voting for Cioloş Cabinet"), Mediafax, 16 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  28. ^ (in Romanian) Constantin Rudnițchi, "Scurt bilanţ al guvernului Cioloş" ("Record of the Cioloş Government in Brief"), RFI Romania, 8 December 2016; accessed 16 December 2016
  29. ^ (in Romanian) Gabriel Pecheanu, "Dacian Cioloş, îndemn ca românii să voteze PNL sau USR" ("Dacian Cioloş, Appeal for Romanians to Vote PNL or USR"), Mediafax, 8 December 2016; accessed 16 December 2016
  30. ^ (in Romanian) Sebastian Zachmann, "Cioloş, prima reacţie după alegeri" ("Cioloş, First Post-Election Reaction"), Adevărul, 12 December 2016; accessed 16 December 2016
  31. ^ (in Romanian) Mihai Diac, "Cioloș și Grindeanu vor avea o discuție detaliată, joi" ("Cioloș and Grindeanu to Have Detailed Discussion Thursday"), România Liberă, 4 January 2017; accessed 4 January 2017
  32. ^ (in Romanian) Maria Tufan, "În sfârşit, Dacian Cioloş a anunţat noul partid" ("Finally, Dacian Cioloş Announces New Party"), Adevărul, 30 March 2018; accessed 31 March 2018
  33. ^ "Dacian Cioloș are, oficial, partid: PLUS. Ce s-a întâmplat cu Mișcarea România Împreună (Dacian Cioloș has officially a party: PLUS. What happened with the Romania Together Movement)" (in Romanian). Digi24. 15 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  34. ^ "Dacian Cioloş a fost ales preşedinte al PLUS". adevarul.ro (in Romanian). 2019-01-26. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  35. ^ "Dacian Cioloș și Dan Barna au bătut palma: "S-a născut principala forță de opoziție: Alianța 2020 USR+PLUS"". Digi24 (in Romanian). 2 February 2019.
  36. ^ (in Romanian) "Cine sunt europarlamentarii pe care Romania îi trimite la Bruxelles" ("Who Are the MEPs Romania Is Sending to Brussels"), Deutsche Welle, 28 May 2019; accessed June 3, 2019
  37. ^ (in Romanian) "Dacian Cioloș a fost ales liderul grupului Renew Europe din Parlamentul european" ("Dacian Cioloș Elected Leader of Renew Europe European Parliament Group"), G4Media, 19 June 2019; accessed June 19, 2019
  38. ^ (in Romanian) "Dacian Cioloș anunță că renunță la funcția de lider al ‘Renew Europe’ în Parlamentul European" ("Dacian Cioloș Announces Resignation as Leader of Renew Europe in the European Parliament"), G4Media, 1 October 2021; accessed November 30, 2021
  39. ^ "Dacian Cioloș a fost ales președintele USR PLUS" (in Romanian). Digi24. 1 October 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  40. ^ Pricop, Sebastian; Dudescu, Denisa (11 October 2021). "Klaus Iohannis l-a desemnat pe Dacian Cioloș prim-ministru". Libertatea. Retrieved 11 October 2021.
  41. ^ "Guvernul Cioloș a fost respins la votul din Parlament" (in Romanian). Digi24. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  42. ^ "Dacian Cioloș, după demisia din fruntea USR: 'Nu puterile mi-au lipsit mie, ci încrederea că putem colabora împreună'" (in Romanian). Libertatea. 7 February 2022. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  43. ^ "Dacian Cioloș a demisionat din USR, alături de alți patru europarlamentari. Ei lansează Partidul REPER" (in Romanian). G4Media. 31 May 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  44. ^ (in Romanian) "Soţia premierului nu este româncă" ("Premier's Wife Is Not Romanian"), Capital.ro, 11 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  45. ^ (in Romanian) Anca Simionescu, "Ce planuri are Dacian Cioloș pentru românii din afara graniţelor" ("Dacian Cioloș' Plans for Romanians Abroad"), Evenimentul Zilei, 5 December 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  46. ^ a b (in Romanian) Radu Eremia, "Cioloş, despre religia sa: Eu sunt creştin-ortodox" ("Cioloş, about His Religion: I Am an Orthodox Christian"), Adevărul, 22 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  47. ^ (in Romanian) Alina Pop, "Dacian Cioloş, 'povestit' de vecinii din satul natal" ("Dacian Cioloş, as Told by Native Village Neighbors"), Adevărul, 15 November 2015; accessed 8 December 2015
  48. ^ (in Romanian) Gabriel Pecheanu, "Premierul Dacian Cioloş a explicat de ce îl cheamă şi Julien" ("Premier Dacian Cioloş Explains Why He Is Also Called Julien"), Mediafax, 1 November 2016; accessed 10 April 2018

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Succeeded by
Preceded by Romanian European Commissioner
Succeeded by
Preceded by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Romania
Succeeded by
Party political offices
New group Leader of Renew Europe
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