Nicușor Dan

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Nicușor Dan

Nicușor Dan candidatura bgiu.jpg
Nicușor Dan in April 2012
Personal details
Born (1969-12-20) 20 December 1969 (age 49)
Făgăraș, Romania
Political partySave Romania Union
Alma materUniversity of Bucharest, École Normale Supérieure, University of Paris

Nicușor Dan (born 20 December 1969) is a Romanian activist, mathematician, member of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania and former leader of the Save Romania Union (USR) political party.


Born in Făgăraş, Brașov County, Nicușor Dan won the first prize in the International Mathematical Olympiads in 1987 and 1988 with perfect scores.[1] He moved to Bucharest at the age of 18 and began studying mathematics at the University of Bucharest.[2]

In 1992, he moved to France to continue studying mathematics: he followed the courses of the École Normale Supérieure, one of the most prestigious French grandes écoles, where he gained a master's degree. Dan completed a PhD in mathematics at Paris-XIII University. He returned to Bucharest in 1998, giving as reasons for his return his inadaptation to the French culture and the desire to change Romania.[3]

Nicușor Dan was one of the creators and the first administrative director of the Școala Normală Superioară București, a university set up on the model of the French École Normale Supérieure within the Romanian Academy's Institute of Mathematics.[3] He is currently a professor of mathematics at the Institute.[4]


In 1998, Dan founded Asociația "Tinerii pentru Acțiune Civică" ("Young People for Civic Action" Association), for which he wanted to gather a thousand young people who wanted to change Romania, which was his stated goal for returning to the country.[3] Despite failing in its goals, the association did organize two forums for young people who studied abroad, in 2000 and 2002, to which a few hundred people participated. As result of these forums, the "Ad Astra" Association of Romanian researchers was created in 2000.[3]

Save Bucharest Association[edit]

Dan founded the Asociația "Salvați Bucureștiul" ("Save Bucharest" Association) in 2006 as a reaction to the demolition of architectural heritage houses and the building of high-rise buildings in protected Bucharest neighborhoods, as well as the diminishing number of green space areas in Bucharest.[3]

In March 2008, the association published the "Bucharest, an urbanistic disaster" Report, which discussed Bucharest's problems and ways to overcome them. In the same year, during the elections, together with other NGOs, the association drafted a Pact for Bucharest, which was signed by all the candidates for mayor of Bucharest.[3] On April Fools' Day in 2012, Dan published a list of 100 electoral promises made by elected mayor of Bucharest Sorin Oprescu which were not kept, including the "Pact for Bucharest".[2][5]

The association was involved in many trials, winning 23 trials against the local authorities of Bucharest. Among them are the cancellation of a project which would have built a water park on 7 hectares of Tineretului Park,[2] saving from demolition a number of heritage buildings on Şoseaua Kiseleff no. 45, and the cancelation of a project which would have built a glass building on top of Palatul Ştirbei on Calea Victoriei.

The association was also able to push some changes in 2009 to the urban planning law.[2]

Nicușor Dan on a bicycle during his electoral campaign for Mayor of Bucharest

2012 local elections[edit]

Nicușor Dan announced his candidacy for Mayor of Bucharest in November 2011 at a cafe on Arthur Verona street, with just a few guests, among which Theodor Paleologu, a historian and Member of Parliament.[4]

Volunteers in Dan's campaign carrying the signatures to the Electoral Bureau

For gathering the 36,000 signatures needed for his candidacy, having the backing of no party, he relied on a network of volunteers organized on Facebook. On 22 April, 15 bands and musicians performed pro-bono at Arenele Romane for Nicușor Dan's campaign in order to help him gather the signatures.[6] During the 12-hour-long concert, volunteers gathered 4000 signatures.[7]

Political positions and program[edit]

Among his proposed projects are the creation of a light rail infrastructure over the existing rail lines in Bucharest, creating an infrastructure for prioritizing public transport over other traffic in intersections, consolidating buildings that are likely to be affected by earthquakes, and clearing illegal buildings from parks.[4]

Dan argues that it is important to incentivize young people to stay in the city, by making it a regional hub in IT, creative industries and higher education, and attracting investors and skilled people from across the region.[8][9]

Support and opinions on his candidacy[edit]

He received support from Andrei Pleşu, who argued that Dan is the only one of the candidates who is interested in the architecture of Bucharest and does not support any utopian initiatives.[10] He also received support from political scientist and Member of the European Parliament Cristian Preda.[11]

Dan gained the support of some journalists who wrote about him in op-eds from several newspapers: Andrei Crăciun of Adevărul saw in him "a Don Quijote untouched by the vulgar lard of undeserved riches" and "a person who works against the system".[12] Florin Negruțiu, the editor-in-chief of Gândul thought he is an "atypical candidate" for Bucharest, the model candidate of the intellectuals; nevertheless, the journalist did not see any chances that Dan would become mayor, because he is "too serious" a candidate, and unlikely to appeal to the masses.[13] Neculai Constantin Munteanu from Radio Free Europe wrote that he supports Dan for his unselfish way of caring about Bucharest and that his opponents are "comedians", for which one can "admire the imposture, ludicrousness, and incompetence".[14]

2016 local elections[edit]

Nicușor Dan ran again for Mayor of Bucharest in 2016. This time, the elections were held in a single round. He gained 30,52% of the total votes, having lost to the socialist candidate, Gabriela Firea, who gained 42,97% of the total votes.[15]


  1. ^ "Nicușor Dan's individual ranking". Retrieved 2016-04-02.
  2. ^ a b c d "Nicuşor Dan: 100 de minciuni sau promisiuni neonorate ale lui Sorin Oprescu", Evenimentul Zilei, 2 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sandra Pralong (ed), De ce m-am întors în România, "10 ani în România", Polirom, 2010, ISBN 9789734617142
  4. ^ a b c ""Piratul" Nicuşor visează naufragiul lui Oprescu", România Liberă, 29 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Nicusor Dan, candidat independent la Primaria Capitalei, prezinta duminica documentul", Revista 22, 30 March 2012.
  6. ^ " Nicusor Dan organizeaza un concert pentru a strange semnaturi pentru inscrierea in cursa electorala", Hotnews, 19 April 2012.
  7. ^ Mircea Toma, "Experienta Nicusor Dan", B-24-FUN", 28 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Nicușor Dan și-a depus candidatura pentru Primăria Generală, dar și pentru Consiliul General, cu 53.000 de semnături",, 30 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Independentul Nicușor Dan și-a depus candidatura la Primăria Capitalei", Evenimentul Zilei, 30 April 2012.
  10. ^ Andrei Pleșu, "Ce fel de primar vrem?", Dilema Veche, nr. 423, 22 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Cristian Preda: La Primăria Capitalei voi alege un independent. Pe Nicușor Dan", Evenimentul Zilei, 2 April 2012.
  12. ^ Andrei Crăciun "Soluţia ignorată", Adevărul, 8 April 2012.
  13. ^ Florin Negruțiu, "Plici!", Gândul, 2 April 2012.
  14. ^ Neculai Constantin Munteanu, "Un primar pentru București", Radio Free Europe, 10 April 2012.
  15. ^ , "Rezultatele finale la alegerile locale 2016, în Bucureşti şi în ţară", Gândul, 10 June 2016.

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