Analysis report

The nominations submitted for the European Parliament elections on June 9: who the candidates are and why the law is flawed

Political parties, electoral alliances, and independent candidates could submit nominations until April 10. For the 2024 elections, 15 parties/alliances and 7 independent candidates registered. The deadline for announcing the final nominations is April 29. EFOR has analyzed the data available up to this point on the Central Electoral Bureau (CEB) website. This report does not include the final list of approved nominations but aims to highlight some of the characteristics of the lists proposed by parties and alliances.

 

By 30 April, the final date for approving the lists of candidates, 3 parties (Partidul Oamenilor Liberi, PNT Maniu Mihalache, Noua Românie) and 3 independent candidates (Petru Mândru, Ilie Mustătea, Paul Jurma) were rejected.

Analysis of published data

  • The number of supporting signatures for each candidacy set of required documents is not accessible to the public, which reduces the transparency of the process. – EFOR collected the available data in the public space (see in the report).
  • More electoral signs (26) were registered than the number of candidacies submitted. Among those who did not submit candidacies are Pro Romania, Partidul Acum, Partidul Patrioților Români, Partidul Oltenilor, or Partidul Alianța Național Creștină.
  • The candidates’ dates of birth have not been published – data that could be relevant for statistics and to understand the profile of proposed candidates. However, the names of the parents have been published, whose relevance seems lower. The gender of the candidates is not disclosed. EFOR requested this information from the CEB, but we did not receive a specific response to this request, and the BEC invoked the principle of minimising data.

Statistics regarding candidates

  • Fifteen parties/alliances and seven independent candidates have submitted candidacies. At the time of publishing this report, the lists of PSD and SOS Romania have been approved by the CEB.
  • Political parties and electoral alliances have proposed 542 candidates, compared to 695 in 2019 and 580 in 2014 (including independents).
  • Looking at all elections starting from 2014, we can observe that most parties put forward candidates in 2019, while in 2014 and 2024 the number is similar, at 15. The number of independents was similar, with the note that in 2014 one additional independent candidate applied.
  • Regarding the finalized candidacies, in 2014, the number remained unchanged from those submitted, while in 2019, the number decreased from 23 to 13.
  • In 2024, nine parties/alliances submitted the maximum number of candidates, which is 43. At the other extreme, Partidul Oamenilor Liberi submitted only one candidate.

 

Women’s participation in the electoral process

  • For the June elections, parties and electoral alliances have put forward 171 female candidates (32%) and 364 male candidates (68%). In 2019, 31% of candidates were women, so there is no increase in 2024. Currently, 5 out of 33 MEPs are women (15%).
  • Additionally, six out of seven independent candidates are men.
  • The majority of female candidates are found on the lists of REPER, AUR, and SOS Romania (39%), followed by PSD+PNL (37%). The Alianța Dreapta Unită registered 35% female candidates. At UDMR, the percentage of female candidates is 30%, and at PUSL, it is 23%.
  • At the party level, the most balanced are USR (12 F/11 M) and PSD (12 F/11 M). Only a quarter of liberal candidates are women – 5 out of 20. At UDMR, 13 out of 43 candidates are women.
  • Data analysis shows that 10 out of 15 parties/alliances have included a woman in the top three positions. In the Alianța Dreapta Unită, the first woman on the list is in fifth place (Cristina – Mădălina Prună), and in the PSD+PNL Alliance, she is in third place (Gabriela Firea). At AUR, the highest-ranked woman is in fourth place – Teodorescu Maria – Georgiana.
  • Three parties have proposed women in the first position: SOS Romania, PAD, and ARS. PSD-PNL have publicly declared that they will put a woman in the first position, but the list is led by MEP Mihai Tudose.
  • REPER is the only party that has used a zipper list (based on sex), meaning it alternated male and female candidates (at least in the first half of the list).

 

Statistics regarding the occupation of candidates

  • The most common occupations are: retiree (54), director/manager/administrator, deputy (23), entrepreneur, lawyer, MEP (20).
  • In the case of PSD+PNL, a quarter of the candidates are already MEPs (12), 5 are directors, 5 are deputies, three are state secretaries, and 2 each are senators, vice-presidents of the county council, managers, or professors. These data indicate that the PSD+PNL lists rely on candidates who are already in political positions in administration.
  • At ADU, 7 are deputies, and 2 are MEPs. Six candidates fall under the director category, and 3 under manager. There are also a mayor, a deputy mayor, and a senator running.
  • AUR has listed five university professors and 3 associate professors, five deputies, five lawyers, and four directors from the public or private sector. The list also includes an MEP, a senator, and three parliamentary advisers.
  • In the case of men, the majority are retirees (42), directors, managers, administrators, entrepreneurs, or MEPs (18). 17 of them are deputies. As for women, most are retirees (12), managers (10), or teachers or directors (9).
  • Regarding professions, the most common categories are engineer (various types – 18%), economist (16%), or lawyer (12%).

 

Verification of support signatures and validation of candidacies

    • The number of signatures is among the most prohibitive in the EU and should be reduced. The number of signatures should not be a barrier, but rather evidence that parties or candidates have reasonable support.
    • In the absence of a realistic verification and validation procedure, the large number of signatures only artificially reduces the number of competitors and advantages large parties, which have resources. Potential irregularities are difficult to prove anyway (more details in the report).
    • The verification procedure should be public and accessible in advance.
    • The BEC should publish alongside the proposed list of candidacies the number of signatures declared by the political party or independent candidate.
    • The law does not allow observation of this process – EFOR requested access to the verification procedures, and the BEC responded that there are no regulations allowing access.

 

Proiect cofinanțat de Uniunea Europeană. Opiniile exprimate aparțin autorilor și nu reflectă neapărat cele ale Uniunii Europene sau ale Agenției Executive Europene pentru Educație și Cultură (EACEA). Nici Uniunea Europeană și nici autoritatea care acordă finanțarea nu pot fi considerate responsabile pentru acestea.


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