Dacian Cioloș (Romanian pronunciation: [datʃiˈan ˈtʃʲoloʃ]; born 27 July 1969) is a Romanian engineer and politician. In the Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu cabinet, he was Agriculture Minister from October 2007 to December 2008. In November 2009, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso nominated him to be the next Agriculture Commissioner, a post he assumed in February 2010 and held until his term expired in November 2014.
Background and government career
He was born in Zalău and after graduating from the agro-industrial high school in Șimleu Silvaniei in 1987, attended the Horticulture faculty of the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca from 1989 to 1994, graduating as a horticultural engineer. 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 earned a master's in 1997 and a doctorate in 2006. He has belonged to the agricultural think tank Groupe de Bruges since 2000. His wife Valérie is French. Although in Romania Cioloș is a political independent, he is affiliated with the European People's Party (EPP) at the European level.
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. Following the resignation of Decebal Traian Remeș due to a corruption scandal, 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. Early in 2009, he returned to work at the Agriculture and Rural Development DG, and that July, President Traian Băsescu named him to head a one-year commission looking at public agricultural development policies.
Nomination and term as EU Commissioner for Agriculture
In October 2009, the Emil Boc government, which hopes to secure the Agriculture portfolio in the second Barroso Commission, nominated Cioloș as Romania's EU Commissioner. The proposal was criticised by the opposition Liberals and Social Democrats, 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 believe the position ought to go to a Social Democrat. Boc's cabinet did indeed collapse the day after nominating Cioloș, when it lost a motion of no confidence.
At the end of November, Barroso nominated Cioloș to the Agriculture position, observing that his was the "most competent" name of those submitted for consideration, and lauding his "modern vision" of agriculture and rural development. 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". England and Wales' National Farmers Union as well as Scotland's NFU welcomed the appointment. Italian Minister of Agriculture Luca Zaia and French President Nicolas Sarkozy likewise congratulated Cioloș. 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.
After winning approval from the European Parliament in February 2010, Cioloş 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.
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- Joshua Chaffin (27 November 2009). "Barroso spells out new Commission’s agenda". Financial Times.
- Philip Clarke (27 November 2009). "Romanian takes EU's top agriculture job". Farmers Weekly.
- Alistair Driver (27 November 2009). "Romanian to take over as EU farm chief". Farmers Guardian.
- Invalid language code. "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
- Invalid language code. "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
- Invalid language code. 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
- "Euro MPs back new European Commission", BBC News Online, 9 February 2010; accessed 20 September 2010
- Mandate at the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner's site; accessed 20 September 2010
Decebal Traian Remeș
|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
| Succeeded by|
|Romanian European Commissioner
| Succeeded by|
Mariann Fischer Boel
|European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
| Succeeded by|