Norica Nicolai and Renate Weber, Deputies in the European Parliament, were kicked out of the National Liberal Party (PNL) on Wednesday, by a decision of the Permanent National Bureau (BPN). The decision was reached by the National Bureau of old PNL, with one abstaining, and must be validated by the management of new PNL.
The main argument of the decision was that both Renate Weber and Norica Nicolai violated the decision of PNL to join the family of the European People’s Party.
On July 7, 2014, Norica Nicolai joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament, and Renate Weber did the same in November.
PNL was accepted in the group of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament on June 4, 2014 and, since September 11, last year, Liberals have become members of the EPP.
Norica Nicolai showed no surprise related to this decision by Liberals and declared that not even being excluded from the party makes her take into account the option to join EPP. “I was notified on this decision reached by my colleagues in PNL. I keep being confident that I reached the right political decision when I stayed in ALDE. I definitely do not intend to revisit my initial decision and all I will do is respect this decision by PNL”, Norica Nicolai declared for stiripesurse.ro.
Norica Nicolai mentioned on Wednesday evening at Antena 3 that the decision was predictable.
“It was a predictable decision for this new party. (…) Finally, I am a free person. Never in my life have I made any compromises. I explained it at the PNL Congress as well that I do not agree with this fusion. I will never say otherwise. It is a gesture of political honesty. I do not have anything else to comment regarding this decision. Obviously, I will remain an independent MEP, member and Vice-President of ALDE”, Nicolai declared.
She also mentioned that she has never attended any reunion of PNL.
“I never attended any reunion of PNL and I think that the decision I have reached today, after they challenged me and Ms. Weber to move to EPP, is a decision PNL assumes and I respect”, Norica Nicolai added.
Last July, MEP Norica Nicolai joined the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament, a group Romanian Liberals had belonged to until the party decided to move to EPP. “I joined the ALDE group because I had run under their logo for EP elections and gained the votes of Romanians as a candidate of ALDE, and I intend to keep this position”, Norica Nicolai explained her decision. In the reunion of the PNL Permanent Delegation, where this decision was reached, she abstained from voting. Afterwards, she criticised this decision in press.
Renate Weber also confirmed the expulsion from PNL. “This is it, I would have loved to have a conversation with my colleagues in the party. I sent an explanatory message and I received a warning, a deadline”, Weber declared for Antena 3, mentioned that she did not agree with the move of PNL to EPP, announced by Crin Antonescu immediately after the elections for the European Parliament, declaring that she wished to keep consequent with the things she had said in the electoral campaign.
“I have heard about moving to EPP from Crin Antonescu’s press conference, on the day that followed elections. It is not that I omitted to discuss with my colleagues, it is that PNL had completed all negotiations with EPP in a form that lacked transparency, and we were faced with an accomplished fact”, Renate Weber mentioned.
Afterwards, in a press statement, Renate Weber explained that, although she is no longer a member of PNL, she will continue supporting the party where she had developed as a politicia and its initiatives, “when they suit my values and principles”. “I will continue to express my disagreement to the actions and initiatives that I think are inappropriate to these values and principles. As for the decision of my belonging to the ALDE group, I find it natural, because the values of this group are the values I have always struggled for and I will continue struggling for, by any assumption of position and vote, but also because many of the people who had voted PNL at the 2014 elections for the European Parliament also did it because we promised that we will stay by the side of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament”. As for the decision of my belonging to the ALDE group, it is natural, as far as the values of this group are the values I have always struggled for and I will continue struggling for, with every assumption of position and vote, but also because many of the people who had voted for PNL at the EP elections in 2014 have done it because we promised we will continue besides Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament”, says Renate Weber, who intends to remain an independent member of EPP, just like Norica Nicolai.
PNL’s Stroe: Weber and Nicolai violated the status of the party
The decision regarding the expulsion of MEPs Renate Weber and Norica Nicolai from the party was made by the former leaders of PNL because they had violated the status, Ionut Stroe, Liberal Party spokesperson declared. The final decision will be made by the Political National Bureau of the new party, due to reunite on June 10. “It is a political measure, of clearing out de relations both MEP have with PNL. It is a notorious fact that they had joined and supported different political structures than the ones PNL belonged to”, Stroe declared.
Crin Antonescu: Things returned to normality
Former PNL President Crin Antonescu’s decision – Antonescu was the politician who had coordinated the move of PNL from ALDE to EPP in the European Parliament annoyes Liberal MEPs Norica Nicolai and Renate Weber, who refused to join the new group and remained with ALDE. Due to their refusal a year after the decision of PNL, the two were expelled from the party.
Crin Antonescu thinks that the Liberals’ decision to dismiss Nicolai and Weber from the party is correct.
“I have heard it now. I did not contribute to this decision, I do not know the route that had led there, but I think none of it is surprising. Everybody has the right to an option. The departure of PNL was, I think, consumed a few months ago, from the moment they joined a different European party. Perhaps, after several attempts have been made to convince them to return to the party, the leadership terminated a sort of unacceptable political bigamy.
The two ladies, and I can guarantee for Ms. Renate Weber, belonged, just like the rest of PNL members, to EPP, and afterwards, shey joined ALDE. It is their option. There is migration in the Romanian Parliament and there is migration in the European Parliament, as well.
PNL cannot keep people who belong to a different political group. I think that, now, things have returned to normality”, Antonescu declared for B1 TV.
ALDE President, harsh criticsm on Antonescu and PNL
The President of ALDE harshly criticised the decision of PNL and attacked Crin Antonescu, the one who, as President of Liberals, initiated the party’s move to EPP.
“It is unbelievable that former PNL leader Crin Antonescu accuses Ms. Nicolai and Ms. Weber of political bigamy. If anyone was disloyal in relation with the electorate, it was Mr. Antonescu and PNL. They promoted themselves to voters on an ALDE list and decided, on the day that followed the EP elections, to join EPP. I was seated near Crin Antonescu at a press conference, in Bucharest, in April 2014, when he denied any negotiation with EPP, even before the start of the electoral campaign for European elections. It this is not an obvious example of lack of honesty, I do not now any other example we could use. We are happy to have Norica Nicolai and Renate Weber by our side. ALDE is the political group all Liberals in Romania should belong to!”, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE President declared in a press release published on stiripesurse.ro.