According to the most recent opinion polls, the Nationalists climbed into the second position in Romania. This is the first time when AUR – Alliance for the Union of Romanians, exceeds 20% in the voters’ preferences. No surprises here, disregard that is shocking news for some. Nationalism is rising in Romania, as we already mentioned. This comes along with a rising in Euroscepticism in Romania.
According to the poll results conducted by INSCOP, the situation looks like this:
- PSD (the Socialists): 34.4%
- AUR (the Nationalists): 20.6%
- PNL (the Liberals): 16.6%
- USR (the Reformists): 12.5%
An explanation for the rise of the Nationalists is how the Romanian Government handled the vaccination campaigns and restrictions. Romania is where some of the most rigid restrictions infuriated the population and increased the resistance against the pro-vaccination movements.
In March 2020, the Government considered properly taking out the militaries with armoured vehicles and machine guns on the streets as a deterrent to keep the population inside. At that moment, there were barely 100 cases of infections a day. With 30,000 daily cases, the same Government, formed by the Socialists and the Liberals, hesitate to take drastic measures.
The fear of not offering AUR a boost in the polls is also behind the decision to postpone the implementation of the so-called green pass in Romania. In December, on the 21st, AUR called protesters in Bucharest, in front of the Parliament, broke through the large gates, jumped over the fence and reached the steps of the building. The protest wanted to prevent the MPs from adopting the green pass in the country. Successfully, we might add.
AUR members are portrayed as anti-European, but their public actions and speeches are rather nationalist than anti-European. Meanwhile, both the Socialists and the Liberals adopted vital pro-European and pro-NATO speeches regarding vaccination and European policies.
It’s not the merit of AUR but rather the mistakes of the parties in power in Romania. The Socialists and the Liberals must understand that politics is not only about obeying orders coming from Brussels. Listening to your own people is an essential quality in democracy; it’s not populism. This is what AUR does. This is how the Nationalists have grown so far.