Romania’s Social Democrats hire prominent Brussels lobbyists to clean up image
The ruling Social Democrat party (PSD) in Romania has hired Brussels lobbyists to clean up its battered image in the EU press.
Poltico reports that the PSD in April hired Rud Pedersen Public Affairs, a consultancy with offices across Nordic countries and 10 staff in Brussels, which began reaching out to international media in an effort to balance what it says is a skewed perspective about the party and the situation in Romania.
According to the EU lobbying register, the deal with the party is worth between €25,000 and €49,999.
The EU lobbying registry describes the contract as being with “FTR15 on behalf of the Romanian PSD Party.” FTR15 is the company of London-based consultant Zhenya Harrison, who also works with the PSD.
The PSD, which governs in a coalition with Romania’s Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), has faced growing criticism for backtracking on the fight against corruption.
The PES decided to freeze relations with the PSD — one of its member parties — at least until June. Romania’s western allies also recently issued a warning over the government’s proposed legal changes.
Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, the Party of European Socialists’ (PES) lead candidate in the European election, warned Romania in a letter earlier this month that Brussels is ready to escalate its actions against the country if the government pushes through any more laws perceived as weakening the independence of the judiciary and giving impunity to high-level corruption. The move came after the Commission issued several warnings on rule of law in the country.