Romania’s first election to the European parliament is expected to deal a blow to the government ahead of next year’s national parliamentary poll. Romanians are choosing 35 MEP’s to represent them in Brussels and Strasbourg. The vote is widely seen as a key test of the popularity of the main parties. Polls suggest the centrist Democrats will get around 40 percent and the governing Liberal party only about 13 percent.
Romania joined the EU last January amid promises to continue efforts to eliminate high level corruption. It remains a major concern for Europe and ordinary Romanians. Transparency International, an organisation that monitors corruption, ranks Romania as the EU member most severely affected by the problem.