Save Romania Union
The Save Romania Union (Romanian: Uniunea Salvați România, USR) was a progressive-liberal political party in Romania, the party was founded following the success of the Save Bucharest Union (USB) party in the 2016 local elections. After being officially registered as a political party in 2016, it united with the local USB and Union for Codlea parties, thus gaining most of its initial membership base from the two latter parties.
|Leader||Nicușor Dan (first)|
Dan Barna (last)
|Founded||21 August 2016|
|Dissolved||16 April 2021|
|Merged into||USR PLUS|
|Headquarters||Blvd. Aviatorilor 9, Bucharest|
|Youth wing||USR Tineret|
|National affiliation||2020 USR-PLUS Alliance|
|European affiliation||Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe|
|European Parliament group||Renew Europe|
|Slogan||O Românie fără hoție (A Romania without thievery)|
17 / 136
|Chamber of Deputies|
38 / 330
3 / 33
20 / 3,176
36 / 1,340
856 / 39,900
4 / 18[a]
a. ^ + a deputy prime minister
Between 2016 and 2020, it was the third largest political party in the Romanian Parliament after the 2016 legislative elections and ran on an anti-corruption platform. In 2019, it established a political alliance with the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) with which it eventually merged in 2021 in order to form USR PLUS, currently Romania's third largest party both in the Parliament and locally at nationwide level.
USR continued the political project Save Bucharest Union (Romanian: Uniunea Salvați Bucureștiul) at the national level, established on 1 July 2015. At the Save Bucharest Union (USR) kick off conference talking about goals of the new movement, Nicușor Dan stated:
"We are addressing to an entire category of people disappointed on how politics was done so far and, in Bucharest, we are addressing to those cores citizens who began to fight for their rights. (...) We will continue fighting with the public administration of Bucharest. We will talk any time about bizarre spending of the public money, about illegalities, or about the comfort of living or lack of it. We will also come with our vision and our project for Bucharest. We are not distinguishable in the ideological context. What we want to do is very simple, there are several problems we want to solve"
Besides Nicușor Dan, the founding members of the Save Bucharest Union were Ioan Miloș, Alina Vernon, Dan Podaru, and Argentina Traicu, the last two have retreated as founding members and from the Initiative Committee in January 2016.
On 23 February 2016, Nicușor Dan published on his Facebook account the document„Programul pentru București al candidatului Nicușor Dan (Uniunea Salvați Bucureștiul) la Primăria Generală” ("The Bucharest program of the candidate Nicușor Dan (Save Bucharest Union) at the General City Hall"), which he submitted to the public debate.
On 21 August 2016, Save Bucharest Union (USR) merged with the Union for Codlea and Save Romania Union, the new formation bearing the name Save Romania Union, and participated in the parliamentary elections held in 2016. During the merger congress, Nicușor Dan was elected the president of the party, the vice presidents became Cristian Ghica, Clotilde Armand, Dumitru Dobrev, Roxana Wring, and Erwin Albu. For the legislative elections, Nicușor Dan has predicted at least 10% of votes for the new formation. Officially, the merger process has been hampered by numerous appeals, filed by PSD, PER, and private individuals. By a decision of December 29, 2016 issued by the Bucharest Court of Appeal, the merger remained final.
The fifth National Congress of the USR was held in Timișoara on 14–15 September 2019. At this congress, the leader Dan Barna was reconfirmed as president of the party, at the same time being elected nine vice-presidents, as well as the new members of the National Bureau and the members of the National Commissions of Arbitration and Censors.
On 5 October 2016, the Save Romania Union launched its political program, with nine chapters on the following areas: transparency, industry, agriculture, education, culture, health, infrastructure, environmental protection and foreign policy. USR militates for maximum transparency, industrialization with modern means, support for small farmers, education reform, a new paradigm in the cultural field, granting 6% of GDP for Health, construction of highways and infrastructure in collaboration with European partners, environmental protection in particular by stopping deforestation, as well as close cooperation with the European Union, NATO, and support for the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. The president of the USR, Nicușor Dan, said that the program is still in public debate, and could be improved in the nearest future, according to the society's suggestions and recommendations.
In October 2016, the USR declared the public support for the prime minister Dacian Cioloș for a new prime minister mandate, following the December's parliamentary elections. On 26 October 2016, the Save Romania Union (USR) has announced several candidates for the parliamentary elections in 2016. Mihai Goțiu, journalist and civic activist, writer Dan Lungu, former ministers from Cioloș Vlad Vladrescu's cabinet and Cristian Ghinea, with former state secretaries of the cabinet have joined the project.
Ideology and issuesEdit
Dan Barna, the president of USR, characterized the party as "generally centre-right", leaning centre-right on economic policy and centrist in terms of social policy. However, USR has a substantial amount of both progressive and conservative members. He compared the party with Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche!, while mentioning that the key difference between the two is that USR predominantly consists of people who have not been involved in politics before.
Since its foundation USR has supported the anti-corruption drive in Romania and the activity of the National Anticorruption Directorate. USR was against the modifications to the justice laws initiated by the government coalition PSD-ALDE and requested the rejection of OUG 13 (see also the 2017–2019 Romanian protests).
In 2018, USR helped and supported the initiators of Fără Penali în Funcții Publice ("No Convicts in Public Office") civic campaign, whose objective is to bar the persons convicted to final imprisonment sentences for intentional offences from being elected to local government, the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate, or the office of President of Romania by amending the Article 37 of the Romanian Constitution (which regulates the nomination rules). USR and volunteers collected more than 1 million signatures from eligible voters.
USR supports the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) led by Maia Sandu and supports the European path of Moldova. At the June 2018 elections for the Chișinău mayoralty, USR supported the candidate of the pro-European forces, more specifically Andrei Năstase. Subsequently, with the invalidation of the mandate by Judge Rodica Berdilo, Dan Barna stated:
"The invalidation of the vote for putting Andrei Năstase into office in the Chișinău mayoralty shows what can happen when corruption is the rule of a state. The decision of the Chișinău court shows that the interests of the oligarchs do not take into account the democratic processes and can steal the vote of the citizens. What is happening at the moment in Chișinău shows how fierce the fight for democracy and fair justice is in both Romania and Moldova."
USR's position on LGBT issues is not clearly defined. The party leader, Dan Barna, declared: "Gay marriage is not yet a subject for the public agenda, there is no initiative promoting same-sex marriage. Maybe in 20, 30 years next generations will take care of this problem, but for now, this is not a priority."
However, USR was the only parliamentary party in Romania that did not support the constitutional referendum, proposed by Coaliția pentru Familie (CpF) and supported by the Romanian Orthodox Church. The constitutional amendment proposed to change the definition of family in order to prohibit the same-sex marriage, however it failed, as the turnout was only 21.1%, below the required voter turnout threshold of 30%. USR considered the referendum a way to divide the Romanian people and to distract the attention from the real issues Romania currently faces, such as corruption.
USR supported the inclusion of the Roşia Montană site in UNESCO World Heritage. At the 42nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held in Manama, Bahrain, the government's representative, Ștefan Răzvan Rab, state secretary of the Ministry of Culture, in Bahrain, on June 24 to July 4, asked for postponement on behalf of Romania including the Roșia Montană Mining Cultural Landscape in the World Heritage List until the completion of the judicial dispute with Gabriel Resources, an unprecedented fact in the history of UNESCO. USR Senator Vlad Alexandrescu, under whose Ministry of Culture 2015–2016 Roșia Montană was included in the UNESCO indicative list, accused the PSD-ALDE government coalition of treason, writing in a post on 2 July 2018 on Facebook:
"It is Romania's most shameful moment since being a member of UNESCO. All the other states of the world carry a fierce negotiation these days so that their monuments are included in the UNESCO list, and each success is welcomed with cheers and cheers. In contrast to the civilized world is Romania. The only state that has campaigned for its monument not to be on this list. A state seized by a bunch of villains who do not give a damn about the importance of heritage. All they want is to leave UNESCO in peace with their ideas, to make a crater over Roșia Montană so that they can fill their pockets. Of course, the rest of the states know this, not everyone is as "professional" as our government. And so we will be known from now on, those who sell their patrimony for the welfare of their politicians. What you have done here, members and representatives of the Government, is treason. You have acted so that our patrimony is reduced to a crater in the near future. And this will not be without consequences, I promise you!"
USR supports Romania's membership of the European Union and is in favor of a joint European external policy and military and of Romania's accession to the Schengen Area. While not being part of a European political party yet, USR has had negotiations with Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) and to a lesser extent with the European People's Party and the European Greens. USR's hesitation to join ALDE is due to the fact that a Romanian party they vehemently oppose (the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) is part of that European party and bears the same acronym.
born – died
|Portrait||Term start||Term end||Duration|
|28 July 2016||1 June 2017||10 months and 4 days|
|1 June 2017||28 October 2017||4 months and 27 days|
|28 October 2017||Incumbent||3 years, 10 months and 14 days|
30 / 329
13 / 136
|3rd||Opposition to PSD-ALDE government (2017–2019)|
|Opposition to PSD minority government (2019)|
|Supporting PNL minority government (2019–2020)|
38 / 330
17 / 136
(within USR PLUS)
|PNL-USR PLUS-UDMR government (2020–present)|
|Election||County Councilors (CJ)||Mayors||Local Councilors (CL)||Popular vote||%||Position|
15 / 1,434
0 / 3,186
39 / 40,067
|143,544||1.73|| 7th |
36 / 1,340
20 / 3,176
856 / 39,900
|696.478||8.89|| 3rd |
(within USR PLUS)
|Election||Candidate||First round||Second round|
|2019||Dan Barna1||1,384,450||3rd||not qualified|
1 Dan Barna was the candidate endorsed by the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance.
|Election||Votes||%||MEPs||Position||EU Party||EP Group|
4 / 32
(within 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance)1
|—||Renew Europe (RE)|
1 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance members: USR and PLUS (4 MEPs).
- "Raport Extindere iulie 2019". www.usr.ro.
- "Leader of Romanian anti-corruption party resigns". POLITICO. June 1, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "Romania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
- "In Romania 165 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 69 seats in the Senate seats necessary for a majority". pollofpolls.eu. 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "USR repară după PSD. Policy brief: Cum va reforma USR-ul taxarea și ANAF-ul" (PDF). Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Ilie, Luiza (December 6, 2016). "New progressive party gives Romanian centrists a chance in election". Reuters – via www.reuters.com.
- "Coaliția pentru Familie, motiv de ceartă în USR". May 29, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Întrebări frecvente".
- Dragoman, Dragoș (July 2, 2020). ""Save Romania" Union and the Persistent Populism in Romania". Problems of Post-Communism. 68 (4): 303–314. doi:10.1080/10758216.2020.1781540. S2CID 225582362 – via Taylor and Francis+NEJM.
- Gotev, Georgi (February 21, 2018). "Dan Barna: Save Romania Union similar to Macron's En Marche".
- "Dan Barna la RFI: Congresul USR, perfect statutar; riscul ruperii partidului e nesemnificativ". RFI Mobile. October 30, 2017.
- "Rezultatele referendumului din USR: 91% dintre votanți s-au pronunțat pentru poziționarea doctrinară ca partid de centru dreapta". G4Media.ro. February 8, 2020.
- "ALDE Party Council meets in Zürich". ALDE. June 28, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.[permanent dead link]
- "USB, USR si Uniunea pentru Codlea au fuzionat duminica intr-un eveniment cu usile inchise" (in Romanian). August 21, 2016. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "Nicuşor Dan a depus actele pentru înfiinţarea partidului politic Uniunea Salvaţi Bucureștiul", Evenimentul Zilei, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "UNIUNEA SALVATI BUCURESTIUL", archive.vn, archived from the original on August 19, 2015, retrieved March 9, 2020
- I. C., "Dan Podaru si Argentina Traicu se retrag din calitatea de membri fondatori ai Uniunii Salvati Bucurestiul, a lui Nicusor Dan – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Nicușor Dan (USB) propune un program pentru București", archive.vn, archived from the original on March 8, 2016, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Comunicat – Uniunea Salvaţi Bucureștiul", archive.vn, archived from the original on October 27, 2016, retrieved March 9, 2020
- G. S., "USB, USR si Uniunea pentru Codlea au fuzionat duminica intr-un eveniment cu usile inchise – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Nicuşor Dan: Peste 60 de contestaţii au fost depuse, în judeţe, la listele de candidaţi USR", Agerpres.ro, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Nicuşor Dan: Fuziunea dintre USR şi USB a rămas definitivă prin decizia CAB", Agerpres.ro, retrieved March 9, 2020
- G. S. (October 28, 2017), "Cine este Dan Barna, noul presedinte al Uniunii Salvati Romania: Expert in fonduri europene si oponent al initiativei Coalitiei pentru Familie de modificare a Constitutiei – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "AMENDAMENTE STATUT USR" (PDF), Congres.usr.ro, retrieved March 9, 2020
- N. O. (September 15, 2019), "USR anunță oficial vicepreședinții aleși. Echipa lui Barna are majoritate – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "USR și-a ales conducerea. Care este componența echipei președintelui Dan Barna – Politic", HotNews, September 15, 2019, retrieved March 9, 2020
- N. O. (September 14, 2019), "Dan Barna a fost validat pentru un nou mandat de președinte USR – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Revoluția cetățenilor – Puterea în mâna ta! Program de Guvernare participativ – Uniunea Salvați România", Uniunea Salvați România, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Programul politic al USR în 9 puncte", Digi24, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Dan Tapalaga (October 5, 2016), "Cum se defineste ideologic USR-ul lui Nicusor Dan prin programul politic – Opinii", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Iulia Rosca (October 5, 2016), "USR si-a lansat programul politic. Nicusor Dan: "O directie – coruptie si de administratie publica, de reformare a statului roman; a doua directie – dezvoltarea economica sustenabila" – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Iulia Rosca (October 19, 2016), "Nicusor Dan a lansat sloganul de campanie al USR: "Dacian Ciolos, in sfarsit ai cu cine" – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Camelia Badea, "USR si-a lansat candidatii: Fostii ministri Cristian Ghinea si Vlad Alexandrescu, pe liste. Ciolos, viitor premier", Ziare.com, retrieved March 9, 2020
- C. I. (October 25, 2016), "Jurnalistul si activistul Mihai Gotiu va candida pe listele USR Cluj la Senat. Gotiu, adversar al gazelor de sist si al proiectului de la Rosia Montana – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Alina Neagu (October 21, 2016), "Scriitorul Dan Lungu va candida pe listele USR la alegerile parlamentare, ocupand primul loc la Senat la Iasi – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Iulia Rosca (October 19, 2016), "Fostul ministru al culturii Vlad Alexandrescu va candida la alegeri din partea USR/ Partidul Oamenilor Liberi din Targu Mures, colaborare cu USR pentru alegeri – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- Iulia Rosca (October 26, 2016), "Cristian Ghinea, singurul ministru din guvernul Ciolos care candideaza din partea USR: "De azi va cer votul. Termitele trebuie oprite sa ne darame casa in cap"/ Alti sapte secretari de stat pe listele USR – Politic", HotNews, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Nicușor Dan și Clotilde Armand îi prezintă pe membrii cabinetului Cioloș care vor candida pentru USR la alegerile parlamentare din 11 decembrie", Privesc.Eu, retrieved March 9, 2020
- "Nicusor Dan: USR are doua probleme: conflictul dintre progresisti si conservatori si lipsa de colegialitate si de incredere". Stirileprotv.ro. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "Fără Penali în Funcții Publice ("No Convicts in Public Office")" (in Romanian). Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "USR: Iniţiativa cetăţenească "Fără penali în funcţii publice" a strâns peste 1.000.000 de semnături ("USR: The Civic Initiative 'No Convicts in Public Office' Collected Over 1 Million Signatures")" (in Romanian). August 21, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "10 priorități".
- "Republica Moldova".
- "Dan Barna îl felicită pe Andrei Năstase pentru câștigarea alegerilor la Primăria Chișinăului și spune că "greul abia începe" – Hotnews Mobile". mobile.hotnews.ro.
- "Alegerile pentru Chisinau au fost invalidate. Dodon jubileaza, iar USR sustine ca asta se intampla cand coruptia e regula". Ziare.com.
- "Referendumul naţional pentru revizuirea Constituţiei din 6 și 7 octombrie 2018" (PDF).
- "Prezența vot". Biroul Electoral Central. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- "Romanian constitutional ban on same sex marriage fails on low vote turnout". Reuters. October 7, 2018.
- "USR indeamna alegatorii sa boicoteze referendumul pentru familie ("USR Urges the Voters to Boycott the Family Referendum")" (in Romanian). September 18, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "Arhive România în lume – Uniunea Salvați România". Uniunea Salvați România (in Romanian). Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "Ghinea: USR are discuții active cu partidul european ALDE". G4Media.ro (in Romanian). June 15, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "Dan Barna, President of the USR: 'USR Political Committee decision: we will take part in the creation of the Liberals & Democrats + En Marche new political group in EP. Time to renew Europe!'". Twitter. May 6, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
- "UPDATE ALDE România s-a retras din ALDE Europa - Politic - HotNews.ro". HotNews (in Romanian). May 30, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- https://www.aldeparty.eu/news/alde-party-council-meets-zurich[permanent dead link]
- "Nicușor Dan și-a anunțat oficial demisia din USR. E dispus să se întoarcă în anumite condiții". Digi24. June 1, 2017.
- Oana Popescu, ed. (June 1, 2017). "Elek Levente, președinte interimar al USR". AGERPRES.
- G. S., ed. (October 28, 2017). "Dan Barna a fost ales președinte USR: Voi lua legătura cu filialele care nu au venit la congres pentru a închide această zbatere în care a fost partidul". HotNews.