|70th Prime Minister of Romania|
|Assumed office |
25 November 2021
|Preceded by||Florin Cîțu|
7 December 2020 – 23 December 2020
|Preceded by||Ludovic Orban|
|Succeeded by||Florin Cîțu|
|Minister of National Defence|
4 November 2019 – 25 November 2021
|Prime Minister||Ludovic Orban|
|Preceded by||Gabriel-Beniamin Leș|
|Succeeded by||Vasile Dîncu|
|Senator of Romania|
|Assumed office |
21 December 2020
|Chief of the Romanian General Staff|
1 January 2015 – 28 October 2019
|Preceded by||Ștefan Dănilă|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Petrescu|
|Born||7 February 1967|
Plenița, Dolj County, Romania
|Political party||National Liberal Party (2020–present)|
|Branch/service||Romanian Land Forces|
|Years of service||1985–2019|
Nicolae Ionel Ciucă ([nikoˈla.e joˈnel ˈt͡ʃʲukə]; born 7 February 1967) is a Romanian politician and retired general of the Romanian Land Forces. He has been serving as Prime Minister of Romania since 25 November 2021 after receiving widespread parliamentary support.
Ciucă has participated in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was the Chief of the Romanian General Staff from 2015 to 2019, and from 2019 to 2021, he was the Minister of Defence. He briefly led as caretaker of the government between 7 and 23 December 2020, in the aftermath of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban's resignation. On 21 October 2021, he was appointed by President Klaus Iohannis to form a new government, following the dissolution of the Cîțu Cabinet and rejection of Dacian Cioloș as Prime Minister, but subsequently gave up his mandate. Iohannis nominated him again on 22 November 2021.
Early life and military career
Nicolae Ciucă was born in Plenița, a commune in Dolj County. He graduated from the Tudor Vladimirescu Military Lyceum in Craiova in 1985 and from the Nicolae Bălcescu Land Forces Academy in Sibiu in 1988.
During his military career, he participated in missions in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Iraq. From 2001 to 2004 he was commander of the 26th Infantry Battalion (also known as the Red Scorpions), with which he participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Ancient Babylon in Iraq. In May 2004, at Nasiriyah, Iraq, he led Romanian troops in an armed engagement, reportedly the first battle in which Romanians were "active combatants" since World War II. He was promoted to the rank of General on 25 October 2010.
In 2015, he replaced Ștefan Dănilă as Chief of the Romanian General Staff. His 4-year post under this office was extended for another year by the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in 2018. This caused a conflict between Iohannis, the Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, and the then Minister of Defense, Gabriel-Beniamin Leș, who intended to change office.
The National Liberal Party (PNL) proposed Ciucă as Minister of Defense of the First Orban Cabinet. He was transferred as a reserve on 28 October 2019, being succeeded as Chief of the Romanian General Staff by Daniel Petrescu. He became the Minister of Defence of Romania on 4 November 2019. In October 2020, he joined the National Liberal Party (PNL) to run as a senator for the Senate of Romania in that year's legislative elections and was subsequently elected as well.
On 7 December 2020, following the resignation of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, he was named the acting Prime Minister by Iohannis. He led as caretaker the government until a new coalition government was formed under Florin Cîțu in 23 December as a consequence of the result of the 2020 Romanian legislative election.
However, after the Cîțu Cabinet was dissolved through a motion of no confidence on 5 October 2021, Iohannis nominated Ciucă as Prime Minister-designate on 21 October 2021. While the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) quickly agreed to renew a minority government with the PNL, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) offered to support him temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic in exchange for agreeing to 10 measures. He presented his government on 29 October. Having failed to win the support of the PSD or the Save Romania Union (USR), he gave up forming a government on 1 November. He was nominated again as Prime Minister-designate on 22 November 2021 and was confirmed by the parliament on 25 November after receiving 318 votes in favor. He was sworn in the office hours later.
Ciucă is the recipient of the Ordre national du Mérite of the French Republic, Commander rank, and of the National Order of Merit of Romania, Commander rank. In 2019 he was awarded the Order of the Star of Romania, Officer rank. In 2020, he was awarded the Legion of Merit by U.S. Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman.
- Cozmei, Victor (24 October 2019). "Cine este Nicolae Ciucă, propus ministrul Apărării: militar de carieră, cunoscut ca "generalul deșertului", a condus în Irak prima bătalie a soldaților români după al doilea război mondial". HotNews (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "Klaus Iohannis a semnat decretul privind trecerea în rezervă a generalului Nicolae Ciucă, propus ministru al Apărării". Digi24 (in Romanian). 28 October 2019. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- Postelnicu, Valentina (5 November 2019). "Cine este Nicolae Ciucă, ministrul Apărării Naţionale. Militarul cu cel mai mare grad din Armată, este generalul român care a condus personal o misiune de luptă, în Irak". Libertatea (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 29 January 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "Generalul-locotenent Daniel Petrescu, noul șef al Statului Major al Apărării" (in Romanian). Ministry of National Defence. 29 November 2019. Archived from the original on 17 August 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- Năstase, Mirabela (4 November 2019). "Cine este Nicolae Ciucă, noul ministru al Apărării Naționale". Antena 1 (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "Ministrul apărării, Nicolae Ciucă, s-a înscris în PNL și va candida pentru Senat" (in Romanian). Digi24. 18 October 2020. Archived from the original on 8 December 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
- "Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă". www.cdep.ro (in Romanian). Parliament of Romania. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Nicolae Ciucă a fost numit prim-ministru interimar" (in Romanian). Digi24. 7 December 2020. Archived from the original on 7 December 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
- "Noul Guvern de coaliție condus de Florin Cîțu a fost învestit de Parlament. Mesajul lui Iohannis, la ceremonia de învestire". Mediafax (in Romanian). 23 December 2020. Archived from the original on 2 January 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
- Adam, Georgiana (5 October 2021). "Guvernul Cîțu a picat. Moțiunea de cenzură a trecut cu 281 de voturi". Antena 3 (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- Păcurar, Bogdan (21 October 2021). "Klaus Iohannis: "Am decis să-l desemnez drept candidat pentru funcția de prim-ministru pe Nicolae Ciucă"". Digi24 (in Romanian). Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
- "PSD: Ciolacu a discutat telefonic cu premierul desemnat; i-a cerut includerea în programul de guvernare a 10 măsuri urgente" (in Romanian). Agerpres. 23 October 2021. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Nicolae Ciucă va merge în Parlament cu un guvern minoritar PNL-UDMR. Iată lista miniștrilor: USR nu votează noul cabinet". Economica. 29 October 2021. Archived from the original on 8 December 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Romania's crisis continues as latest PM-designate throws in the towel". Euronews. 25 November 2021. Archived from the original on 22 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Ciucă: Am depus mandatul de premier desemnat. Biroul Executiv a cerut. Cîțu: Propunerea de premier va fi decizia partidului" (in Romanian). Digi24. 1 November 2021. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
- "Iohannis: Îl desemnez pe Nicolae Ciucă pentru a forma o echipă guvernamentală. S-a format o majoritate solidă PNL, PSD, UDMR și grupul minorităților / Ciucă: Sperăm ca de joi să ne apucăm serios de treabă" (in Romanian). G4 Media. 22 November 2021. Archived from the original on 22 November 2021. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
- Roșca, Matei (25 November 2021). "Romanian parliament elects Nicolae Ciucă as prime minister". Politico. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Romanian President Swears In New Government, Declares 'Political Crisis Over'". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 November 2021. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
- "Cine este Nicolae Ciucă, premierul interimar. A primit Ordinul Național de Merit al Republicii Franceze" (in Romanian). EuropaFM. 8 December 2020. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
- "Nicolae Ciucă, prim-ministru desemnat (fișă biografică)" (in Romanian). Agerpres. 30 October 2021. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
- "Ordinul Național Steaua României a fost conferit directorului SRI și ministrului apărării naționale". www.juridice.ro (in Romanian). 29 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
- "Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman at the Awarding of Legion of Merit to Acting Prime Minister Nicolae Ionel Ciuca". ro.usembassy.gov. U.S. Embassy in Romania. 15 December 2020. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
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