USR PLUS (legally still called "Save Romania Union") is a progressive, centrist political party which started as an electoral alliance established on 2 February 2019 between the political parties Save Romania Union (USR) and the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) initially called 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance (Romanian: Alianța 2020 USR-PLUS). The alliance was formed to participate together in the May 2019 European Parliament election in Romania.[5]

Save Romania Union (officially)
LeadersDacian Cioloș (PLUS)
Dan Barna (USR)
Leader in the SenateRadu-Mihai Mihail
Leader in the Chamber of DeputiesLiviu-Ionuț Moșteanu
Founded2 February 2019 (alliance)
16 April 2021 (party)
Merger ofSave Romania Union (USR)
Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS)
Political positionCentre[3]
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
European Parliament groupRenew Europe[4]
Colours  Blue
SloganO Românie fără hoție (A Romania without thievery)
25 / 136
Chamber of Deputies
55 / 330
European Parliament
8 / 33
46 / 3,176
County Councilors
103 / 1,340
Local Councilors
1,207 / 39,900
6 / 18

a. ^ + a deputy prime minister

Subsequently, the two parties decided to sign a protocol for a political alliance for the 2019 Romanian presidential election[6][7] and for the 2020 local and legislative elections as well.

The parties formally merged after a successful vote during an online congress in 15 August 2020 and the approval of this event by the Court of Appeal of Bucharest on 16 April 2021, and they will celebrate a new congress to establish a new leadership by autumn 2021.[8]


Logo of USR PLUS when it was an electoral alliance

Dan Barna (USR) and Dacian Cioloș (PLUS), as leaders of the alliance, declared on 2 February 2019 that the two parties reached an agreement to participate jointly in European elections and that the project was a first step towards a possible success in the 2020 Romanian legislative election.[9][10]

On 7 March 2019, the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) rejected the application for registration of the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance for the European Parliament elections, motivating that Barna and Cioloș were not listed as presidents of the two parties in the Register of Political Parties.[11] Barna was elected president of the USR in October 2017, and Cioloș was elected president of the PLUS in February 2019. Both requested their registration as presidents at the Bucharest Tribunal, but until the Alliance's registration they did not receive a final decision.[12] Deputy Nicușor Dan, former president of the USR, declared that "I found, together with the legal team, the solution that would allow me to legally countersign the protocol of the USR-PLUS Alliance".[13] On March 8, the High Court of Cassation and Justice accepted USR-PLUS' appeal to the decision of the BEC to not to allow the alliance to be registered.[14] The alliance's chosen slogan used to be Fără hoție ajungem departe, meaning "Without thievery we go far" and referring to the existing corruption in Romania.[15] Nowadays, the slogan is O Românie fără hoție ("A Romania without thievery").[16]

On 15 August 2020, members of the USR and the PLUS made an online congress to decide whether to formally unite the two parties or not, with 84.65% of the participants voting in favor to unite them. This new party would still be called USR (Save Romania Union) and would be led by Barna and Cioloș until a judicial decision on the merger was made; then, the party would be renamed to "USR PLUS".[17]

The parties, USR and PLUS, officially and legally merged into one single party on 16 April 2021 after the approval of this by the Court of Appeal of Bucharest.[citation needed] In addition, the party was said to be preparing for a new congress, probably held in the autumn of 2021, to vote a single leadership, with Barna and Cioloș announcing that they would both participate in this vote.[8]

2019 European Parliament elections

Members of the USR PLUS (then still an electoral alliance) thanking the people of Bucharest for the victory in the European Parliament elections of May 2019

On 4 April 2019, the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance presented, during a press conference, its party platform for the European Parliament elections.[18] The alliance's electoral offer covers four main subjects: "Justice and protection of the rights of the Romanians in the European Union", "welfare for society: health, education and anti-poverty measures", "European prosperity at home, in Romania", and "foreign and secure policy".[19] Among the promises of the alliance are the creation of an applicable European Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification, Romania's accession to the Schengen Area and changes in education, agriculture and infrastructure. The alliance also supports the Accession of Moldova to the European Union.[20]

On the occasion of the European Council meeting of May 9 in Sibiu, Romania, Ciolos had a meeting with Emmanuel Macron, President of France, focused on a discussion on the creation of a new political group in the European Parliament after the elections of May 26.[21]

During the political campaign, the alliance organized two major party rallies attended by both leaders of the alliance, one on May 5 in Cluj-Napoca[22] and the other one on May 12 in Timișoara.[23] The Bucharest rally of 24 May was also attended by Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, who announced the formation of a new Pro-European reformist center parliamentary group, together with the La République En Marche! of Emmanuel Macron.[24]

Electoral history

Legislative elections

Election Chamber Senate Position Aftermath
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
2020 906,962 15.37
55 / 330
936,862 15.86
25 / 136
 3rd  PNL-USR PLUS-UDMR government (2020–present)

Local elections

Election County Councilors (CJ) Mayors Local Councilors (CL) Popular vote  % Position
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
2020 478,659 6.65
65 / 1,340
490,362 6.58
28 / 3,176
504,563 6.85
1,207 / 39,900
696.478 8.89  3rd 

Presidential elections

Election Candidate First round Second round
Votes Percentage Position Votes Percentage Position
2019 Dan Barna1,384,450
 3rd not qualified

European Parliament elections

ElectionVotes %MEPsPositionEU PartyEP Group
2019 2,028,236 22.36
8 / 32
 3rd  Renew Europe

See also


  1. Dragoman, Dragoș (2 July 2020). ""Save Romania" Union and the Persistent Populism in Romania". Problems of Post-Communism. 0: 1–12. doi:10.1080/10758216.2020.1781540 via Taylor and Francis+NEJM.
  2. "The rise of Union Save Romania: from civil society, political entrepreneurship and populism".
  3. "USR: Mișcarea La Republique en Marche schimbă peisajul politic francez". Save Romania Union (in Romanian). 12 June 2017.
  4. "Former Romanian PM considered for head of Renew group in EP". Romania Insider. 18 June 2019.
  5. "USR a decis să participe împreună cu PLUS pe o listă comună la europarlamentare". Agerpres (in Romanian). 2 February 2019.
  6. Kiss, Robert (4 August 2019). "Cum merg negocierile între USR și PLUS. Alianță politică sau alianță electorală". Digi24 (in Romanian).
  7. "Comitetul politic al USR a decis: Alianța 2020 USR-PLUS va rămâne electorală și nu se va înscrie la tribunal cum au vrut liderii". Radio Europa Liberă România (in Romanian). 3 August 2019.
  8. "USR și PLUS au fuzionat. Decizia Curții de Apel București, definitivă. Noul partid se pregătește de Congres". Digi24 (in Romanian). 16 April 2021.
  9. "Cioloș și Barna anunță formarea "Alianței 2020 USR PLUS" pentru alegeri". HotNews (in Romanian). 2 February 2019.
  10. Iordache, Mihaela (6 February 2019). "Romania: 2019, tra inflazione ed elezioni". Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (in Italian).
  11. "BEC motivează de ce a respins cererea Alianței USR- PLUS pentru europarlamentare: Președinți sunt Nicușor Dan și Daneș Raluca". Mediafax (in Romanian). 7 March 2019.
  12. "Biroul Electoral Central anunță că Alianța 2020 USR PLUS nu poate merge la europarlamentare". EURACTIV (in Romanian). 7 March 2019.
  13. "Nicușor Dan: Am găsit soluția care să îmi permită să contrasemnez legal protocolul Alianței USR-PLUS". Agerpres (in Romanian). 7 March 2019.
  14. "Comunicat de presă - USR". Agerpres (in Romanian). 8 March 2019.
  15. Pirvoiu, Claudia (7 May 2019). "Campania electorală la români: agheasmă, mici și dans". HotNews (in Romanian).
  16. "BEC a decis că Alianța USR-PLUS poate folosi sloganul "O Românie fără hoție"". HotNews (in Romanian). 15 November 2020.
  17. Alexandru, Matei (15 August 2020). "DOCUMENT Fuziunea dintre USR și PLUS a primit votul final din partea membrilor ambelor partide, reuniți în congres comun online: 84,65% au votat în favoarea fuziunii / Noul partid, care se va numi USR până la viitorul congres la care i se va schimba numele în USR PLUS, urmează să fie înregistrat la Tribunal". (in Romanian).
  18. "USR și PLUS și-au prezentat obiectivele pentru europarlamentare. Ce promite Alianța 2020". HotNews (in Romanian). 4 April 2019.
  19. Sahlean, Adelina (5 April 2019). "USR-PLUS și-a anunțat obiectivele pentru Parlamentul European: modificarea legislației pe justiție". Newsweek (in Romanian).
  20. "Alianța USR-PLUS și-a prezentat programul electoral: Ce își propune să facă dacă ajunge în Parlamentul European". (in Romanian). 4 April 2019.
  21. Cristescu, George Andrei (9 May 2019). "Cioloş, întâlnire cu Macron la Sibiu: Ne-am concentrat asupra pregătirii viitorului grup proeuropean din viitorul Parlament". Adevărul (in Romanian).
  22. Rotaru, Sebastian (5 May 2019). "Alianța 2020 USR PLUS a avut primul miting electoral". EURACTIV (in Romanian).
  23. "Alianța 2020 USR-PLUS organizează al doilea miting electoral, duminică, la Timișoara". Libertatea (in Romanian). 10 May 2019.
  24. "#europarlamentare2019/Guy Verhofstadt, la mitingul Alianței 2020 USR PLUS: Vom crea o nouă mișcare în Europa". Agerpres (in Romanian). 24 May 2019.