Alliance for the Union of Romanians
The Alliance for the Union of Romanians (Romanian: Alianța pentru Unirea Românilor, AUR) is a right-wing populist and nationalist political party currently active in Romania and Moldova. It was founded on 19 September 2019. This was done with the intention of participating in the 2020 Romanian local and legislative elections. Today, the party has two co-presidents, George Simion and Claudiu Târziu.
|Abbreviation||AUR (meaning "GOLD")|
|General Secretary||Cristian David|
|President of the Senate of AUR||Sorin Lavric|
|Leader in the Senate||Claudiu Târziu|
|Leader in the Chamber of Deputies||George Simion|
|Founded||19 September 2019|
|Political position||Right-wing to|
|Slogan||Dreptate pentru România|
(Justice for Romania)
13 / 136
|Chamber of Deputies|
31 / 330[a]
0 / 33
3 / 3,176
0 / 1,340
|Local Council Councilors|
79 / 39,900
|Founded||27 March 2021|
0 / 101
0 / 32
The party ran in the local elections, not obtaining many votes and only winning in three towns. However, in the legislative elections, the AUR won 9% of the votes in all of Romania and its diaspora, which resulted in a surprise that led the party to become the fourth largest one in the country at central political level.
AUR aims for the unification of all Romanians from Romania and Romanian-populated neighbouring zones, and for the support of the Romanian diaspora in other countries. The party seeks the unification of Romania and Moldova, supports NATO membership and aims for energy independence for Romania. It has been accused of supporting anti-vaccination ideas and being Magyarophobic. Their party's self-described four main pillars are "family, nation, Christian faith, and liberty".
The Alliance for the Union of Romanians was formally established on 19 September 2019. Later, during the Great Union Day of Romania on 1 December 2019, its leader, George Simion, said the party's aims were to participate in the 2020 Romanian local and legislative elections of the country. Simion had up to this point been a campaigner for the unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The other party leader, Claudiu Târziu, was a member of Coalition for the Family which unsuccessfully campaigned to ban gay marriage through constitutional change in a 2018 referendum.
On 26 June 2020, AUR condemned the disinterest of the Romanian authorities regarding the minority rights of the Romanians in Serbia and Ukraine and declared that it would fully support them once it entered the Romanian Parliament. Two days later, AUR also condemned the 80th anniversary of the annexation of Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina and the Hertza region by the Soviet Union, declaring that "it is our obligation to regain our state".
AUR was the only party in Romania that expressed support for Donald Trump.
2020 Romanian local elections
2020 Romanian legislative election
In the 2020 Romanian legislative election, AUR obtained a high percentage of the votes, being called as the "surprise" of Romania. The results also increased the popularity of the party on the Internet. The party came first among Romanians in Italy, the largest group of the Romanian diaspora, and ran a close second among Romanians in France and Romanians in Spain. It also scored first in Cyprus.
According to a statement released by AUR, between 7 and 8 December 2020, 15,000 Romanians joined the party in just 24 hours. The party is supposedly going to have 46 members of parliament in the 2020–2024 Romanian legislature, according to the same statement.
The party achieved good results in rural areas of Moldavia and Dobruja, areas traditionally dominated by the other big parties. Significant percentages are in the counties where the Romanian Orthodox Church has a strong influence and a large number of practicing believers. These are Suceava (14.72%), Botoșani (14.62%), Neamț (14.4%), Constanța (14.2%), and Vrancea (13.43%).
The party speculated the new communication channels (social networks) in a similar way to the Greater Romania Party (PRM) of the late 1990s - early 2000s, which used the newspaper "România Mare" (Greater Romania) as a communication channel, reaching high electoral scores. Another example is the People's Party – Dan Diaconescu (PP-DD), which was propelled with the help of the OTV television channel.
Recorder, a Romanian online publisher, argues that the election campaign of AUR has adapted to the rural environment, which lacks modern technology, relying more on messages desired by the masses than on a coherent ideology. In this way, they argue, in addition to a core of supporters who voted for radical messages, there is also the wider category of electorate strictly attracted by populist messages.
On 22 January 2021, Simion announced that the party would officially adhere at European level to the "European Conservatives and Reformists Party" after going on visits in Poland and Brussels, Belgium.
On February 2021, following the expulsion of Diana Iovanovici Șoșoacă from the AUR, several members of the party and of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) created the Romanian Nationhood Party (PNR), led by Ninel Peia, a former member of the PSD.
Simion announced on 15 March 2021 that the AUR had intentions to start operating in the Republic of Moldova on the occasion of the Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania celebrated every 27 March. The party was officially launched, as previously stated, on 27 March 2021, and the elected president of the party was Vlad Bilețchi, a renowned Moldovan unionist. This new section of the AUR in Moldova later announced its intention of participating in the Moldovan snap parliamentary elections of 11 July 2021 to gain seats on the Parliament of Moldova.
AUR is young as a party, but it didn't come out of nowhere. It brings together some people whose history is linked to the late period of communism. Its candidates are experts in propaganda, intellectuals with more or less open sympathy for legionnaires and legionary or pro-legionary intellectuals, businessmen and itinerant politicians who wander from one radical party to another.
According to the party's website, AUR's ultimate goal is to achieve the unification of all Romanians "wherever they are located, in Bucharest, Iași, Timișoara, Cernăuți, Timoc, Italy, or Spain." There are four self-described pillars for the party: family, nation, Christian faith, and liberty. They have called themselves "the defenders of the Church". The party is opposed to what it refers to as gender ideology and believes that a nation has no chance of surviving "unless it cultivates the original pattern of the classic family".
The party's representatives became popular on social media as a result of their positioning against measures taken by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading members, such as Șoșoacă (later expelled), gained thousands of followers. AUR has been described as supporting "anti-medicine, anti-vaccination" rhetoric. The party's manifesto opposes secularism and condemns atheism, while at the same time claiming that Christians are persecuted in Romania. The party has been critical of the impact of the local autonomy of Hungarians in Romania on the rights of ethnic Romanians in the centre of the country (where the Hungarians are the majority), leading to accusations of being Magyarophobic. The latter accusation was rejected by the president of AUR, and the party denounced the media, accusing it of spreading false information about their campaign. Simion has cited Law and Justice, the ruling party in Poland, as one of his models.
AUR wishes to position Romania as a leader in central and eastern Europe within the European Union and to integrate the Republic of Moldova into Romania. The party is pro-NATO and views the integration of Moldova into Romania as strengthening NATO's eastern flank.
AUR wishes to ensure Romania's self-sufficiency in energy, the prosecution of those deemed responsible for mismanaged post-Communist privatisation projects, and a fight against illegal logging by banning the export of non-processed wood. Additionally, AUR wishes to reform and modernize the education system, with a focus on reducing the overhead of political administration in order to improve the quality and the availability of education in Romania.
Electoral history (Romania)
33 / 330
14 / 136
|4th||Opposition to PNL-USR PLUS-UDMR government (2020–present)|
1 1 senator and 4 deputies from PNR elected on AUR's list
|Election||County Councilors (CJ)||Mayors||Local Councilors (CL)||Popular vote||%||Position|
0 / 1,340
3 / 3,176
79 / 39,900
Mayor of Bucharest
Electoral history (Moldova)
0 / 101
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