According to the conditions agreed upon when the Liberals and the Social Democrats decided to govern together in the autumn of 2021, the current Romanian Prime Minister should have resigned and allowed the other ruling party to nominate the new PM:

Romania’s Liberal (PNL) prime minister Nicolae Ciuca told journalists on Wednesday that he will resign this Friday, May 26, as agreed with the ruling partner - the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Swapping the position of prime minister was one of the conditions agreed upon when the Liberals and the Social Democrats decided to govern together in the autumn of 2021.

However, this was delayed due to current protests.

I would like to know how often such planned "power swaps" are being used in coalitions. I managed to find only one such materialized case, namely in Ireland:

Varadkar was nominated to replace Micheál Martin in a planned handover during a special session of the Dáil, the lower house of Ireland’s parliament. He is due to be officially confirmed as prime minister later Saturday.

Are there any other examples of power swapping within the EU or it is something very rarely used?

  • 2
    It's said that there was an informal agreement between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but Blair reneged on it - but that is within a single party, not part of a coalition agreement.
    – James K
    Jun 3, 2023 at 15:10
  • Not Europe and therefore not suitable, but a recent example would be the deal between Bennett and Lapid to unseat Netanyahu. Netanyahu came back from the dead tho. Jun 6, 2023 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


No, as far as I am aware the 2020 Irish agreement and the 2021 Romanian agreement you have identified are the only examples of such a rotation government agreement which have been put in place within the EU so far. However, after the 2005 elections in Germany, there were suggestions (for example, in the Nordwest Zeitung & the Süddeutsche Zeitung) that incumbent Chancellor Gerhard Schröder could continue in his role, giving way to Angela Merkel after a couple of years. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine, this solution was favoured by Schröder and certain parts of his SPD party, but was dismissed as "complete nonsense" by the CSU General Secretary.

The only other relevant example has come in North Macedonia, which although not an EU member, is in accession negotiations with the union. After the 2020 parliamentary election, the Social Democratic Union and the smaller Democratic Union for Integration struck a coalition agreement involving a rotation clause:

The coalition talks were complicated by DUI’s demand that an ethnic Albanian should be appointed prime minister for the first time in North Macedonia’s history — a demand flatly rejected during election campaigning by both the Social Democrats and the center-right VMRO-DPMNE party that came second in the July 15 vote.

Zaev said he would head the new government and the power-sharing deal foresees him handing the prime minister’s office over to an ethnic Albanian politician proposed by DUI a hundred days before the next election.

  • Well, I guess I stumbled across another aspect of the (almost) "original" Romanian democracy.
    – Alexei
    Jun 6, 2023 at 11:41

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