The leaders of a new political alliance which fared well in recent EP elections in Romania have issued an open letter urging opposition parties to join a deal "to prepare a responsible government in 2020". The call by Dacian Ciolos - who has just been chosen leader of the new Renew Europe group in the European Parliament - and Dan Barna comes as Romania prepares for a long run of elections.

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The country faces presidential elections later this year and general and local elections in 2020.

Dan Barna and Dacian Ciolos co-lead the USR-Plus alliance formed earlier this year by the Save Romania Union (USR), which emerged as an opposition several years ago, and Ciolos' new group Plus. The alliance came third in the EP elections, neck in neck with the governing Social Democrats and behind the Liberals.

The two are urging other opposition groups to join a responsible dialogue for finding solutions to the "failed act of government of the current parliamentary majority and to find a viable government alternative in 2020". They say the opposition needs to understand the need of unity and political coherence to offer Romanian voters clear options and limit political fragmentation.