Romania has been awarded the powerful agriculture portfolio in a proposed new European Commission, with former agriculture minister Dacian Ciolos formally proposed to take over from Mariann Fischer Boel.

The announcement today (27 November) by reappointed Commission president José Manuel Barroso is sure to worry supporters of a leaner Common Agricultural Policy.

The French government, keen backers of production subsidies and protection, backed Ciolos's nomination and there are strong diplomatic ties between Paris and Bucharest.

Ciolos, 40, spent long periods of time in the 1990s living and working in France. He was agriculture minister from 2007 to 2008 in a Romanian National Liberal Party government.

He has also worked at the European Commission as an official. The European Parliament will vote on whether to approve his appointment in January.