Brussels: President Iohannis lobbies for Romania’s joining Schengen Area
President Klaus Iohannis told the joint press conference with EC President in Brussels on Thursday that he eyes the conclusion of Romania’s full EU membership process. The Romanian head of state also asked for the European Commission’s help so that Romania can increase the EU funds absorption rate.
“I underlined my will and the Romanians’ as well to conclude EU full accession process, so that Romania should become an accepted and respected full-member inside the EU hard core. It is one of the most important goals of my term, meaning that Romania becomes a full member country of the EU. Mr. President (Jean-Claude Juncker) assured me Romanian would get all support for joining Schengen Area,” Iohannis said.
The Romanian President also stated that he and Juncker pledged that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism would be lifted during their terms, with Iohannis saying that Romania has made significant progress in reinforcing the state institutions’ authority, the rule of law and the independence of the justice system. According to him, a CVM report will be issued in a few days.
“I asked for the Commission’s support to help Romania rise the absorption rate of the European funds and we were promised this support,” Iohannis also informed, adding that the meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker also tackled the Eurozone accession topic, as well as the political pact sealed in Romania on increasing the funds for the Army.
In his turn, the EC President, Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his hope that Klaus Iohannis would draw Romania even nearer to Europe, as “Europe would not be complete without Romania.” “I feel close to this country and I am glad I managed to review many topics with Mr. Iohannis,” Juncker further said.
Klaus Iohannis also met the European Council president, Donald Tusk and he is expected to see NATO Secretary General on Friday.
The Romanian head of state concluded that the meetings he had in Brussels with Juncker and Tusk made him think Romania would will see significant progress.
European Commissioner Cretu to visit Romania, Republic of Moldova
European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, who attended the joint Iohannis-Juncker meeting, informed she would pay a visit to Romania and Republic of Moldova together with her predecessor Johannes Hahn, now commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy.
According to Cretu, this visit is meant to prove that all candidate countries are considered “close” and that “they have the feeling of membership to the European political policy.”