Romanian PM Viorica Dancila has paid a working visit to Strasbourg on Tuesday and has presented Romania’s balance sheet at the helm of the EU Council in a European Parliament sitting scheduled in the afternoon.
In an almost empty plenary room, PM Dancila has told MEPs that Romania must become a fully-fledged member of the Schengen Space, and that, by holding the Presidency of the EU Council, Romania has proven its desire to conclude the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism follow-up.
“Romania has had a successful performance: 90 files concluded and about 2,500 events organised. We wanted to have visible, long-standing results. They give a true identity to our first Presidency. We managed to take a qualitative leap. More efficient border checks are available from now on”, Dancila pointed out.
“We have assumed that we’ll enhance the European project and we have proven during our six-month term that the pro-European approach must be fueled by a constant action. I have personally got involved in the proper functioning of this mandate at the helm of the EU Council, also from a self serving motivation, determined by my deep attachment to the European project,” Dancila has stated in t he EP plenary sitting.
She continued that the European project should not be though one of a multi-speed Europe or of concentric circles.
“Romania will continue to promote the common goal of enhancing the European project and, at the same time, will watch over its conclusion. I refer to the full integration of our country in the Schengen Space,” the Romanian PM pointed out.
She also said that Romania will have a pragmatic approach in promoting the principles of the Sibiu Statement and, through the performances at the helm of the EU Council, our country has proven that our legitimate wish is the CVM lift.
The other MEPs representing all parliamentary groups in the EP have hailed, but also criticised Romania for her performance at the helm of the EU Council.
Vice-president of the European Commission, Maros Sevcovici thanked Romania for its efforts, congratulating President Klaus Iohannis, PM Dancila and her minister, and also ambassador Luminita Odobescu for the results. “It has been a political sprint, you managed to conclude 95 files in the first 100 days of mandate,” the EC officials said, while lobbying for Romania’s becoming a fully-fledged member of Schengen.
However, he had a mention on the rule of law and anti-corruption. “The rule of law and fight against corruption are very important for people deserve this chance”, Sevcovici stated.
Among the 90 files concluded by Romania there are the one referring to the time frame of sanctions on cyber attacks, the file on countering antisemitism, xenophobia and misinformation.
The representative of the EPP group, Andrey Kovatchev, has underlined the efforts taken by Romania while holding the EU Presidency, especially amid Brexit, but also our country’s success at the Sibiu summit.
S&D representative, Iratxe Garcia Perez, has said, among others, that Romania’s mandate has been one of the most fruitful EU presidencies by facilitating many agreements.
The Green Group’s Phillipe Lamberts has also congratulated Romania for its results, but also stressed that one of the most important EU files, referring to immigration and asylum remains unsolved yet.
He also slammed the Government in Bucharest “for the brutal repression of a peaceful manifestation” and that it is obsessed by the fact “judiciary must be controlled, while the Venice Commission recommendations are not observed”.
“The show that your government is performing is not the best, and it doesn’t live up to the EU expectations”, Lamberts underlined.
British MEP Jake Pugh has been extremely acid against Dancila, saying that we’d better celebrate Simona Halep’s victory at Wimbledon than Romania’s performance at the Presidency of the EU Council.
“In the context of the outgoing Romanian Presidency of the EU Council I would like to congratulate Simona Halep in particular for her stunning performance at Wimbledon on Saturday. It was a performance of poise, power and precision and, most importantly, she probably inspired millions of young girls at home and abroad to participate in sport. Of course, collective Romania pride for her performance represents a strong expression of identity and nation, so, note this, I said nationhood not nationalism,” said Pugh, while reminding “the economic growth within EU is the lowest in the last 3 years, and youth unemployment is also high, 16% in Romania, 20% in France, 30% in Italy and Spain and 40% in Greece.”
“Entire generations of young people are sacrificed on the altar of the EU (…) So, rather than celebrating the efforts of the Romanian Presidency, let’s celebrate the success of Simona Halep, a real symbol of the Romanian pride and a father better use of our time and less damaging to the economy and security of Europe”, the British MEP concluded.
PLUS MEP Dragos Tudorache, part of the Renew Europe group, has congratulated “the experts behind the state, for their work”, but criticised the Government in Bucharest for being “much too preoccupied with its leaders’ legal problems”, but also for the populist rhetoric that “has been drastically sanctioned at the EP elections of May 26”.
Tudorache pleaded for the unblock of the European chief prosecutor office, while calling on the Finland, who took over the EU presidency as of July 1 to come to the negotiating table as soon as possible in order to reach an agreement.
Almost one month ago, The President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thanked Romania for the results obtained during the first half of the year, having the presidency of the Council of the European Union.