President Iohannis: Romania’s country project to be concluded in one year

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President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday told the first meeting of the presidential committee on country project that it would take about one year for the project to be concluded, stressing that it will not be four-year ruling programme.

“The process cannot be very short, because we cannot draft such a country project in just a few weeks (…) We shall be able to achieve in this committee the primary document in about half a year, then there is a mandatory public discussion stage and political consensus. The entire process can be completed in nearly one year,” Iohannis told the first meeting of the board in charge with drawing up a country project for Romania.

“The committee will come up with the best country project Romania has ever had,” Iohannis said, adding that no political project can be drafted without politics’ involvement.

“This country project comes to meet larger expectations on the part of the Romanian society and citizens. Everybody has understood that Romania’s goals related to NATO membership and integration with the European Union were successfully achieved and, besides being full NATO and EU member, Romania has transformed and we cannot stop here. Romania’s transformation should go further, and we have to step in to tell the country to go further and show it the way. This is where the country project should provide answers,” said Iohannis.

Iohannis added that the entire regional and global context have changed since Romania joined NATO and the EU, and that is why a country project will have to be a project for a modern, prosperous European Romania.

“The country project has to have its own identity that reflects our identity, our values and areas of high performance,” the President said.

He argued that the project is necessary at a juncture of three essential processes: post transition, post European accession and post crisis. He also said Romania has to become “a clear and steadfast voice with fundamental opinions” in the creation of a new EU, reminding that Romania will take over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

At the same time, the President opined that the thinking of many people remained similar to the one before the 1989 Revolution and that this mentality must be cut off from the country project.

“I think we have a problem that we must cut off from this country project. At the Revolution in December 1989, we decided to transform Romania, but most of the state institutions remained the same and more than that- the thinking of many is still similar to the one before 1989- and if we want to be very realistic or correct, we must say that we are still going through the stage when the state thinks it’s above the citizen and paradoxically, the citizen, too, thinks that the state is governing him. This must be revised. The state must exist for the citizen and not the opposite way, when the citizen must exist for the state,” Klaus Iohannis argued.

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