Rule of law topic tackled during speeches on France’s National Day


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“Liberty, equality, fraternity” slogan hasn’t gone out of date, but on the contrary it is quite current, French Ambassador Francois Saint-Paul said in his speech on the Day of France, while underlining the close tie between our countries.

Francois Saint-Paul spoke of the situation of the rule of law in Romania, the solidarity which Romanians showed to the French people after the terror attacks in January at the Charlie Hebdo publication headquarters, but also of the French investors who are linked to Romania, not only to its economic environment but to the country as a whole.

“There is no freedom without the rule of law. It is valid for Romania to the same degree as it is valid for any other country. Justice isn’t enough. An effort of all the institutions is necessary, everyone’s effort is needed. (…) The state isn’t the political class. (…) Administration must be freed from politicization in order to implement policies,” Francois Saint-Paul stated.

“We have our roots in a common history. We aren’t united only by politics, but also by culture and language,” the ambassador said.

Although not present at the reception on France’s National Day, President Klaus Iohannis delivered a message through one of his presidential advisers, saying that France and Romania are deeply linked through their history, language and culture and through the numerous experiences they shared.

Iohannis showed that this close connection existing between the two countries also reflects in the Romanian-French Strategic Partnership that represents, in his opinion, ‘the best framework for strengthening the bilateral relations in the most diverse fields, such as the political, economic, educational, energy and health areas.’

‘France has dealt in the most admirable of ways with the terror attacks in January and June, which made it stronger. Romania is also proud of being able to prove its support through such difficult times, the same as always among such good friends (…) But good friends know that there are moments when one needs to work and moments when one needs to celebrate. Today we are marking a great celebration — Many Happy Returns, France! on your National Day and Long Live the Romanian-French Friendship!’ the Romanian President’s message reads.

PM Ponta: We are looking at the guillotine every morning

PM Victor Ponta was present at the reception, saying he appreciates what ambassador Saint-Paul said about the rule of law but noting that Romania is a little bit behind on this topic compared to France.

“I think we have to work together on this, even if in Romania we are a little bit tardy compared to France. Every morning we are looking at the guillotine, but it’s always a start,” Ponta said, most probably hinting at the criminal charges against him.

On the other hand, the Romanian premier voiced hope that in October, together with the French and German ambassadors in Romania, he will be able to place a plate at the Otopeni International Airport in Bucharest, reading “Schengen Area.”

He also said Romania ranks first in Europe in 2015 in terms of economic growth and thanked all French investors who trusted the economic future of the country, as well as to the German companies for investing here. Ponta mentioned the Dacia-Renault carmaker, too and said that the government had already approved the project of the motorway they wanted. ‘We will make the motorway, we already approved the project,’ he informed.

Among the guests to the reception on Tuesday there were Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, FM Bogdan Aurescu, National Anti-corruption Directorate head Laura Codruta Kovesi, Constitutional Court of Romania President Augustin Zegrean, PNL-co president Vasile Blaga, Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu and former Presidents Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu.

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