President Klaus Iohannis has pleaded on Tuesday, in the European Parliament, for the consolidation of the European project.
The event took place within the context of the recent discussions in Strasbourg regarding Romania and the amendments to the laws of justice promoted by the Government and Parliament, which faced criticism from the European Commission and the Venice Commission.
The European Parliament recently decided to sanction Hungary, following a similar decision on Poland.
“We are going through a new chapter in building and consolidating the European project, for which we need the elaboration of a new vision regarding the future of the Union. From this standpoint, I firmly plead for unity, cohesion, solidarity and for the common European path in the efforts to consolidate the European project, and the essential issue of our demarches should remain the unity. For Romania, this principle is the very essence of the European project, which has offered it the capability to face the multiple challenges the Union has confronted hitherto,” President Iohannis said in his speech.
Main issues in the speech:
- The EU has faced multiple challenges testing its unity, the economic crisis, the refugee crisis, the ascent of populist parties;
- There is a unifying element – the European identity based on principles, values, common interests;
- The new realities claim the consolidation of the European project;
- A multiple-speed EU cannot be a solution if we want to keep the unity;
- I hope the future will reveal a Europe with a single heart, making the citizens identify themselves as Europeans. We have to assume a common target;
- It depends on our wisdom and will to make this target come true;
- The citizens need to see us working to protect and consolidate the Union’s symbols – the currency, the freedom to travel and the Schengen area;
- Economic security is equally important with the border security;
- Joining the Eurozone is a fundamental national objective for Romania;
- We cannot imagine a EU without the common market and without the fundamental liberties;
- We are talking about a future when the Union will regain its citizens by strengthening the feeling of security. The challenges coming from migration and security are issues of high interest for all of us, we have to pay more attention to fighting terrorism and radicalization;
- For Romania, joining the Schengen area is an important objective;
- The EU enlargement policy has led to prosperity and security, it should not be a desiderate, but a necessity;
- It is our responsibility that the EU will have the means to ensure the security. Another objective would be to avoid parallelism with NATO and to consolidate the trans-Atlantic partnership;
- 11 years ago, when Romania has joined this family, I felt extremely proud. Next year, Romania will take over the presidency and it is a turning point year. It is our duty to design the future of Europe, along with all Romanians I feel proud as Romanian and European citizen. Europe is Romania and Romania is Europe;
- The lesson of democracy is one of the most important, that is why we enjoy the European values. Romania is a country deeply attached to the European project. We are a young democracy;
- Romanians made their voices heard when they had to defend the rule of law. The younger generation believes in democracy, the enthusiasm of these young people nourishes the optimism regarding the future of Europe;
- For Romania, security is an important field, we are capable of being a security provider for the entire EU, as we do it within NATO;
- The EU was built on a humanly profound wish, the wish for peace on the European continent, which has become an export value. It’s time to turn this pattern towards the inside;
- I urge you to keep unity as the core word for the future, a unity that would not come by itself.
Can the resolution on Romania be avoided?
President Iohannis says there no reason for compromise about the rule of law and the judiciary because Romania will take over the EU Council presidency in the first half next year, however, it is rather unusual that the European parliament adopts a resolution against a Member State one month before taking over the mentioned presidency, digi24.ro informs.
President Klaus Iohannis and the President of European Parliament, Antonia Tajani, were asked on Tuesday about the way to avoid a resolution on Romania.
Antonio Tajani: The sitting today is not about the situation in Romania. We had a debate on this topic in the previous plenary session. Today, the Romanian President spoke about the future of European Union. We defend the rule of law, regardless if it is about Poland, Romania or if is about Italy. We do this everywhere. The Parliament is ready to have a resolution. We will decide about the content of the resolution.
Klaus Iohannis: The EP has the right to discuss various topics and to vote resolutions. (…) I want to say it once again, Romania is a functional democracy and observes the rule of law, but it is a living democracy and there are approaches some consider as being wrong. It is rather unusual for the EP to debate and vote a resolution against a Member State just one month before it should take over the EU Council Presidency. The decision is up to the European Parliament.
The resolution about Romania should be debated in early November, in Strasbourg. Formally, the debate concludes with a vote.