Basescu talks EU relations at business forum in Ankara

The President had a message for Turkish businessme , asking them to invest in Romania and pointing out that our country badly needs investments in order to catch up with other European Union member states.

President Traian Basescu told a Turkish-Romanian business forum in Ankara that Romania still has problems, because the EU has a coin with two sides, and one of them reads: “You won’t join Schengen until your solve the issue of the judiciary.” At the same time, Basescu pointed out that Turkey has several technical problems in its bid to join the European Union, the most important of them being the opening of negotiation chapters, namely the one on the judiciary. “In order to understand why I am saying this, Romania closed the judiciary chapter in 2004, joined the EU in 2007, with remarks, and has not put out those remarks so far, because it’s not enough to have the laws and institutions that would live up to European standards, they have to function convincingly and to create the feeling that reform is irreversible. This is where Romania had problems, fluctuations, as a consequence of some of the MPs’ decisions,” Basescu stated, being quoted by Mediafax. Thus, he claims that Romania did not manage to be convincing that the judiciary is working at high standards and that the process is irreversible: “The problem is that the European Union always has a coin with two sides, one of the sides reads Judiciary followed by suspension points. And the other side reads you won’t join Schengen unless you solve the issue of the judiciary. This is the problem with this Union.”
On the eve of the business forum, the President had stated during a meeting with the members of the Romanian community in Ankara that he wishes Schengen accession in what concerns air border customs to take place during his 10th year of his term in office. “Everybody sees us, we think that no one watches us when we amend the Criminal Code, when we, the politicians, want to escape justice, but we proceed further, in our own way. I set up an objective for the tenth year of my term, perhaps I will achieve one last thing for Romania, but the Parliament should give me a hand, stop amending the Criminal Code or amend it the right way. I wish Schengen air border controls be lifted for Romania,” he said.

Romania, not an ideal country, striving to get rid of corrupt bureaucracy
On the other hand, Basescu said yesterday at the Romanian-Turkish business forum for investment, that Romania is not an ideal country, but emphasized that the Romanian State is striving to get rid of corrupt bureaucracy: “You should not consider this to be an ever perpetuating phenomenon and some of you operating in Romania may have noticed a rising efficiency of the structures that defend public interest, the rising efficiency of the judiciary”.

He also urged Turkish business people to invest in Romania. ‘You should trust Romania because Romania is a country that badly needs investment to bridge the development gap separating it from the older member states of the European Union which means you can invest in Romania against a long-term vision,’ he said.
The President pointed out that European funds are a resource at the disposal of all businessmen with companies set up on Romanian territory, adding that apart from the approximately EUR 20 bln from the 2007-2013 framework another EUR 40 bln have been earmarked for the 2014-2020 framework. “So there are EUR 60 bln now, most of them destined for investments. It’s an attractive sum in any country and it can stimulate any businessman’s thoughts of investing,” the Head of State said. Basescu invited Turkish businessmen to invest in balneal tourism and added that Romania has extraordinary resources.  “No matter if we refer to mineral waters or to that famous mofette in central Romania, we have waters with out-of-the-ordinary therapeutic qualities. (…) We have an extraordinary potential.” The President talked about this issue during the meeting he had on Wednesday evening with the members of the Romanian community in Turkey, whom he told that Romania has a stable government that cannot be “budged” and that is close to having a majority of 80 per cent in Parliament. He pointed out that this year too he has been more optimistic than the International Monetary Fund and has expressed confidence that in 2014 Romania will have an economic growth higher than the one estimated by the IMF. “In my opinion we will have a growth of 3 to 4 per cent, which will allow us to continue our fiscal consolidation,” the President said. According to Basescu, it is encouraging that Romania has managed to lower the budget deficit, but the most important thing is that the current account deficit has been lowered significantly, which means that exports grew sufficiently in order to almost cover imports. “I believe this year we will surpass EUR 50 bln in exports, I mean for 2013,” the Head of State added, pointing out that Romania is exporting on one of the most demanding markets of the world, the Euro Area.

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