Senate Speaker Tariceanu meets French counterpart Bel in Paris


On an official visit to France on April 2 and 3, the Speaker of Romania’s Senate Calin Popescu-Tariceanu on April 2 met his French counterpart Jean-Pierre Bel to discuss Romania’s accession or the border-free Schengen Area and the support Frame could extend to this end.
‘Calin Popescu-Tariceanu discussed Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area and the support of France for a very quick approval of a favourable decision to this end. Romania is fulfilling the accession criteria to join the Schengen Area and linking accession to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) would lead, regretfully, to turning a technical matter into a political issue, with all the consequences,’ the Romanian Senate reports in a press release, quoted by Agerpres.
At the same time, Tariceanu informed Bel about the latest developments in the revision of Romania’s Constitution, pointing to the expertise France could share to finalise the process, as well as the special quality of the bilateral relations between the two countries and the potentials for their further development. Another topic discussed was the situation in Ukraine and the possible subsequent developments, with both officials voicing worries and firmly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation in the Crimean Peninsula, as well as the policy of accomplished fact, which the two officials argued ‘is incompatible with the realities of the 21st century.’
At the meeting on Wednesday also attending were Senator Simon Sutor, chairman of the Committee on European Affairs; Chairman of the France-Romanian Friendship Group in the French Senate Bernard Fournier; Secretary General of the French Senate Jean-Louis Herin and Bel’s diplomatic adviser Denis Gaillard.
On Wednesday evening, Tariceanu delivered a speech to a conference on the challenges to the European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, at the French Institute of International Affairs. Discussing the situation in Ukraine, he said that the very identity of the EU is called into question, given that the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation occurred explicitly in response to Ukraine’s intention to join the European Union. He also mentioned that Europe cannot and should not continue to devolve its own defence to others: the EU has the means and interest to provide its own security, while the ongoing crisis should be a catalyst in this process.

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