This year too we scored quite badly on absorption of European funds, which slowed down our emergence from recession. This weak absorption of EU funds is one of the great failures of the year 2010. It had also happened before, yet, we were expected to have learned something of the experience accumulated over time and to become more efficient in this respect. We lose billions of non-redeemable euros the EU makes available to us, yet, we borrow billions from the International Monetary Fund (FMI) to make ends meet. Romania joining the Schengen area being delayed is another failure. And that, although it has long been known that meeting the technical conditions would not be enough for that to happen and political demands would also be made of us, which we have not fulfilled. The anti-corruption fight backlog weighs heavily in this case. President Traian Basescu was blunt in his reaction to what he sees as a discrimination against us, given the rules changed during the game. While this is true, we nonetheless knew this would happen and yet failed to take the measures required to eliminate the possible causes of having our joining the Schengen area delayed. We nonetheless cannot vehemently condemn the stand of Germany and France, which oppose our joining Schengen this coming spring, as long as their reproaches are well founded, and as far as the EU made us a political favour when we acceded to the Union despite not being technically ready to do so, a politically grounded decision of an exceptional nature therefore. When you stand bottom in the EU, as we do, you’d better do your best in order not to give opportunities for such obstruction to happen. To bark at France and Germany, as Mr. Basescu did, is useless and even damaging, as, on one hand, it does not help at all, given the large states are in a position to put hurdles in our way to accession to Schengen, or prevent it from happening altogether, and on the other, you create tensions in your relations with very powerful countries. Instead of making a stir, it would have been wiser we had announced we regret the discrimination we are submitted to, given its setting a dangerous precedent, and pledge instead to make efforts in the coming months to resolve the setbacks.
How does this delay is going to affect accession to the Schengen area?
It will hurt our credibility abroad. Then, movement would not be eased through all the Schengen members, and Romanians will continue being looked upon with suspicion when at those countries’ borders and, sometimes, discriminated against, subject to overkill, if I may say so. The business environment is also sent a bad signal (…)
The inability to establish a dialogue between government and opposition is another failure, on issues related to national interest. It’s unfortunate, since it would have allowed for faster and fairer voting of certain laws. Unfortunately, the opposition declined all the invitations to dialogue from Cotroceni, including on accession to the Schengen area, which has been boycotted by some leaders with the Social Democratic Party (PSD), as reported by the press. (Formula AS)