POLITICS

Eurosceptic trend grows

European affairs minister says ways need to be found to let Romanians know about the important benefits of EU membership.

European Affairs Minister Leonard Orban yesterday voiced concerns about the fact that a certain growing trend of euroscepticism is developing in Romania. Orban participated in the debate ‘How pro-European are Romanian still?’ organised by the Representation of the European Commission in Romania and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the series of events dedicated to Europe’s Day. The head of the European Commission Representation in Romania, Nicolae Idu, said the debate started from the results of a Eurobarometer survey suggesting a decreasing trust in European institutions among Romanians. ‘(…) A certain less enthusiastic – let’s call it this way – trend of confidence in the EU is beginning to shape up. Actually a powerful trend regarding what the EU now stands for,’ Orban said. ‘Mr. Idu was targeted, I, Mr. Puscas (former negotiator with the EU, Vasile Puscas – our note), as well as other people who were criticised about the fact that, mainly during the negotiation period but also afterwards, depicted the EU in very bright colours and that what’s going on now is also the result of such distorted presentation of what the EU now means  I am striving to remember and I am having a bit of a trouble in finding, at least in my positions, any situation where I presented things differently or in brighter colours than they were in reality,’ Orban added. He noted that, from his point of view, Romania’s accession to the EU was ‘an extraordinary advantage’ both for the country and for each and every citizen. However – he continued – be they big or small, all advantages that we have must be preserved. In respect of the cohesion funds, the minister of European Affairs pointed out that things were already moving and that, if the trend remained, the suspension of certain programmes could be avoided. ‘Compared to the moment when I took over the ministry, when the rate of 3.72 per cent, today we have a rate of roughly 9 per cent. Although it is a progress, it is still not enough,’ he said. Nicolae Idu, on his part, also stressed the importance of whether that trend of decreasing public confidence in the EU institutions was genuine or just incumbent to the latest developments in the bloc. Economist Daniel Daianu said the findings of a handful of opinion polls might not be the most pertinent possible indicators as to ‘the feeling of the Romanian society regarding our relations with the other EU member countries.’ Also in the context of Europe’s Day, the European Photography Festival was premiered in Bucharest yesterday, with the opening of an exhibition dedicated to Europe’s Day and presenting a total of over 120 photographs made by artists of Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Great Britain, Romania, Spain, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Ukraine and Russia,  which will stay open until May 31 in the public area of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania.New Gov’ meets up with EU ambassadors

The members of the Government yesterday met up with the ambassadors of European Union member states in Bucharest for informal talks held in the context of Europe’s Day. The meeting took place at the Vila Lac 1, official sources are quoted by Mediafax as having informed.

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