Ponta would attend the EU summit in November with Basescu’s clearance

The PM attended on Tuesday a lunch offered by the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus, HE Kalliopi Avraam, in honour of the ambassadors of European Union countries accredited in Bucharest. Participants in the meeting discussed topics that were also on the agenda of the European Council of October 18-19, related to the economic and financial crisis, and the development of the Eurozone.

Premier Victor Ponta said yesterday, after meeting the ambassadors, that he will ask President Traian Basescu to give him a mandate, in line with the Constitutional Court’s decision, to represent Romania in the extraordinary summit of the EU dedicated to the budget for 2014-2020, given the fact that this matter “falls within the competence of the Government.” He added that he has not discussed with the president about this yet. “There was no discussion, but I will ask the president, in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court and with the fact that until now I directly attended, of course together with (minister of European Affairs Leonard) Orban, all the negotiations and talks related to the budget of the European Union, implicitly to structural funds and those pertaining to the common agricultural policy, which will be allocated to Romania during 2014-2020. (…) If, in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court – as this is an exceptional summit on budget-related issues, a topic which in all countries falls within the competence area of the Government – the president will give me a mandate to represent Romania, I will do it,” Ponta said. He reminded that, on November 13, a new meeting of prime ministers will be held in Brussels, which he will attend.We remind, in the context, that President Basescu said Friday in Brussels that Romania’s participation in the European Council will be “in accordance with the Constitution” and that the Romanian delegation will reflect “the needs for assistance” which he will have. After journalists insisted asking whether he will participate personally, or he will delegate the premier, Basescu said that he may not negotiate the Constitution.

The premier also said that Romania must not remain outside the evolutions of the EU that lead to founding the Banking Supervisory Mechanism of the euro zone, but as part of an honest, not “hypocritical” system, in which it will be granted an equal treatment, alongside the other European countries.He thus answered the question of journalists about whether Romania must join the Banking Supervisory Mechanism of the euro zone. “It is clear that Romania must not remain outside of evolutions and changes. Although I am a Social-Democrat, I – too – consider that we need more Europe, but the honest way, not the hypocritical one. It is important for us to stand besides the other European countries, but also to be treated as equals, because the first proposal, which we – those outside the euro zone – participated in, but had no rights, was not very good and it was rejected by both Poland and Romania. Now I understand that things are going the right way,” Ponta said. He added that he will have a new discussion on this subject with the governor of the National Bank of Romania.Asked whether he accepts the proposal of President Basescu to attend the ceremony due to be held this December, in Oslo, for awarding the Nobel Prize for Peace to the European Union, Ponta said that, at that date, he prefers receiving another prize, from Romanians.“I appreciate the president’s matters of interest, but I have other priorities. This is why I spoke about a very serious thing, i.e. the sums allotted to Romania for 2014-2020, when President Basescu will probably be retired – won’t he? In 2014. Or, I do not intend to retire in 2014. I have a responsibility towards Romanians until 2016, at least. As for the rest (of the questions), if you ask me about December 10 (the day after the parliamentary elections), I will not hide from you the fact that I want another prize, one awarded by Romanians,” Ponta said.

Cristian Diaconescu authored strategy that sparked row in CSAT

Presidential adviser Cristian Diaconescu explained in a blog article on Monday that he was the author of the public diplomacy strategy designed to restore Romania’s image abroad, put on the agenda of the most recent CSAT meeting and invoked by PM Victor Ponta as the reason for which he walked out of the meeting. ‘The initiative worked out not by <some presidential adviser>, but by myself, a person with a first name and a last name, is supposed to bring together all decision-makers (state institutions that should have dealt with the matter anyway at least in the meantime since accession) to agree on lines of sector action covering the entire array of international competition for Romania, from the point of view of perception, says the head of the presidential Chancellery in his Monday blog post. Afterwards, Diaconescu explained to ‘Gandul’ online daily that the Office for Public Diplomacy proposed to be set up at Cotroceni was an office with 4-5 workers who would have worked in coordination with the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Justice and Interior Ministry, with Labour attachés and with the ‘state-owned’ press in Romania. ‘The prime ministers grievously distorted that’, Diaconescu says. ‘The president’s adviser says the model comes from the USA, but can be also found in some European countries. Diaconescu admitted to the slim chance that the project might be put back on the CSAT agenda, given what happened at the last meeting. Yesterday, Ponta hailed the fact that Diaconescu admitting to the paternity of the strategy.  ‘We have already made progress. Mr. Diaconescu at first said there was no document. But he has made progress! He has remembered there was a document, one he wrote himself. So, if we start to remember and stop challenging reality, we can already have results’, Ponta said.

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