President Traian Basescu leads the Romanian delegation
Migration, economic recovery and the EU budget took centre stage at Wednesday’s debate ahead of the 24-25 October European Council summit in Bruxelles, according to the official website europa.eu. The European Parliament is to debate and vote on covering a EUR 2.7bn shortfall in the EU budget for 2013, with indications suggesting it will be passed. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has appealed to MEPs to pass the amending budget and ensure there was no “rupture” in payments.
The conflict between President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta regarding the right to represent Romania at the European Council continues and, for the time being, the head of state seems to have won.
Although PM Ponta requested to be allowed to take part in the European Council meetings to be held in Brussels on October 24 and 25, President Basescu’s name is the one featured on the official list of participant heads of state and government, published on the Council’s official website.
Considering that one of the main topics on the European meeting agenda is the IT community strategy and the single digital market, last Friday, PM Ponta requested the President for a mandate to represent Romania, arguing that only the government can provide a competent point of view in this matter. The presidency did not offer a reply to this request.
“Only the government can discuss issues related to IT and the digital agenda, because it pertains to the government’s expertise. I have not received an official answer. If the president goes, he will probably offer a personal opinion about IT. This field is so complicated and technical; if we know how to turn on a computer or use a telephone, it does not mean we know about IT,” Ponta stated Tuesday for B1 TV.
He pointed out that after his visit to the U.S. ends, he would go to Brussels anyway on Thursday to participate in a European Socialist reunion and if President Traian Basescu wants “to know what was discussed (e.n. at the EC reunion),” he would provide all the documents, but added that the national strategy in this field is 300 pages long and “cannot be read while drinking coffee.”
We remind our readers that, recently, the head of state publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with PM Victor Ponta’s performance at the European Council on energy held in May.
“He told me he wanted to go to the European Council on energy held in May, before the decision on the Nabucco pipeline or TAP was even finalized. He was granted a mandate to support Nabucco before the Council. Of course, the Nabucco topic came up in his interventions, but he did not manage to make it clear that Nabucco must be introduced in the Council’s document, which left the Nabucco or TAP solution up to the European Union, even though the mandate mentioned Nabucco clearly, not TAP; in the conclusions drawn by the Council on energy held in May, you will see no mention of Nabucco, only of the Sud solution. (…) The Council on energy in May was a crucial moment and he wanted to attend it. I granted him a signed mandate and he returned the same way he had went away – by plane,” Traian Basescu said, cited by Mediafax.