During the visit to Brussels, Iohannis will also have meetings with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and with Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg.
President Iohannis has already met these high European officials on Sunday in Paris on the occasion of the Solidarity March that brought together dozens of European and world leaders, as well as over one million people who came to express their solidarity with France and commitment to fight terrorism.
President Iohannis declared at the beginning of last Thursday meeting with PM Victor Ponta, also attended by Ministers Mircea Dusa (Defence), Darius Valcov (Budget) and Eugen Teodorovici (European Funds), that he wished to have a discussion meant to prepare the visit he intends to make to Brussels on January 15. According to the video recording of the meeting provided by the Presidential Administration, the Head of the State mentioned that, in Brussels, he would meet the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council and the Secretary General of NATO saying that the topics to be approached in Brussels are budget-related, as well as concerning the absorption of European funds.
According to the press release issued by the Presidential Administration, after the Thursday meeting., the discussion concerned the situation of the Ministry of Defence budget execution for 2014, funds granted to Defence for 2015 and the perspectives for the forthcoming two years, as well as the stage of approaches assumed by the Government with foreign partners for the increase of budget deficit, so that, eventually, an additional 0.3 per cent of the GDP for 2015 could be granted to fund military expenses. Other subjects discussed during the meeting were the stage of attraction of European funds as well as solutions to improve the absorption of these funds, the quoted source mentioned.
European Commission spokesperson Margaritas Schinas, had recently declared for Gandul, that President Klaus Iohannis and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would also discuss in Brussels about the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).She declared that the EU institution has nothing to comment on this subject until Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will meet the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the two leaders will discuss the CVM as well.
“I hope that we will have a chance to meet before too long. I look forward to working with you and with the Romanian Government in implementing our common strategic agenda for the Union, focusing our action in areas where the Union can make a real difference such as on jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. This is essential for the prosperity of Romanians as well as of all Europeans,” Juncker wrote to Iohannis in November in the letter he sent to congratulate him for winning the presidential election.
At the meeting of the Supreme Council of Magistracy (CSM) last Tuesday, President Iohannis has stated that one of the main purposes of the legal system should be the ceasing of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and to achieve that Romania would be evaluated with the objectivity it deserved.
President Klaus Iohannis pointed out that he assumed the responsibility for declaring in front of CSM members that “the time has come, eight years after the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) was established, that Romania would be evaluated with the objectivity it deserved so that it would be determined that all the conditions demanded of us in order to became a member state were fulfilled”.
“I think that one of the main purposes of the legal system should be the removal of the CVM”, Iohannis announced, mentioning that, in order to reach this target, “all institutions of Justice, as well as the Parliament and the executive power should join forces so that, when the present CSM and the present Parliament finish their term, they could report this accomplishment”.
According to the Head of the State, 2015 is the eighth year Romania is under the control of this instrument established by the European Commission.
“Throughout the years, it was not a scarecrow but a useful instrument, a result of the partnership with the European Union. The CVM created an example of good practices in many of the key elements of justice and I am convinced that Romania’s experience would be used in the future by other states willing to join the European Union. There were eight years when the legal system in Romania registered major progress in the consolidation of the Constitutional state, under the “umbrella” of this institution. During the last few years, though, the CVM reports acknowledged major progress made by almost all institutions of the legal system and this is why I think that time has come for a change”, Iohannis also declared.