European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu discussed the Interreg V-A Romania-Hungary cross-border cooperation programme on Monday with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu. She offered her mediation between the governments in Bucharest and Budapest to unblock this programme.
Cretu had received last week Hungarian Minister of European Funds Janos Lazar, who also mentioned the issue. The programme is currently deadlocked because of disagreements between the two EU member states, a release of the commissioner’s office informed on Tuesday.
‘This programme was created to heal wounds, not make them deeper,’ Cretu told Aurescu.
‘The Commission appreciates the spectacular results achieved by Romania over the past two years as regards the use of European funds and we wish to see similar efforts towards the unblocking of this project. I have told the same to Minister Lazar,’ Cretu declared.
‘On my request, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy Walter Deffa will demand from the two member states a calendar of activities proposed by each of them to overcome this impasse. I have suggested the two governments to meet on ministers’ level to settle this issue, and I have offered to mediate this meeting if necessary,’ the commissioner pointed out.
‘In the end, those who lose because of this misunderstanding are the citizens on both sides of the border. There are important funds waiting to be accessed to improve these people’s lives,’ Cretu added.
Bogdan Aurescu supports necessity of combating terrorism at European level
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu participated, on Monday, in Brussels, in the meeting of Foreign Ministers of EU member-states, on which occasion he reiterated the condemning of the terrorist attacks in Paris and emphasized that it is extremely important that the causes of terrorism be combated as well, as measures to enforce the law are necessary, but not sufficient, a press release remitted to Agerpres by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) shows.
During the reunion, the heads of European diplomacy focused on identifying future ways of action of the EU in order to deepen cooperation in the terrorism combating domain.
“Bogdan Aurescu reiterated the condemning of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Romania’s support for combating terrorism in all its forms. He emphasized that it is extremely important that the causes of terrorism at a European level be combated as well through solving economic, social and cultural integration problems faced by communities vulnerable to radicalization and recruiting, the measures to enforce the law being necessary, but not sufficient. Furthermore, he emphasized that it is important that the measures that are to be discussed/decided at the level of the JHA [Justice and Home Affairs] Council meeting take into account the observance of the fundamental rights and liberties, as well as the accomplishments of the European integration process, especially the freedom of movement enjoyed by EU citizens within the Union”, MAE states.
Another topic on the meeting’s agenda regarded the EU-Russia relations and optimum ways to manage them, especially in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, the central objective being, according to the quoted source, to survey the EU’s options for changing Russia’s attitude.
In this context, Aurescu emphasized the necessity of a strategic approach of the EU in relation to Russia and emphasized the relevance of maintaining the sanctions already in place, in order to determine Moscow to constructively engage in implementing the Minsk Agreement of September 2014 and in identifying a long-lasting political solution to the Ukrainian crisis.
Furthermore, the European Foreign Ministers held talks with Nabil Al-Arabi, the Secretary General of the League of Arab Nations, on the topic of the recent developments in Syria and Iraq from the perspective of the ISIL threats.
The discussions also headed, amongst other topics, towards the problem of climate change, a topic discussed briefly, in preparation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) that will take place in Paris between November 30 – December 11, 2015, MAE adds.