President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday in Berlin, at the joint press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel, that Romania counts on Germany’s support in identifying a solution that would allow it to move forward toward achieving its goal of joining the Schengen Area.
“We count on Germany’s support in identifying a solution that would allow moving forward toward achieving this goal,” Iohannis pointed out.
The Head of State mentioned that there are convincing arguments in favour of eliminating the last reserves concerning Romania’s Schengen Area accession, giving as an example the European Commission’s latest CVM Report as well as Romania’s proven contribution to ensuring security in the region.
“Likewise, we believe a solid argument resides in Romania’s proven capacity and contribution to ensuring the security of the Union’s external border,” President Klaus Iohannis added.
In this sense, Angela Merkel stated that: “We will talk to our European partners about Schengen Area accession, telling them that it is a priority for both Romania and Bulgaria.”
During the press conference in Berlin, the Romanian President stated: “I am very pleased with the talks. We reviewed the evolution of bilateral relations from an economic, cultural and political standpoint.”
At the same time, Klaus Iohannis stated that “Germany is not only Romania’s main economic partner, but also one of the most important partners of dialogue.”
On the other hand, the German Chancellor also talked about the close relations between Romania and Germany.
“We are very close culturally and economically. We are trade partners. Germany is an important force in Romania,” Angela Merkel stated.
Moreover, the German leader also reiterated the main issues discussed with the Romanian Head of State. “We talked about rule of law, combating corruption, about the fact that Romania wants to become a member of the Schengen Area. We also talked about several economic issues – the use of European funds, the use of the possibility of improving living standards.”
In what concerns Romania’s Schengen accession, the German Chancellor added: “We will talk to our European partners about Schengen Area accession, telling them that it is a priority for both Romania and Bulgaria.”
In this sense, President Klaus Iohannis stated that he hopes Germany will support Romania in its accession bid.
“We count on Germany’s support in identifying a solution that would allow us to move forward toward this goal (Schengen Area accession – editor’s note). There are convincing elements that would lead to the elimination of the reserves that existed so far. The CVM Report and Romania’s contribution to the security of the EU’s external border are such arguments,” Klaus Iohannis pointed out.
Asked by German journalists what solution the Romanian state has in order to keep its workforce home, Klaus Iohannis replied by mentioning the “brain drain” issue.
“The issue of migration and poverty have mixed far too often with the issue of freedom of movement in Europe. Unfortunately, when it comes to Romania the migration of poverty, which is not numerically representative, stands out first, and a phenomenon that is a net gain for Germany is rarely seen: the migration of highly-qualified workforce. I personally know hundreds of persons that came from Romania, integrated perfectly in Germany and who are gainfully employed here. For Romania these persons are a loss. This phenomenon is called brain drain. Romania will have to face this problem and this phenomenon can be stopped to the extent in which we manage to raise incomes and to assure for young people a good, real chance in their career, whether it is in the public sector or the private sector. There are good signs, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
In what concerns the regional instability caused by the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Merkel said that she and Iohannis established that Romania and Germany will have “a common agenda within the European Councils in what concerns Ukraine.”
“Romania finds itself in a situation that stands out. In what concerns the neighbourliness with Moldova, which is one of Romania’s direct neighbours, we made important steps in implementing the neighbourhood policy and I believe Romania plays an important role in this issue too,” Angela Merkel added.
The two leaders also discussed the Republic of Moldova’s situation.
“Moldova will receive substantial help from the EU. We will help Moldova out, we handled the 2+5 talks and now given Ukraine the attention has risen because the situation is particularly difficult,” Chancellor Angela Merkel stated.
Germany, not just the main economic partner of Romania, but also one of the most important dialogue partners inside the EU
President Klaus Iohannis stated that Germany is not just the main economic partner of Romania, but also one of its most important dialogue partners inside the EU, with a significant development potential still existing between the two countries, through “increasing investments and boosting trade exchange volume.”
He also reviewed, at the press conference he held together with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, from an economic, cultural and political viewpoint.
“Germany is not just our main economic partner, but also one of our most important dialogue partners inside the European Union, but also at international level,” Iohannis told a joint press conference with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
On the same occasion, he mentioned that he was satisfied to see that the development of trade exchanges between the two countries still follows an upward trend.
President Iohannis also said he appreciated the presence in Romania of important German investors, with our country being of course interested to attract an even larger number of German companies.
The head of the state also showed that the dialogue he had with Mrs. Merkel revealed a high development potential still existed between Romania and Germany, through “increasing investments and boosting trade exchange volume.”
‘I evoked the diversity of sectorial development opportunities and common interests and partnership projects. We are especially interested in Germany becoming our partner in identifying those new development niches that may generate competitive advantages and that may individualize Romania in the European economic picture of 2020. Both Mrs. Chancellor and I emphasized the importance of the existing bridge that was naturally created between the German communities in Romania and the Romanian communities in Germany. We believe them to be factors contributing to the strengthening of the Romanian-German cooperation and a model of approach in true European spirit,” the Romanian president also added.
Iohannis maintained that the strengthening of the Economic and Monetary Union was also essential, including through the achievement of the banking union.
“I reaffirmed the need to firmly defend, both through expressing our positions and through our steps to be taken, our European values, the ones that made from the European Union an exemplary project,” said Iohannis, also adding that they agreed this dialogue must continue.
Merkel about Romania’s accession to Schengen this year: I cannot make any statements for now
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said she cannot make any statements for now concerning a possible accession of Romania to the Schengen area this year.
Angela Merkel was asked if a decision on Romania’s accession to Schengen can be made by the end of this year, also taking into account the positive results mentioned in the latest report of the European Commission.
“The latest reports were more on the positive side and we believe the reforms will be truly transposed in a consistent manner and we are talking about the next steps. I cannot make any statements for now, but I understand that Romania wants an answer showing it is moving forward,” Merkel said, after the meeting with President Klaus Iohannis.
Merkel: Germany wants to further economic cooperation with Romania
Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Germany wants to further economic cooperation with Romania.
“We are very close economic partners, with a bilateral trade in excess of 20 billion euros. Germany is a big investor in Romania and we want to further the existing cooperation. At the same time, we cooperate inside NATO and will continue to do so,” Merkel told journalists at a joint press conference with Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis.
She added that she and Iohannis set to encourage the existing excellent cooperation between Germany and Romania.
“We can achieve many changes in two directions; on the one hand, in the direction of cooperation on European issues, the European foreign policy, and the neighbours of Romania, which are of a strategic significance currently, the Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine, which, as far as Romania is concerned, is not as far as it is from the perspective of Germany, if we look at its geographical situation,” said Merkel.
She mentioned having discussed with Iohannis the consolidation of the rule of law in Romania, the fight against corruption, as well as Romania’s judiciary.
“The European Union has noticed the existence of remarkable progress and I believe Romania will continue on the same path,” added Merkel.
At the same time, she said talks also focused on some economic projects of great significance.
“I believe the implementation of the means of European funding, the implementation of the possibilities to improve life quality is an important point. The Romanian Government appreciates such priority,” said the German Chancellor.
Merkel added that her conversation with President Iohannis was very friendly.
“President Iohannis’ visit is a big joy for us. We watched the presidential campaigning in Romania and we can say that here in Germany we were glad about the victory of Klaus Iohannis because he is a representative of the German minority; what matters is that a majority of Romanians voted him for president,” said Merkel quoted by the Agerpres correspondent in Berlin.
German Chancellor: We mustn’t have an undifferentiated attitude towards migration from Romania to Germany
Merkel also stated that there mustn’t be “an undifferentiated” attitude concerning the migration from Romania to Germany while Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that “poverty migration” isn’t significant from a numeric point of view, showing that our country is confronted with a difficult phenomenon, namely the migration of qualified workers, which it must counteract.
“Concerning the migration from Romania to Germany, I believe we mustn’t have an undifferentiated attitude. There is that poverty migration, but there are also many qualified workers working here, employed, and we must also mention this aspect in what concerns the presence in NATO,” Merkel said, when asked how she commented the perception of Germans in regards with Romanians in the context of poverty migration.
In his turn, President Iohannis underscored that “the issue of poverty migration is one which unfortunately got mixed too many times with the problems of the labour force free movement in Europe.”
“Unfortunately, when it comes to Romania, the poverty migration is seen first, which is not numerically significant, and very difficultly seen and rarely discussed is a phenomenon which is significant, problematic for Romania and a net gain for Germany. It is about the qualified and very qualified labour force migration from Romania to Germany. (…) To Romania, these persons are a loss. Our educational system is relatively performing, but a country as Romania has a problem if significant parts of the qualified labour force are leaving. (…) It is in our interest to find a counteracting [of this phenomenon],” the head of state said.
Iohannis showed that the number of those qualified who leave Romania and come to work, for instance, in Germany, is many times higher than those who are regarded as poverty migrants.
“Romania will have to confront this problem and this phenomenon can be stopped if we manage to introduce a sustainable economic development, a sensible increase in incomes, especially those of the younger generation, and if we manage, through transparency, in the public procedures, but also in the ones of career in the private environment, to guarantee the youth a good chance, be it in the public space, be it in the private one. There are young people deciding to come back to Romania, because they believe our country also has possibilities, but there is still much to be done,” President Iohannis said.
Iohannis: In Romania there is no problems with Hungarians
President Klaus Iohannis said in Berlin that Hungary’s interest regarding Hungarian minorities is unusually high, showing that Romania has no problem regarding Hungarians.
Iohannis was asked how he views the “aggressive” opinions of the authorities in Hungary regarding the weak support for the Hungarian minority.
“In what regards the topic of Hungarians, it is clear that Hungary’s interest regarding Hungarian minorities outside Hungary is unusually high. We do not feel threatened by this in Romania, but we are very careful when a neighboring state has such a high interest for a minority”, said Iohannis, during the joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel.
He emphasized that the Hungarian minority has political representatives in Romania, which are partners for discussion.
Klaus Iohannis-Joachim Gauck meeting at the Bellevue Palace
Earlier on Thursday, President Klaus Iohannis was received by his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, at the Presidential Palace in Berlin.
As the Presidential Administration in Bucharest informs in a press release, among the topics they tackled during the meeting was the support Romania and Germany grant to each other within the European Union, their shared concern for stability and security in the current geopolitical context, the role played by the Saxon and Swabian minorities in Romania and that of the Romanian community in Germany, respectively, in keeping traditions and cultural values, and also they talked about their being co-chairs of the Foundation for Fortified Churches in Transylvania.
The head of the Romanian state was welcomed by his German counterpart at the Bellevue Palace with a military ceremony, after which she signed in the book of honours. Before his face-to-face meeting with Joachim Gauck and the working lunch offered by the German President, Klaus Iohannis also met with a group of students from the Kepler school in the Neukolln neighborhood, which is famous for its integration programmes for children coming from a migration environment, according to Agerpres.
Iohannis praises German counterpart, says Joachim Gauck is invaluable for his project to open a museum of communism in Romania
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said the experience of his German counterpart Joachim Gauck is invaluable for his project to open a museum of communism in Romania.
‘I am glad and honoured to have discussed in Berlin with Germany’s President Joachim Gauck the close cooperation between our two countries and the legacy of communism, which the German president knows better than anyone else from the archives of the late German political police STASI. This man, who visited Romania in the early 1990s, is a symbol for unblemished faith in the right of the citizens to find out the truth, no matter how painful the acceptance of the past is. Joachim Gauck’s experience is invaluable for my project to establish a museum of communism in Romania,’ Iohannis said in a Facebook post.
Iohannis: Relations with Germany are of a strategic importance for Romania
Before leaving to Berlin, he said he was going to discuss with the German politicians about Romania’s accession to Schengen and other topical issues, such as the situation in Ukraine or the European perspective of the Republic of Moldova.
He also added that he was going to mention the increasingly “important role” of the German community in Romania and that of the Romanian community in Germany ‘as bridges connecting the two countries and also as factors contributing to the strengthening of Romanian-German cooperation.’
Iohannis said the relations of cooperation with Germany are of a strategic importance for Romania and also that the deepening of cooperation between the two countries, such as through the expansion of cooperation fields, represents a priority.
“My visit to Germany is an occasion to mark a new upper stage in bilateral relations, to include a mutual support on topics of common interests within the European Union, at regional and international level. We are counting on the German support for a real and profound integration of Romania in the European nucleus. We have many commonalities that unite us. Romania, the same as Germany, is a state with a well-defined community profile, which supports the deepening of European integration, as a political project. In this context, we are going to discuss the current issues on the EU agenda,” said President Iohannis.
President Klaus Iohannis depicted as revolutionary in German media
President Klaus Iohannis spoke in the German press about the Russian aggression in the region and Romania’s position on the conflict in the separatist East of Ukraine. The Romanian head of state, currently on an official visit to Berlin, gave an interview to the Bayerischer Rundfunk public radio station, stating that our country had supported the sanctions against Kremlin from the very beginning.
The German journalist brought up the fact that Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban did not endorse the sanctions adopted by Brussels against Russia and asked on which side was Romania on the subject.
‘Romania has supported sanctions against Russia from the very beginning. We will continue to stand by our European partners’, Iohannis is quoted by ziare.com as having said.
Although, in Iohannis’ view, Romania does not feel threatened by Russia, the president thinks NATO ought to augments its presence in the Romanian territory by setting up the recently announced command centre.
On the other hand, Klaus Iohannis promised to supplement the defence budget, states the electronic page of the German radio station of the Bayern state.
‘Romania much better than its reputation’
The Romanian president also has big plans in the fight against corruption, and expectations are quite high in that respect in Romania, the German journalist states. He asked Iohannis if perhaps the expectations were not too big.
‘The 1.9 m tall president’ – as the journalist describes him – smiled and answered that expectations were a motivation for him and that Romania was better than its reputation.
‘Romania is much better than its reputation. Even if the image does not truly depict Romania, we should all make a bit more effort’, the president noted.
The article stresses Iohannis is the first German ethnic to have become President of Romania and that he promises to revolutionise the country, by clawing it out of its poverty and corruption image and make it an attractive place for German investors.
During his first official visit to Berlin, Klaus Iohannis will militate for Romania’s joining the Schengen Area, context in which he will speak about the efforts Romania is making for securing its borders. On the agenda of the talks there will also be the fact that poverty pushes Romanians to migrate to other countries, including Germany. Iohannis has said he didn’t find it right that Romanians should abuse the German social welfare system, but, at the same time, stressed that many actually contribute to the German economy.
‘It is not easy to watch the phenomenon happening in Romania, to see so many skilled young people emigrate to Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, seeking jobs’, Iohannis said.
Meeting with the Romanian community in Germany
On the occasion of his visit official to Germany, Romania’s president had also on his agenda meetings with the Speaker of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, with the leadership of the German-Romanian Forum and with the representatives of the Romanian community in Germany, to which latter meeting he was accompanied by his wife, Carmen.