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October 8, 2022
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PM Victor Ponta’s message on Europe Day: “For Romania, the European Union is an opportunity, a platform for development, a territory of learning and fulfilling national ambitions”

There are moments in the history of our continent that should serve as reminders of the troubled times our societies have lived through and of the opportunities that lie alongside a path of solidarity and cooperation. The development of the European continent represents a move away from the conflict-ridden history of the continent towards an order based on mutual respect and understanding.

It is unfortunate that we find ourselves nowadays discussing the limitations of the European project. It seems that the economic and financial crisis has evolved into a crisis of confidence. Europe is portrayed by the critics of the European project as frail, afflicted by internal divisions, not entirely capable of acting to defend its interests at a regional level.

Furthermore, regrettably, while we are celebrating this important moment in the history and development of this continent, the lives of refugees fleeing persecution and poverty are lost at Europe’s borders. It is a moment to remember both the results and the starting point of the European project. It is a symbolic lesson for the future.

Romania has gone a long way from a country gripped by poverty and divided by its politics, coming successfully out of a transition to liberal democracy and market economy, by becoming a member of the European Union. EU remains a guarantee of Romania’s development as an open society!

As a Romanian, hence a newcomer to the European project, I am aware of the fact that the European Union was never only a project meant to increase the prosperity, even though it has succeeded in this regard more than anyone could have hoped. The European project was the story of rebuilding, from the ashes of the greatest catastrophe in human history, a new world, based on the principles of the European values and principles. An association of societies believing in these fundamentals of freedom. As Robert Schuman pointed in 1949, “The European spirit signifies being conscious of belonging to a cultural family and to have a willingness to serve that community in the spirit of total mutuality, without any hidden motives of hegemony or the selfish exploitation of others”.

All our moments of division can and must be overcome, and we can find in us the power to use what unites us in order to build harmony.

Solidarity, generosity, cohesion, safety. These are the values which, I believe, must guide our path in the future, in order to build a more united EU, to prove all the skeptics wrong, to fight off extremism and xenophobia, to bring more prosperity for our people, to become what we know we can be.

I believe that we still have the resources to build a better and more generous society. I believe Europe has a role to play in the world regardless of the skepticism of certain voices. I believe that the European project is still alive and has the resources to build a better future for the European citizens and for the world altogether.

For Romania, the European Union is an opportunity, a platform for development, a territory of learning and fulfilling national ambitions. We have taken several chances, and we will make sure to take even more in the years to come; we are learning as much as we can, not only from the experience of more prosperous member states, but also from the dangers we observe around us. We are happy to bring our own values and qualities to the European family – not only treasured accomplishments and personalities, but also current-day achievements, such as a balanced, nurturing climate for minorities; political stability, in a troubled geopolitical area; loyalty and commitment to our allies.

Together we can reach our goals, and together we can build a stronger Union.

 

 

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