President Iohannis said on Saturday, at the reception given on Europe Day at the Cotroceni Palace, that Romania will soon be making strides to become a Schengen member.
“We celebrated recently the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union, a special moment for all Romanians, who are now full-fledged European citizens. Romania is today not only deeply attached to the values that define the European Union and a strong supporter of deepening European integration, Romania is also a source of stability and democracy in a complicated region, a partner committed to supporting the rule of law, to defending the fundamental freedom and to promoting market economy. More than 8 years after accession, we can say that we have taken an irreversible path and have put important stages behind. But the integration process is not yet finalized. I am convinced that within short, we will be making strides to join the Schengen Area,” said Iohannis.
He pointed to the multiple significance of May 9, when Europe Day, the end of World War II and the proclamation of Romania’s Independence are celebrated. The head of the state also reminded that 65 years have passed since Robert Schuman’s Declaration, which lay the foundations for the European integration project by creating the European Coal and Steel Community.
“Many things have been and can be said about Europe. The Europe of the citizens is a space of freedom and democracy, of dialogue and diversity, prosperity and equal chances. I would like us to take this opportunity to reflect on what we want Europe to be for each of its citizens, and how we can better put it into their service. The period we are experiencing is not at all simple. Many challenges – from security to economic, from institutional to migration related ones – put to test our commitment, determination and capacity for joint action. We must be aware of them, but not let them scare us. There is no sustainable building that didn’t have to pass tests and face adverse circumstances,” said Iohannis, quoted by Agerpres.
The President underscored that security challenges must be met with solidarity.
“In the face of xenophobia and extremism, let us stay united in defending the rights and freedoms, the values of tolerance and inclusion, of unity in diversity which best express the essence of the European Union. In the face of skepticism and doubt, let us courageously continue and strengthen the European integration and enlargement process. In the face of economic difficulties, let us respond with common solutions and efficient institutions. We need a strong Economic and Monetary Union, with a functional Banking Union. We need an internal market without barriers and an Energy Union capable of ensuring our energy security. We need to strengthen the Schengen Area as the only viable option for the safety of our citizens. We must continue enlarging the Union because thus we become stronger,”” said the President.
He added that adopting the euro is the most important country project since Romania’s joining the European Union.
“Yet joining the eurozone requires serious preparations and a steady and well-coordinated effort in the coming years from all relevant actors – in politics, government and banking. I am convinced that this way we will be able to fulfill this commitment and meet the Romanians expectations,” said Iohannis. In the end, he wished the Romanians and all the citizens of Europe “A Long Life Ahead.”
Attending the reception organized on Europe Day in the garden of the Cotroceni Palace were former heads of state Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu, Premier Victor Ponta, members of the Government, including Rovana Plumb, Robert Cazanciuc, Nicolae Banicioiu and Eugen Teodorovici, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Bucharest, politicians – PNL Co-Chair Vasile Blaga, PSRo Chairman Mircea Geoana, heads of institutions – DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi, CSM President Marius Tudose, representatives of religious denominations, NGOs, media.