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March 22, 2023

Foreign Minister Aurescu: Romania prefers voluntary migrant quotas

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu declared on Wednesday that any proposition or figures put forward by the European Commission as regards the refugees will be subject to an inter-institution analysis in Romania, which prefers voluntary immigrant quotas instead of mandatory ones.

“We will see the elements presented by the President of the [European] Commission. The position announced by both the prime minister and the President [of Romania] is of preferring a system of voluntary, not mandatory quotas. Any proposition of the Commission, any figure that might be put forward is subject to the internal process of inter-institutional analysis and to negotiations between the [EU] member states,” Aurescu said after attending the meeting of the Standing Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies.

He asserted he had submitted to the Chamber’s leadership the known elements concerning the migrations, and the analysis will continue after the European Commission officially sends its plan to the member stats, resulting in a mandate to be approved next week by the Supreme Council for Country’s Defence.

“The migration issue is very sensitive; it’s a complicated file impacting the capability of member states to focus on other matters, but Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area – especially under these circumstances when the Schengen Area is under pressure in terms of security and migration – would increase the security of the area and contribute substantially to strengthening the European borders. We don’t just have rights, we have obligations; the European solidarity should work both ways. It’s not about conditioning, all we do is to strongly stress that Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, especially in these times it is subject to consistent pressure, would only strengthen this area and the security of the whole European space,” the minister added, according to Agerpres.

Aurescu mentioned that the Foreign Affairs Ministry has no responsibility as regards the acceptance and selection of refugees and the management of the refugee accommodation centres.

Head of Chamber of Deputies committee wants migration separated from Romania’s accession to Schengen Area

Chamber of Deputies European Affairs Committee Chair Ana Birchall says Romania needs a clear separation of migration issues from the country’s admission to the Schengen Area.

According to a release to AGERPRES on Wednesday, the Senate and Chamber of Deputies European Affairs committees joined on Tuesday to meet Luxemburg’s ambassador to Romania Christian Biever; representatives of the Presidential Administration, of the foreign and interior ministries and of other Parliament committees attended.

“The meeting focused on the debate of the priorities of the Luxemburg Presidency of the European Union Councils, especially on migration issues, on the consolidation of EU’s internal security and fight against terrorism, and on the reform of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). As regards the migration (…) Birchall stressed the need of transparent coordination of the EU member states, based on dialogue, observing the principle of solidarity associated and supported by the principle of voluntary action and of expertise and real capability of integrating migrants in each state. The trust within the EU is shattered and needs urgent rebuilding, otherwise the whole European construction might be questioned,” the release reads.

The document mentions that Birchall officially asked the Luxemburger Presidency of the EU Council to facilitate Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, without linking this matter to migration issues.

Senate’s European Affairs Committee Chair Anca Boagiu underlined the need for constructive, transparent dialogue on the European community level.

The Luxemburger diplomat pleaded for a joint approach to the internal and external features of the migration phenomenon.

A cohesive response of the EU to the refugee crisis is needed more than ever, he said, and also the capability of identifying durable solutions to prevent its root causes, besides managing its effects.

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