President Klaus Iohannis declared on Friday that the European Council’s decisions concerning Turkey do not add migrant quotas for Romania.
“The relocation from Turkey to the EU is made within the previously approved quotas,” he said after the Council’s meeting in Brussels.
The talks were mainly focused on the cooperation between Turkey and EU in the management of migration, Iohannis mentioned.
“It is very important that we managed to agree on the additional cooperation propositions made by the Turkish side at the EU-Turkey Summit of March 7. We have agreed on a EU-Turkey declaration that includes the mutual commitments towards the migration management. I hail the understanding we reached and I hope it will result in a significant decrease or even a cancellation of the flows of migrants entering the EU from Turkey,” the President stressed.
He pointed out that the agreement will consolidate the protection of the outer borders of the EU; he mentioned that he has pleaded in the meeting for the need of a comprehensive and consistent approach of the Union to the management of challenges generated by migration and for an agreement on the propositions made by Turkey, on the condition that the agreed measures fully comply with the European and international laws.
Iohannis explained that the agreement is to return to Turkey the future migrants who reach the Greek islands, on a case-by-case decision based on analysis and observing the European and international legal framework.
“Collective expelling is out of question,” the President emphasized, adding that the mechanism is exceptional and temporary.
“As regards the so-called 1-to-1 mechanism, for each Syrian migrant who reached illegally the Greek islands and was returned to Turkey, the EU will take a Syrian migrant from Turkey; this migrant will be relocated from outside the EU to a EU country, within the schemes that already exist,” he detailed.
According to him, once the migrant wave is stopped, the voluntary scheme of humanitarian admission will be activated, and the member states will be able to contribute to it.
“I have restated Romania’s position on the voluntary character of any commitment of relocation from outside the EU to the Union. Romania estimates that the EU partnership with Turkey on the management of the migration crisis is important, and in this context I have advocated the need of a quick and efficient implementation of the EU-Turkey joint action plan by both sides,” the head of state asserted.
He mentioned that the EU has promised to accelerate the process of use of the three billion euros for the refugee facility in Turkey, and only when these funds are exhausted there will be a mobilization of additional funds for this facility, up to three billion euros more by the end of 2018.
Iohannis said that Turkey has promised to take all the necessary measures to prevent the opening of new routes of illegal migration to Europe
“I have emphasized the need of close monitoring of the possible alternative routes of migration, in order to counteract to them, as the route through the Western Balkans is blocked,” the President declared.
Romania supports European Commission’s proposition on EU emergency aid to Greece
Iohannis told journalists on Friday that European Council insisted on the urgent implementation of the aid measures for Greece; he added that Romania supports the European Commission’s relevant proposition and is willing to grant assistance.
“In this context, I have explained that we support the Commission’s proposition on the EU’s emergency support for Greece and I’ve expressed Romania’s availability to grant assistance through the mechanisms existing at EU level,” Iohannis said after the meeting of the European Council in Brussels.
Steel industry should be supported
President Klaus Iohannis also said that the steel industry should be supported and that anti-dumping measures in this area must be accelerated.
“In the conclusions of the meeting, also upon my request on behalf of Romania, an important message on the need to support the steel industry was introduced, given that this sector is facing a difficult situation of worldwide over-production. In connection with this, I spoke of the need to accelerate anti-dumping measures in the field, in order to protect the economies of the member states of the Union,” the Romanian president said after the European Council meeting in Brussels.
He added that regarding the topic in the European Council on the European Half Year, the discussions focused on recent economic developments, and in this context priority policy areas of the annual growth analysis were approved, which will contribute to strengthening the current economic recovery on a sustainable basis and to stimulating the economic growth and job creation in the entire Union.
“I have welcomed the European Commission’s decision to remove Romania from the scope of the procedure on macro-economic imbalances,” added Iohannis.
As regards the process of visa liberalization for the Turkish citizens, the President said that the European Council has agreed to speed up the process, while observing all the conditions, in order to complete the process by end-June.
The head of state announced the European Council’s meeting has decided to open a new chapter of Turkey’s membership negotiations with the EU, the one referring to budget matters.