Laura Boldrini, Speaker of Italy’s Lower Chamber, stated on Tuesday in Romania’s Parliament, that our country has fulfilled the needed criteria and should be part of the Schengen Area, stating that Italy supports and reaffirms this position.
“In 2012, we were among the first countries to eliminate temporary restrictions imposed on Romanian workers and today Italy reaffirms that Romania has fulfilled the needed criteria and should be part of the Schengen Area. We support this position and I reaffirm it today,” Laura Boldrini, Speaker of Italy’s Lower Chamber, stated in the Romanian Parliament.
She added that freedom of movement is one of the EU’s founding principles and it is inconceivable that there could be different categories of European citizens, namely for some EU citizens to be able to travel freely while others do not.
Boldrini criticised the EU-UK agreement, stating that it undermines the equality of EU workers. The Italian official claimed that both Italy and Romania “experienced the exodus of millions of citizens who emigrated in the search of a better life,” are members of the EU and are facing joint challenges such as the effort to combat corruption and to end discrimination against minorities.
“Italy has the largest community of Romanians living abroad, over 1.1 million men, women and children who contribute to our growth. (…) In Italy, one in four foreign residents is Romanian, but there are also fellow Italians who have decided to work in Romania,” Boldrini conclude.
Following her meeting with Romania’s Lower Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea, the latter signed a statement on more European integration. “This statement was born on 14 September last year and was signed by four states – Italy, Luxembourg, France and Germany – and reached 12 signatories today. In this statement, we affirm several very important principles. In it, we are saying that we should emerge from this crisis a much more united Europe, not a divided one. Because all of the challenges we are facing cannot be solved solely at national level. We are saying in it that we are ready to pool sovereignty. European policy has to grow and basically we should not take into account this impact they have on economic growth. We are also saying that we are heading toward a federalization of Europe, a union of Europe that will consist of 20 states,” Laura Boldrini stated at the end of her meeting with Valeriu Zgonea.
The Speaker of Italy’s Lower Chamber also talked about the refugee crisis, being of the opinion that it would not exist if all European Union countries were to agree with quotas.
“We wouldn’t talk about the refugee crisis today if all 28 EU member states were to take their own responsibilities. Basically, we faced the situation that we had to delegate to Greece this task of handling the crisis on behalf of Europe. We also delegated Turkey, which has 3 million refugees but which nevertheless does not have a legislation that would allow it to manage all these refugees,” Boldrini said.
In her opinion, there are two major challenges – terrorism and the flow of refugees.
The Speaker of Italy’s Lower Chamber also met President Klaus Iohannis. Their talks centred on topics of bilateral cooperation and European developments, according to a communiqué issued by the Presidency. “The very good economic relations and the intense bilateral political dialogue were emphasised. Ms. Laura Boldrini particularly appraised the role and contribution of the Romanian community in Italy. President Klaus Iohannis pointed out that both the Romanian community in Italy and the Italian community in Romania represent strong bridges in the relations between the two states,” a Presidential communiqué reads.
Italian deputies’ speaker Laura Boldrini on Brussels attacks: We are facing a global threat
Italian Chamber of Deputies Speaker Laura Boldrini, visiting Bucharest on Tuesday, commented the attacks in Brussels by saying everybody is confronted to a global threat, a menace that needs a strong response to eradicate terrorism.
“I would have liked to commence my address in a different way, yet I cannot but express my disappointment for all that happens now in Brussels. We are confronted to a terrible situation; several attacks took place and it’s still unclear how many people were killed, but one thing is obvious: we are facing a global menace, a threat that needs a unitary response, a strong one, capable to unroot this terrifying evil of terrorism,” she told the plenum reunion of Romania’s Chamber of Deputies.