It is paramount that we understand that the EU is the only option for maintaining our citizens’ prosperity and security, said President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday in Brussels, mentioning that the participants in the Brexit summit had reaffirmed their joint commitment to preserving the unity and cohesion of the Union.
“The result of the referendum left the EU in an unprecedented situation. It is paramount that we understand that the EU is the only option for maintaining our citizens’ prosperity and security. Therefore, I find it highly relevant that the key conclusion of our talks is that the EU27 must emerge stronger from this trial. The EU leaders reaffirmed the joint commitment to preserving the unity and cohesion of the Union. I welcome this message of unity all 27 member states pledged to. We emphasized that what we need now is an approach as pragmatic as possible to defuse the situation and allow us to move forward,” Iohannis said at the end of European Council meeting called to deal with the Brexit.
“That is why this morning we adopted a joint EU-27 statement. I welcome the fact that this statement contains messages I too conveyed during the summit, namely: we regret the result of the referendum in the United Kingdom, but we respect the will expressed by a majority of the British people. Until the United Kingdom leaves the Union, it maintains its statute as member state, with all the rights and obligations,” the Romanian President stated on Wednesday at the end of the European Council summit.
“I want to emphasise this aspect, so that it is very clear for all – during this period the United Kingdom will respect the freedom of movement of citizens and the rights of European workers. This has been confirmed to me directly by Premier Cameron. Of course, in the negotiations Romania will seek with maximum priority to defend the interests of the community of Romanians living and working in the United Kingdom,” he added.
“Regarding the United Kingdom’s exit procedure, in line with Article 50 of the European Union Treaty, we have all agreed that the process has to take place in a predictable manner. A notification would bring the clarification needed, to the advantage of both the European Union and the United Kingdom. Another aspect we agreed on was that there will be no negotiations before this notification takes place,” Klaus Iohannis added.
“Likewise, I welcome the fact that European leaders have the political will for the United Kingdom to remain a close partner of the European Union. For Romania, which has a Strategic Partnership with the United Kingdom, this aspect presents special relevance.”
“Today, we, the European leaders, have reconfirmed that the European Union remains our joint framework of action. Because we should not forget that the Union is a project for the peace, security and prosperity of our continent.”
“This was the message I conveyed on behalf of Romania. We are a state that has always acted in favour of a strong Union capable of answering its citizens’ expectations and of responding to outside challenges.”
“To an equal extent, I have emphasised that there is the need for deeper thought on improving the European model, so that it becomes more efficient, more transparent and closer to the citizens.”
“In my opinion, winning back the European citizens’ confidence in the European project is essential for the project’s continuation and durability. We cannot build a Europe that would not be to the advantage of our citizens and understood by them,” Iohannis stated in a press statement after the works of the European Council ended.
“Cameron assured me on Britain’s behalf UK-based Romanians can stay, work there”
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Brussels that Prime Minister David Cameron assured him on Britain’s behalf that the Romanians living in the United Kingdom will be able to stay and work there, and that he also apologized for the xenophobic incidents occurred immediately after the Brexit vote.
“Premier Cameron assured me on Britain’s, not on his personal behalf, that the Romanians will be able to stay and work there. He also apologized for the incidents occurred there in the vote aftermath,” Iohannis told Antena 3 private broadcaster.
The President explained that “the stakes are high” for Romania at the European Council meeting in Brussels.
“We are determined to thoroughly negotiate our position very well, and of course, in the first place the position of the Romanians who work and live in the UK,” Iohannis said.
The head of the state added that Brexit talks so far clearly show that “no one has ever had a plan B.”
“This shows us that everybody expected a ‘remain’ vote and the outcome took them by surprise. Even Prime Minister Cameron confirmed to me that the ‘leave’ camp has no concrete plan,” Iohannis said.
President Iohannis on Romania’s accession to Schengen Area: There are signs things could be moving forward
President Klaus Iohannis said in Brussels on Wednesday that Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area would be a strong signal that the European Union wants to consolidate its external borders, pointing out that, although he cannot get into details, there are signs that things could be moving forward.
“The Schengen issue is constantly on the agenda of all the discussions we have, both bilateral and multilateral. Even today, I had talks with relevant leaders on this topic, on the side-lines of the informal meetings. I cannot get into details right now, but there are signs that things could be moving forward. It would be very good for Romania, but also for the rest of the Schengen area. Romania does not only act as a de facto member, but it is also an important component in the security and safety of the entire region,” Iohannis said.
The head of state showed that Romania “has done its homework” and is “already accustomed” to ensuring citizens’ security.
“It is clear that we have done our homework, that we are not only capable, but also that we are already accustomed to keeping not only the safety and security of the citizens, but to maintaining the entire country safe as well; I believe that in this respect Romania’s accession to Schengen would be a real win and would represent a strong signal that the EU and Schengen Area really want to consolidate their external borders,” the President said.