DIPLOMACY

Iohannis-Merkel meeting in Berlin: Romania’s President proposes creation of European agency to fight terrorism

President Klaus Iohannis proposed on Friday the creation of a European agency to fight terrorism, stressing that it would be a concrete measure that could “really increase not only security itself, but also the security feeling inside Europe.”

Iohannis had a working meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also attended by the Belgian PM, Charles Michel, and the Premier of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel.

“Should we talk of a matter that is a main matter in all national, European debates, and I’m referring here to security, we must see the two aspects – the external security, and this is about strengthening control at the Union’s external borders, and the internal security, in particular, of course, the prevention of the terrorist acts and unfortunately we’ve had way too many of those. (…) During meetings I have proposed as a concrete measure, it’s just a proposal so far and we’ll see how it will be enforced, the creation of a European agency to fight terrorism. It would be a very concrete measure that would replace the multiple entities that are now dealing with the terrorist acts’ prevention and I believe it might really increase not only the security itself, but also the security feeling inside Europe,” the Romanian head of state said.

 

“UK should remain important partner to us too”

 

President Klaus Iohannis emphasized at the meeting in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel that the UK should remain an important partner, informs a release by the Romanian Presidential Administration.

“As for the Brexit, I stressed that it is very important for negotiations not to start before triggering Article 50 and that these negotiations must be handled by the Union 27 with the UK. Obviously, the UK should remain an important partner to us, too. To me, as Romania’s President, there are some specific matters there, that are important and will find themselves at the core of our negotiations – for instance, the fate of the Romanians in the UK,” said Klaus Iohannis, according to the source.

“This meeting is part of a broader consultation process among European leaders, a consultation that at least in a first stage moves to preparing the next week’s informal meeting in Bratislava. In reality, it is a series of very good meetings which, we hope, will allow us to reach even a strategy for the future of the European Union. Obviously, for the Bratislava meeting we have focused our talks around the Brexit, migration, the internal and external security, all matters that are not only in the attention of the leaders, but which do preoccupy everybody in the EU,” President Iohannis concluded, according to the said release.

 

 “We need strong and performing EU; vision for the future is needed”

 

President Klaus Iohannis also underscored, during the Friday meeting in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that this is very important that the 27 EU members remain united, because a strong Union needs to be further built.

“Only this way we can deal with the current crises and the crises which, undoubtedly, will come up in the future. I underscored that the Union must act so that it should restore the European citizens’ confidence in the Union and the confidence of the foreign partners in the Union. The European project most certainly needs to be relaunched. We need a stronger, more flexible, or, if you wish, in short, a better Union. As a Union, we must be capable to respond to basic requirements. Anyone asked what they expect from the EU will basically respond they expect prosperity and security. These are the things that the Union must deliver. For this, we need innovating solutions, a strong and performing Union, we need vision for the future, correlated with tangible results, practical solutions,” Iohannis said, according to a Presidential Administration release.

The head of state pleaded for common solutions in all contexts, starting from the Brexit, to the migration or economic crisis, and to the sovereignty issue.

“We must be careful not to have shifts in the European Union. To Romania, and I underscored this thing, a strong Union and a deeper integration of Romania in the EU remains a national strategic objective. It is very important to see what has already been achieved in the European Union through the European Union. The truth is that the European citizens, the citizens in the EU countries, have never fared so well as now. Obviously, we have problems, there are disadvantaged groups. However, overall, the EU has meant a huge progress for the citizens and these things must be said,” Iohannis showed.

The President highlighted that “to be able to continue, to go on a positive development, an increase in transparency and an increase of the European institutions’ legitimacy is needed among others.”

“Many times, when we speak with citizens or with local administration representatives, for instance, we are told that they don’t understand what happens in the European institutions. Many times excessive bureaucracy is blamed. All these things must be heard and we must act to remove the administrative landings, where possible. For this, of course a better communication is also needed,” Iohannis added.

In his opinion, communication would significantly improve the collaboration among the European and national institutions, because, as Iohannis says, very many misunderstandings “emerge because of the lack of communication, and, unfortunately, sometimes because of the lack of transparency.”

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