President Klaus Iohannis expressed hope that the December 11 parliamentary election will reaffirm the reality that there are no extremist parties in the Parliament of Romania.
“Romania is a country where the European spirit manifests itself as a matter of course, without divisive xenophobic or anti-European tendencies. It’s a country whose Parliament does not include extremist parties – and I hope that the parliamentary election of December 11 reaffirms this reality. A country which, through its open society, its economic performance, the demeanor to the citizens and its referencing to the European construction makes a solid contribution to the preservation of the European Union’s unity which is now needed more than ever,” Iohannis said on Friday in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, where he was presented with the Martin Buber plaque of the Euriade Foundation.
The President said that Romania is “a state where dialogue between national minorities can provide a genuine model of promoting interculturalism and cultural diversity.”
Iohannis went on by saying that, as a country on the outer border of the EU and NATO, Romania takes the responsibility to project stability and democratic values in this neighborhood and that it is diligently preparing for taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2019, which is a “test of Romania’s European maturity.”
The President recalled that the Treaty on the European Union was signed 25 years ago, and stressed that next year will see the tenth anniversary of Romania’s EU accession.
“It’s a particularly important anniversary for Europe, especially in this period when the solidity of the European project is put to the test. Very soon we will also celebrate 10 years since Romania joined the Union on January 1, 2007 and thus reconfirmed its deeply European history. One decade since our return to the community of values we have always known we belong to, the Romanians strongly believe in the European project, in its ability to ensure peace, democracy and prosperity. The Romanian citizens are indeed the most favorable to the Union of all the member states’ citizens,” said President Iohannis.
The Romanian head of state also said that he strongly believes in the continuing relevance of the European project, especially in the current context when it is faced with serious challenges.
“I am convinced that a pragmatic and coherent Union, a more flexible and more credible Union that is close to its citizens, a Union that respects its fundamental values and principles represents the way for us to advance towards a prosperous, strong and secure Europe. (…) Romania is convinced that only the member states’ unity can prevent the division tendencies which, unfortunately, are manifest these days inside the Union,” he said.
President Iohannis underscored that the whole world is faced with challenges of unprecedented scale in recent decades, the most acute of which are the migration crisis, terrorism, the Brexit, populism,and the challenges to the rule of law.
“It is our duty to find together real and visionary solutions for the future of the European Union and of its citizens. We need to ensure economic growth, new jobs – especially for young people – economic and social cohesion and, above all, internal and external security,” added the head of the state, voicing his conviction that the EU will emerge stronger from this period when its resistance is being put to test.
Klaus Iohannis thanked the president of the Euriade Foundation, Prof. Dr. Werner Janssen, and the entire Board of the Foundation for the distinction received.
“The award of this plaque honors me because it is a reference to ‘the philosophy of dialogue’ promoted by Martin Buber. The belief in the force of dialogue has always guided me in private life and in the public life I set in the service of the citizen,” concluded President Iohannis.