DIPLOMACY

President Iohannis on Brexit: We don’t intend to end up in situations disfavouring our citizens

President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday upon arriving at the European Council meeting in Brussels that discussions on the manner how social aid is granted to foreign workers, in the Brexit context, must be conducted very carefully.

The head of state was asked about Romania’s position on the European Commission’s proposal to rethink the manner of granting social aid to seconded workers.

“We must understand how this proposal was reached. In fact, it derives from the discussions carried out before the Brexit, when everyone was trying to find a flexible form of approach to be able to prevent the Brexit. This hasn’t been achieved, but the discussions did take place and here we see that they generate results for the countries in the western part of the continent. They somehow represent very political approaches. To us, they represent discussions that must be conducted very carefully, because we don’t have absolutely any interest and we have no intention to end up in situations in which our citizens could be disfavored,” President Iohannis said.

“President Klaus Iohannis will participate in the European Council reunion that will take place in Brussels, with the main themes on the agenda to be discussed being migration management, the European Union’s internal and external security, economic aspects as well as foreign relations”, the Presidential Administration announced in a release on Thursday.

On the sidelines of the European Council meeting, an informal meeting of the 27 leaders (EU 28 minus United Kingdom) will be held, and its objective is to set out how the Brexit process will be handled by the remaining EU 27 member-states.

As regards migration, according to the Presidential Administration release, the focus will be placed on assessing progress on the agreements signed with some African countries, and on the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement. Within the context, the reform of the Common European Asylum System, and how to apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the future will be discussed as well.

“The President of Romania will support the intensification of the dialogue and cooperation with the migrants’ origin or transit states, in view of their economic development, which will lead, implicitly, to the reduction of migration flows towards the European Union,” the release states.

As regards the defence and the external security of the EU, talks will focus on EU-NATO relations, on the implementation plan for the EU Global Strategy, as well as on the European Defence Action Plan proposed by the European Commission.

“President Klaus Iohannis will support the deepening of EU- NATO cooperation so that challenges regarding security in the region can be appropriately dealt with, the release reads.

Within the European Council meeting, talks will revolve around the stage of implementation of various Single Market Strategies – Single Digital Market Strategy, the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, the Energy Union , and also about stimulating investment at European level, including through the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investment and youth-related initiatives and fight against youth unemployment.

“The president will highlight that more efforts at EU level are necessary with regard to the development of European industrial policy in order to achieve the industry contribution target to the 20 percent of the EU GDP in 2020,” mentions the Presidential Administration.

As regards the foreign relations of the European Union, The European Council is expected to exchange views on the ratification process in the Netherlands of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Regarding this topic, the head of the state will uphold the need to identify a solution that allows the entry into force of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, without its modification or renegotiation, the cited source mentions.

During the EU 27 informal meeting, the talks will deal with how the Brexit process will be handled.

“Given the long and complex process involved in the Brexit process, the Romanian president will argue for the importance of managing the process in a predictable way, in accordance with the Union’s Treaties and keeping the unity of the 27 state members,” the Presidential Administration further specifies.

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