During his meeting with the Prime Minister of Malta, President Klaus Iohannis firmly expressed his opposition to the “multi-speed Europe” ideas that are circulating, claiming that such a reconfiguration formula could lead to the disintegration of the European project.
On Wednesday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis received Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat at the Cotroceni Palace, on the visit he is paying to Bucharest against the backdrop in which Malta is holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of this year.
According to a press release, the meeting tackled topics of relevance from the European agenda, namely the future of the European Union, Brexit, the migration crisis, as well as the priorities of the Maltese presidency of the Council of the EU.
In regards to the debates concerning the future of the European Union, President Klaus Iohannis reconfirmed our country’s firm commitment to contribute to the consolidation of the European project. The president reiterated that continuing its integration at EU level remains a strategic objective for Romania.
“The Romanian President firmly positioned himself against the recently circulating ideas concerning a multi-speed Europe – a Union of concentric circles. In his opinion, such reconfiguration formulas for the Union could lead to the disintegration of the European project. The Head of State emphasised that Romania is in favour of a strong, consolidated, unitary and inclusive Europe,” the aforementioned source pointed out.
In what concerns the future negotiation of the United Kingdom’s exit from the Union, President Iohannis stressed the special importance of maintaining the unity of the 27 EU member states.
The Head of State emphasised that, for Romania, it is very important for the provisions of the agreement on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union to ensure that the rights and interests of Romanian citizens living in the United Kingdom are protected, so that they could benefit from their already-gained rights after Brexit too.
At the same time, President Klaus Iohannis pronounced himself in favour of an open partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom after Brexit, pointing out that the United Kingdom is one of the Union’s strategic partners and it is important for it to remain in a relationship that would be as close to the EU as possible.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presented the priorities of the EU Council Presidency’s mandate, the Romanian President expressing his support for them. In this context, Klaus Iohannis emphasised the Romanian side’s interest in an exchange of good practices in what concerns the preparation of the Presidency of the EU Council, in view of our country picking up this mandate in the first quarter of 2019.
The Maltese Premier emphasised that in the migration domain what is needed is an approach based on the efficient management of borders, flexibility, the sharing of responsibility and the identification of consensual solutions on the future of the migration and asylum policy. The Premier outlined the progress made in this domain so far, particularly on the migration’s external dimension.
The Romanian President reiterated our country’s commitment to continue implementing the measures agreed at European level in this domain and outlined the Romanian side’s openness for the identification of solutions that would take into consideration the interests of all member states, the communique shows.
At meeting with Maltese counterpart, PM Grindeanu reaffirms Romanian authorities’ commitment to fresh impetus to EU construction
During his meeting with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday, at the Victoria Palace, Premier Sorin Grindeanu reiterated Romania’s support for the priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU and reaffirmed the Romanian authorities’ commitment to strengthening and giving fresh impetus to the European construction, particularly in light of the March 25 Summit in Rome, a government release informs.
“As regards the Brexit, the Romanian side reiterated the country’s firm commitment to promoting a constructive approach to negotiations and underscored the need for a consistent EU stance based on the principles agreed upon regarding the preservation of the internal market’s integrity and maintaining the rights of European citizens in the UK,” the release says.
The two officials voiced their belief that Brexit negotiations should not affect the process of reflection on the future of the European project.
Regarding migration, the Romanian Prime Minister reaffirmed support for a joint EU response, emphasizing the solidarity shown by Romania and its substantial contribution to EU efforts to manage migration.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed preparations for Romania’s taking over the Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019.
“The Romanian side underscored that the Presidency of the Council of the EU represents a challenge for Romania, which seeks to have an as good as possible collaboration with the member states to best illustrate the European project. The Romanian government is determined to support the EU in its efforts to increase security and prosperity in the European regions,” reads the press release.
The participants to the meeting also discussed the improvement of Romania’s absorption of European grants.
The visit of the Maltese head of government to Romania is part of a tour of the EU member states, in the context of Malta’s Presidency of the EU Council this semester.
Attending the meeting on Romania’s behalf were Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu, Minister Delegate for European Affairs Ana Birchall, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cristian Badescu, and State advisor with the Romanian Government Marius Nica. Participating for the Maltese side were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs Louis Grech, Minister of Foreign Affairs George Vella, Parliamentary Secretary for the EU Presidency 2017 and for EU Funds Ian Borg.