President Iohannis: EPP’s imprimatur on Brexit negations, not bothering if satisfying Romania’s objectives

Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday that the leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) wants to leave their imprimatur on the Brexit negotiations over the UK leaving the European Union adding that that is not bothersome as long as the outcome meets Romania’s objectives.

“You have probably followed some of the speeches given by EPP leaders and realised that there is a wish to leave an imprimatur on these negotiations, which does not bother as long as the outcome satisfies Romania’s objectives. Some of Romania’s objectives are very clear; I have unveiled them and continue to back them. I want negotiations that will guarantee the right of Romanian nationals living and working in the UK; on the other hand, we want to preserve the strategic partnership with the UK, continue our cooperation on security policy, particularly on the eastern flank, on the eastern neighbourhood, on which Romania and the UK have very similar stances,” Iohannis told journalists at the EPP Summit in Malta.

He went on to say that the formal and informal talks he had these day with important state leaders revealed that things are on the right track.

“I could say that they all have understood that these negotiations cannot simultaneously be about the UK leaving the EU and the status of the UK afterwards, but that we have to start with clarifying aspects related to the breakup and only then should we start negotiations over what comes once the UK is out. Things are starting to settle and we hope to be able to very actively participate in these negotiations without getting out from the EU-27 team, which should negotiate as a single entity if it wants to negotiate successfully,” said Iohannis.

He reiterated that Romania disagrees with a multi-speed Europe or a Europe of concentric circles.

“As far as the future of the European Union is concerned, certain things have been quite well discussed and a first result was visible as early as the Rome Declaration. The concept of concentric circles, of multi-speed Europe have been discarded, and today I have reiterated Romania’s disagreements with the two concepts. I guess the people have understood that it is more important for us to be together and build something than for us to get bogged down in differences between east and west, north and south. As you could see, there were some moments of great tension, not only in the east-west relationship, but also in the north-south one when it came to the euro, sustainability of national budgets and public debt. But these should in no way be deepened, but the divergences and the differences should be settled down. That does not happen as a self-starting process, but it occurs when we want to get common approaches, negotiating for common approaches, and I am quite optimistic about it,” Iohannis concluded.

Iohannis on Thursday was in Malt to attend an EPP Summit.

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