The celebration of Europe Day is a profoundly symbolic moment for the European Union and for its citizens. Each year we have the opportunity to recall the core values, principles and ideals that are the tenets of the EU construction.
It is a momentous time as Romania also celebrates this year the tenth anniversary of its accession to the European Union. This accomplishment, alongside NATO accession, marked important landmarks not only in the Romanian history, but also in the process of reunification of the European continent after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The EU membership has been a major national objective, enthusiastically supported by the Romanian society, both citizens and political actors. As an EU member state, Romania has consolidated its profile as a credible partner, firmly attached to a community centred on fundamental values and principles and a longstanding model of economic and social development. The EU membership remains for Romania intrinsically linked to our desire to guarantee durable development, modernisation and prosperity for our society and to contribute, together with our partners, to the development of the EU project.
This year we also mark an important milestone in the history of the EU, the signature of the Rome Treaties in March 1957. It is our duty as Europeans to not forget the dedication and vision of the EU founding fathers of building, after the Second World War, the most important project meant to guarantee long-lasting peace, stability, prosperity and democratic development on our continent. These ideas, that are the hallmark of the EU identity, have kept their role model and force of attraction. As a dedicated, pro-European Member State, Romania acted successfully, along other EU Member States, in order to see these objectives reaffirmed in the Declaration of the anniversary Summit held on the 25th of March, to mark the adoption, 60 years ago, of the Treaties of Rome.
The Declaration speaks clearly about the importance of our common action and about the need to continue standing together to defend our common interests and fundamental values. Our force resides indeed in the common desire to build a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable Europe, a Europe that delivers a better life to its citizens and acts as a strong actor on the international arena.
For Romania, the capacity to act united and cohesively, guided by the desire to find joint solutions to our problems and to develop together our way forward, is, both today and in the long run, the only way to benefit each of the EU members and the Union, as a whole.
It is our common duty to preserve this set of EU norms and values as the key to the sustainable development of the European project, particularly at this juncture, when we are confronted with very complex challenges, internally and externally.
This is not an easy road, but together we can overcome any difficulty and transform challenges into opportunities, in order to find better solutions for the future. In all EU demarches, Romania remains a pro-European and constructive partner, open to work with its partners to consolidate the EU project and perpetuate its success.
The experience of the EU construction has repeatedly proved that the most efficient way to tackle problems lies in solidarity and the desire to cooperate to the common benefit. We should avoid the risks of fragmentation and division, as they are not feasible options, now or in the future. Romania cannot support formalizing a European Union of “multiple speeds” which would increase the risk of emphasizing social and economic divisions between Member States, including between the Euro and non-Euro Members, between North and South, as well as between Member States from the East or the West.
It is high time to show our willingness to prove that, as Europeans, we join efforts to achieve together our goals and tackle today’s world challenges.
We should also strive to preserve the success stories that have ensured, over time, incentives for EU development, such as the Internal Market with its fundamental freedoms, the cohesion, the common agricultural policy, the Schengen area, the EU enlargement policy, the EU’s action in the Neighborhood. These flagship policies have contributed to the consolidation of the EU project and have brought clear benefits in the life of all European citizens, across the continent. We need to preserve and develop them.
On the other hand, we should not forget the role of regional cooperation in our actions at EU level. Romania continues to be a pole of stability in its region and contributes to the security and stability of the whole continent.
These are the guiding lines of our action not only in the current reflection on the EU future, or in the context of the EU-UK negotiations, but also in the ongoing process of preparations for ensuring a first successful rotating Presidency of the EU Council that will be held by Romania in the first semester of 2019.
The European Union signifies dialogue, cooperation and solidarity to our common benefit. On Europe Day, it is my pleasure to send a message of optimism and support for the development of the European project. Happy Europe Day!