Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday welcomed President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss special monitoring of Romania’s progress with judiciary reform and the fight against corruption under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), Romania’s accession to the border-free Schengen Area, debates on the future of the EU as well as the management of negotiations over the UK exiting the European Union.
The Presidential Administration says in a press statement that also discussed were Romania’s priorities as the holder of the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019.
Iohannis showed that Romania wants to significantly imprint its deeply pro-European vision on the reflection regarding the future of the EU, reiterating Romania’s principal position that only a strong, united, solidary and inclusive union closer to its citizens is the answer to the future of the European design.
He went on to reiterate Romania’s firm commitment to get involved in the consolidation of the European design, mentioning that the country’s holding the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019 will be a big opportunity for Romania to play an important part in the configuration of Europe’s future.
“Romania’s President has taken a firm stand against a multi-speed Europe or a Europe of concentric circles, arguing that such formulas will not contribute to the consolidation of the European design, but to its split-up,” the statement says.
Iohannis also underscored the importance of the European Union’s fundamental achievements and the advantages of being a part of a big European family being better communicated Europewide in order to counter Eurosceptic trends.
The Presidential Administration says Juncker remarked that 10 years since acceding to the European Union, Romania has made significant progress, with the benefits of accession being visible in all areas, including the dally lives of Romanians.
“The President of the European Commission reiterated a commitment to lift Romania’s monitoring under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism during the term in office of the current commission. The European official also underscored that the final decision will be made based on Romania meeting the 12 benchmarks included in the latest CVM progress report and that there will be no more additional benchmarks,” the statement says.
Juncker is said to have stated himself strongly in favour of Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, given that Romania is meeting all the requirements to do so.