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France’s Macron in Bucharest: Romania is perfectly entitled to ask to join Schengen. President Iohannis: Agreed to deepen Strategic Partnership with France, focus on politics, economy, culture, research

“Romania is perfectly entitled to ask to join the Schengen Area”, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday at the Cotroceni presidential palace at the end of his meeting with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis.

“Our desire is for Europe to march forward. For several years now you have been perfectly entitled to ask to join the Schengen Area (…) and I know how important this is for you. (…) I am totally open to this subject”, Macron said.

In his opinion, Europe of the Schengen Area is not working well.

“Europe of the Schengen Area is not working well and of course we cannot rejoice in it, and it’s my wish that in the coming months we speed up the reform of the common rules in this area, clarify them, have a more solidary attitude, better border control, increased convergence as regards common regulations on asylum and the reception of foreign people, and have you join this discussion”, Macron said.

The French President also welcomed Romania’s efforts to combat terrorism.

I welcome all the efforts made here towards fighting terrorism, a matter Romania takes in all seriousness, as it also contributed to securing the European Union’s external borders, as well as its contribution to our countries’ exemplary cooperation on justice and policing, said the President of France.

He said that Romania and Bulgaria’s being left outside the Schengen did not help protect this area against migration.

“The flaw regarding Romania’s joining, Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area has to do with the fact that this would have implied the risk of letting migrants enter Europe. … History shows us that even with Romania and Bulgaria outside the Schengen Area, migrants have still entered Europe, therefore I can see that Romania cooperates in a particularly effective way, makes efforts, observes the rules to join the Schengen Area and having Romania outside the Schengen does not add extra protection to those inside this area”, underscored the French head of state.

At the same time, President Macron said he has no reason to oppose Romania’s joining the Schengen.

“I have no reason to oppose Romania’s joining the Schengen Area. My only reservation is that this Schengen Area does not work well today and I want it to undergo in-depth reform and at the same time, that we carry out this reform by joining in those states that have the vocation to integrate with this space … (…) Today, at European level, there are seven [regulatory] texts under debate on migration issues that are advancing unequally, we lack an overview and I think we need to find our rhythm and a consolidated vision on this subject, a common vision”, Macron said.

In the opinion of the French President, the Europe that protects is also the Europe of defence.

In June, we have made some real progress on a European level, with the implementation of a permanent structured cooperation, a European Defence Fund. … I am glad that today’s discussions revealed your willingness to commit Romania to this Europe of defence. … Our teams and ministers in charge will be able to work in the next few weeks together so that, beyond what has been done so far, the methods of greater integration, a common fund, common capacities, strengthened partnerships in this area be designed, said Emmanuel Macron.

 

President Iohannis: Romania’s goal to join Schengen area stays put

 

“Romania’s goal to join the Schengen area stays put”, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday during a joint news conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, at the Cotroceni presidential Palace.

Iohannis specified that Romania already acts de facto as a responsible state of the Schengen area, in solidarity with all efforts to strengthening the European Union’s external borders.

“Romania’s accession will consolidate the Schengen area’s security and will convey a strong signal in support of the European construction,” the Romanian head of state stressed.

 

 “Agreed to deepen Strategic Partnership with France, focus on politics, economy, culture, research”

 

The Presidents of Romania and France decided on Thursday to take the two countries’ Strategic Partnership to a deeper level, particularly as regards politics, economy, culture and research.

“Today, again, we had very good talks that ended in the decision to deepen the strategic partnership, particularly in the sectors of politics, economy, culture and research,” said the Romanian head of state at the end of his meeting at the Cotroceni presidential palace with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who is in Romania on Thursday as part of a three-day trip to Central and Eastern Europe.

Klaus Iohannis pointed out that the visit of the French official to Romania occurs at a symbolic moment because in 2017 there are 25 years since the coming in force of the Romania – France Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, and 2018 will see the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Strategic Partnership.

Iohannis praised the upward dynamics of economic exchanges between the two countries and expressed interest in diversifying French investments in the Romanian economy.

According to the Romanian head of state, the two Presidents expressed their support for the Romania – France cross-cultural season 2018-2019.

Iohannis also expressed the desire to cooperate with France to mark the Great Union Centennial.

“Romania remains one of the European countries most attached to Francophonie and a beacon state of the Francophonie in Central and Eastern Europe,” said the Romanian President, who also highlighted the role of the Romanian community in France.

 

Iohannis: Romania, a mature country wishing to be a re-founding member of the EU

 

Romania is a mature member of the European Union, that wishes to be a re-founding member of the EU, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday at the end of his meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.

“We have decided to support a strengthened cooperation between Romania and France in the field of European affairs, mainly to support and even re-define the European project we both – President Macron and I – hold very dear. I’ve assured Mr. President that he can find an authentic partner, deeply attached to the European idea and fully involved in the efforts of re-boosting the EU. Romania is today, ten years since accession, a mature member state, with a very strong European profile, that wishes to be a re-founding member of the EU. In this respect, I’ve stressed the importance of advancing in the integration process at European level in an inclusive formula, open to all member states, by focusing our joint efforts on consensual initiatives, with concrete, positive results for our citizens. (…) Social Europe must be in the first place a Europe of cohesion, based on a unitary vision wherein the social progress of every member state is a priority goal,” Iohannis told the joint conference delivered with French President Macron.

He also specified that Romania wishes to participate from the beginning in the “Europe of Defence” project.

 

Macron: I know you are strongly determined to integrate Romania in a forward marching Europe

 

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday in Bucharest that he is aware of the Romanian authorities’ efforts to integrate Romania in a forward marching Europe.

“We are determined to work together on the road map for the future of the European Union, for the Eurozone and for all the approaches that are to be accomplished in the future, because I know you are strongly determined to integrate Romania in a Europe that marches forward”, President Macron said at the joint conference with Romanian counterpart Iohannis at the Cotroceni Palace.

 

Romania’ President: Directive on posted workers needs improvement

 

Romania’s President said on Thursday  that the directive on posted workers needs improvement, underscoring that certain simplifications and confusions must be avoided.

“There is great discontent in France over the workers who apparently are trying to bypass the system rather than fit into it, but we can see a lot of people from Eastern Europe, for instance from Romania, who want to work in France, Germany, Spain. If this is the case, it is very clear that we need to improve this directive. It is inadmissible to see this discontent in Western Europe on the one hand – over incoming workers, and on the other hand to have the desire of the people from the East to live better. They are both legitimate and the fact that this directive has produced such disagreements and divergences does not mean that the people of France are not right or that those from Romania are not right, it means that the directive is not sufficiently clear and good enough,” Iohannis told a joint press conference with his visiting French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Iohannis also underscored that it is very important to avoid certain simplifications and confusions.

 

French President Macron, PM Tudose have working lunch at Vila Lac 1

 

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived Thursday afternoon at Vila Lac 1 for a scheduled working lunch with Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose, in the context of his one-day official visit to Bucharest.

The French President was welcomed by the head of the Romanian government on the platform in front of the villa. Before stepping in for talks, the two top officials shook hands for an official photograph.

At the request of the French side, President Macron and Premier Tudose were to hold a one-on-one discussion, government sources said.

According to a government release, the subjects tackled during the working lunch include aspects regarding cooperation on economy, energy, research and culture.

At the same time, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose will present Romania’s economic progress, the measures taken by the Executive in this field and investment opportunities.

Another topic of interest is Romania’s Schengen accession.

Preparations for the Romania – France Cultural Season that will take place between December 1, 2018 – June 31, 2019 and will mark the Centennial of Modern Romania are also on the agenda of the talks.

The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu, Minister Delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu, Minister of Economy Mihai Fifor, Secretary of State in the Foreign Ministry George Ciamba, Romania’s Ambassador to France Luca Niculescu, Rector of the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest Sorin Cimpeanu, and state advisors Florin Vodita, Gabriel Andronache and Felix Rache attend the working lunch on Romania’s behalf.

The French delegation headed by President Macron includes Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau, Ambassador of France to Romania Michele Ramis, Navy Chief of Staff admiral Bernard Rogel, advisors Philippe Etienne, Clement Beaune, Barbara Frugier and Nicolas Jegou.

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