DIPLOMACY

President Iohannis at the European Council in Tallinn: It is important that we have future-oriented approaches

The European Union (EU) leaders have future-oriented approaches, towards redefining and reinventing the EU, said President Klaus Iohannis, pointing out that “the reflection process for the future of the EU is now really started.”

The Romanian head of state is attending on Friday the informal meeting of the European Council on digital issues, held in Tallinn, Estonia.

On Thursday evening, the President of Romania attended the informal dinner together with the heads of the delegations, hosted by Juri Ratas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, and by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

“Last night it was one of the best discussions I attended, a discussion in an atmosphere of optimism. It is the first time that we really feel optimism, and this optimism was also felt from the President of the European Council ( …) and from the speech of President Macron [at Sorbonne University] a few days ago and from others who took the floor. Including my last night’s approach was in an optimistic note. I think it is very realistic to believe that this reflection process for the future of the EU is now really started. Ideas, even many future-oriented ideas appear.” Instead of concentrating on the red lines, we are concentrating on horizons, as President Junker said,” Klaus Iohannis stated before participating in the meeting.

He said that his approach would continue towards the EU coming closer to citizens.

“My approach last night, and I will continue on this line, was to try to bring the Union closer to the citizens. We have started to prepare for the European elections, it is clear that one of the handiest methods is to think to find European positions or lists to make the European citizen vote for something genuine European, and in this way to find a better approach between Brussels, which is seen by many as a distant technical apparatus [and citizens], to come as close as possible to the European citizen (…) Each comes with their own approach and, after many rounds of talks, I believe that very good ideas will be outlined. It is important that we have future-oriented approaches, approaches aimed at redefining, reinventing the European Union,” the President detailed.

The high officials have agreed not to start the talks with a text to amend the treaties. “One thing that we agreed upon very well last night was not to start from technical matters. Technicalities can be discussed in the second or third stage, as we must not even start with a text to amend the treaties. We must start as open-minded politicians, discuss and see what policies we want to redefine, then discuss the practical implementation methods,” the Romanian head of state said.

The Tallinn Summit’s agenda includes digital innovation initiatives that would enable the EU to cope with technological developments and become a global digital leader in the coming years.

The meeting focuses on two major topics: “The Future of Governance and Security,” focusing on the role of the EU, of the member states in strengthening the trust in digital security and ‘The Future of the Economy and Society,” about the future needs of the EU in terms of infrastructure, market and workforce.

On the occasion of the Tallinn meeting, the European Council’s President Donald Tusk chaired on Thursday evening an informal meeting with EU leaders. On this occasion, the members of the European Council had an exchange of views on the future of the Union and addressed other important topics on the European agenda, such as migration, security and Brexit, the Presidential Administration has informed.

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