President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that Romania must remain a solid partner of the European Union in any pro-European demarche, adding that this is the responsibility of all political forces.
“10 years since accession, we can confidently say that Romania has shaped up as a member state that wants and acts firmly in the direction of strengthening the European project. Romania has fully undertaken, alongside other European partners, the responsibility of this consolidation, for a more functional, powerful, democratic and united union that manages through joint efforts to instill a feeling of confidence and support for the future European project into its citizens,” Iohannis said at an event hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), called “10th Anniversary of Romania’s accession to the Union European Union: from Cohesion to Convergence.”
He underscored that it’s essential that the commitment and transatlantic support for a more powerful European Union be of main concern in Romania, in the interest of all Romanian citizens, but also of the entire European construction, pointing out that this responsibility is incumbent on Romania, especially because Romania will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2019.
The President added that 2019 will be the year of several events that will shape, for at least one decade, the future of the EU, indicating the completion of the UK leaving the EU, negotiation over the future multi-annual budget after 2020, and changes in the main European institutions.
“In this context, our country is and will have to remain the same solid partner in any pro-European demarche, and this is a responsibility that all political powers of Romania must undertake,” Iohannis said.
He mentioned that Romania backs a Europe in which all member states are equal and contribute to achieving concrete, beneficial results for all European citizens.
“It’s essential for us to act in a unitary manner, while fully observing the principles and values that underpin the European project and advancing those policies that can further generate added value through shared interests, such as cohesion and common agriculture policy. The manner in which Europe chooses to move forward will be reflected also in the post-2020 multi-annual budget. However, in our view, the future budget of the EU must, inevitably, contribute to deepening the integration process, avoiding the emergence of split approaches that would favor a multi-speed Europe. Necessary levers must be further provided in order to achieve convergence in all member states, and, from this perspective, we believe that the cohesion policy must preserve its central role in the architecture of the future budget,” Iohannis said.
The President underscored that 10 years after accession, Romania still needs the EU, just as the EU needs Romania.
“Romania has set, amidst the celebration of a decade of EU membership and the centennial of the modern Romanian state in 2018 and the presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019, to play an active role among the states that back a powerful and efficient Union that is closer to its citizens. (…) What I have learned over the past 10 years is that solidarity and responsibility are inseparable in the European construction. These words were and remain the key to success for the EU and for each of its members,” said Iohannis.
“Romania has a chance inside EU”
He stated that Romania has a chance in the European Union, which it has to take advantage of every year, showing that a better and more efficient absorption of European funds could provide support for the achievement of the development objectives in crucial sectors.
“Romania has benefited from the opportunities offered by its EU membership, but not in full. Some areas require further efforts, and what I mean is primarily the need to increase the absorption rate of the European funds. Romania has a chance inside the European Union, on which we have to capitalise every year, while better absorption and more efficient management of European funds can provide us with significant support in meeting our country’s development goals in crucial sectors, such as infrastructure,” Iohannis told a conference hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) and called “10th Anniversary of Romania’s Accession to the European Union: from Cohesion to Convergence.”
He added that the stock taken on the ten years of EU membership for Romania is a positive one.
“Romania not only shares, but also actively promotes inside the European Union and in its neighbourhood, the values, principles and methods of European socio-economic development. We can unequivocally say that Romania, at the level of the entire society, has fully enjoyed the benefits of its European Union membership. All these years have allowed Romania to get modernised by strengthening democracy, improving institutional and administrative capacity and, obviously, economic development. It is almost impossible for us to identify a single area where European Union support has not manifested itself,” said Iohannis.
He mentioned that the integration process also meant an active participation of Romania in the European decision-making mechanism.
He added that ten years after accession, Romania’s GDP almost doubled, even when the Union was facing a difficult economic and financial crisis. He also showed that the purchasing power increased by about 20 percent since joining.
He underscored that cohesion policy has generated genuine added value for Romania’s efforts to modernise itself, contributing substantially to speeding up economic growth and creating new jobs.
He noted that a report recently published by the European Commission shows that the regions of the new member states, Romania included, have reported on average over 5-percent annual increases in their per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the highest such increase the European Union.
“It is thus reconfirmed the undeniable value of investment and structural funds in support of the European Union’s growth objectives,” Iohannis said.
“Romania’s accession to eurozone, essential step”
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said Thursday that Romania’s accession to the eurozone is an essential step and that this objective is also an anchor for economic predictability and stability.
“Amidst the goal of convergence at European level, Romania’s accession to the eurozone is an essential step. The switchover to the euro is the political, economic and institutional project that Romania aspires to and that we can turn into reality. In this sense, the objective of joining the eurozone as soon as possible is also an anchor for the predictability and stability that Romania’s economy so much needs,” Iohannis told a conference hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) called ’10th Anniversary of Romania’s accession to the Union European Union: from Cohesion to Convergence.”