Several European Union member states signaled they wanted to avoid a vote on the activation of article 7 of the Treaty of Lisbon, with Poland to also defend other countries in the region, Romania included, if it finds that it receives an unfair treatment, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jacek Czaputowicz, stated on Thursday, in a joint statement with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor Melescanu.
He was asked whether, during his meetings with the Bucharest officials, he asked for support, in case that there is a vote held on the activation of article 7 of the EU Treaty, a procedure that could result in Warsaw losing its voting rights in the European Council, because of Poland’s refusal to modify certain controversial judiciary reforms.
“We did not ask anybody,” he said and pointed out that “several member states” have signaled to him that “they would want to avoid this vote.”
“One of the arguments is the fact that such vote could lead to a fragmentation of the European Union. What I would like to ask my European partners, including here Mr. Minister, is to consider our arguments in an objective manner, to take note not only of the Commission’s position, which, in our opinion, is unjust and doesn’t reflect the facts accurately, but also the Polish Government’s position, which will be presented in a short while,” highlighted Jacek Czaputowicz.
He spoke about the possibility that a vote on article 7 actually take place. “What I want to say is that, if there is such situation where they will need to make a decision whether to held the vote or not, for sure that Poland will run a campaign. And, as far as I know, not just Hungary, but other states too are prepared to support us. I don’t know what Romania’s position will be, but we will definitely discuss this matter. I believe, through, and I also hope, that we will never be in that situation,” the head of the Polish diplomacy pointed out.
Moreover, he underscored that “Poland will also defend other states of the European Union in the region if it decides that they are treated of an unfair manner by the European institutions.”
“This is our mission: we will stick together, and if we support one another, the our voice will be heard in all the European forums. This is the general slogan of our foreign affairs,” he added and he said that Romania too will receive this country’s help, “if it is right.”
“This is an attempt to use such double standards and we cannot agree with this. We will also support Romania in this attempt of ours,” added Jacek Czaputowicz.
ForMin Melescanu: Connecting European funds to other elements would be gross breaching of EU principles
Connecting European funds to “other elements” would be “a gross breaching” of the principles of the European Union, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Thursday in a joint statement with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz.
The two officials replied to a question about the messages sent from Brussels, according to which the allotment of European funds for certain countries could be influenced by modifications in the justice area.
“In respect to connecting the funds to other elements, from my point of view, would be a gross breaching of not only the provisions, but also of the fundamental principles of the European Union, which have as fundamental objective solidarity and ensuring convergence among the economies of the member states,” the Romanian foreign minister said.
He pointed out that European funds are instruments for increasing the convergence of the EU member states, not “charity.”
“Obviously, the policy of cohesion funds and the common agricultural policy are instruments to increase convergence between the economies of the more developed countries of the European Union and our countries. It is not, indeed, an act of charity and I want to tell you very straightforward that Romania and Poland contribute as well to almost everything that concerns the funds of the European Union, according to their capacity, but the sums are not at all negligible,” the Romanian foreign minister stressed.
President Iohannis discusses Romania-Poland strategic cooperation with Polish foreign minister
President Klaus Iohannis welcomed Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz on Thursday, with the two discussing also strategic cooperation.
According to a release from the Presidential Administration, President Klaus Iohannis highlighted the excellent level of the bilateral relationship, confirmed by frequent contacts at political level, including at the level of head of state, stressing the very good working relationship with the Polish counterpart. He also said the continuation of strengthening and developing the Strategic Partnership between the two countries represents a personal commitment.
Regarding the bilateral cooperation, the head of state emphasized the importance of further developing the economic dimension, including in terms of the transport infrastructure between the two countries.
“The President of Romania underscored the common interests of the two states in terms of security, the very good strategic cooperation between the two countries being crucial for strengthening the eastern flank of NATO, as well as for the Alliance as a whole”, shows the Presidential Administration.
The head of state evoked the relevance of the Bucharest Format in promoting the common positions of the states on the eastern flank about the main subjects on the NATO agenda. The Presidential Administration mentions that this format, initiated by the President of Romania and his Polish counterpart, has already confirmed its value, being accepted as such at allied level.
As to the Three Seas Initiative, President Iohannis hailed the excellent cooperation with the Polish side in the preparation of the Summit to be organized by Romania this year and showed that the common desideratum is that the meeting mark the transition to a new phase of the Initiative, that of the concrete results, especially through the regional interconnection projects that the Initiative proposes to support, but also through the organization of the first Business Forum of the Initiative, on the Summit’s sidelines, to stimulate the private sector, including investments.
President Klaus Iohannis also presented in detail Romania’s position on the objective of a stronger European Union, which can only be achieved by deepening European integration.
In turn, the Polish foreign minister stressed the importance Poland attaches to the Strategic Partnership with Romania and thanked President Iohannis for his personal involvement in its development. The minister agreed that this must be further strengthened, recalling also the special context of marking next year the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Polish official pointed out the common action and objectives of the two countries in the field of security, especially within NATO and the Bucharest Format, whose next meeting at the level of heads of state will take place in Warsaw in June, with Romania being a key-partner for Poland. The Polish foreign minister also brought to mind the excellent cooperation for the progress of the Three Seas Initiative. As to bilateral economic cooperation, he mentioned the increased interest of Polish investors in Romania’s economy.
According to the Presidential Administration, the talks between the two senior officials also highlighted the similar view of Romania and Poland on the Eastern Neighborhood.