Romania is carrying out “a fairly constructive dialogue” with officials of the European Union regarding the justice laws and the “necessary explanations” will be provided when the laws are completed, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu told Antena 3 private television station.
He also referred to the statements of President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, made at the joint press conference with President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday.
“He admitted very clearly that what needs to be done is that Romania observe the decisions of the Constitutional Court, which, with all due respect, is a matter we didn’t need, because we all know that it is a fundamental principle of the rule of law – the observance of the Constitutional Court decisions, good or bad, [regardless of ] whether we agree with them or not,” Melescanu said in respect to the statements of the European high official.
Thus, the head of the Romanian diplomacy pointed out that there is a dialogue with representatives of the EU in this regard.
“From this point of view, we are currently carrying out a dialogue, a fairly constructive dialogue, in which we have points of view. We will support them and offer the necessary explanations when this process ends. However, we are in a post-legislative process, before the enactment of these laws which have been adopted and we will have to see very clearly what [aspect] of these laws, precisely, generates problems,” he highlighted.
Teodor Melescanu also said that “there is nothing [included in] the three laws adopted that can prejudice the independence of justice or the good functioning of justice.” “Practically, this is the reality,” he concluded.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated on Wednesday, at the joint press conference with President Klaus Iohannis, that if the justice laws in Romania remain as adopted by Parliament, the discussions on the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and the Schengen accession will be carried out “in other terms.”
“If the laws of Romania remain as adopted by Parliament, the discussions on the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism and the Schengen accession will be put in other terms. We await the decisions of the Constitutional Court and if everything goes well, we must ensure Romania its place in the Schengen area, because Romanians do not deserve to be treated as second-class citizens,” said Jean-Claude Juncker.
He commended the development of the rule of law in Romania, but added that this process must be an “irreversible” one, adding that the European Commission will not accept for our country “to take steps backwards” on this road.
“Consensus against theses with strong core and periphery; not alone in this battle”
There is “a national consensus” not to condone ideas which promote, within the structure of the European Union, the concepts of “strong core” and “periphery” and Romania is not the only one “in this battle”, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Thursday evening at private TV broadcaster Antena 3.
While there, he started the discussion from the statement made at the beginning of the day [Thursday – ed.n.] alongside his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz. “As for connecting the funds to other elements, as far as I am concerned, it would constitute a gross violation not only of the provisions but also of the European Union’s fundamental principles, whose fundamental objective are solidarity and assuring the convergence between the member states’ economies,” the head of the Romanian diplomacy told the joint press conference.
Thus, while on TV, he affirmed that “there are certain voices and even stands in this regard.” “I clearly underscore that beyond the violation, indeed gross, of the provisions of the treaties at the basis of the European Union, it is about violating one of its fundamental values. The European Union intends for all states, through solidarity and convergence, to reach similar levels of development,” he said.
To that regard, Melescanu mentioned the EU enlargement strategy in the Western Balkans.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also talked about Romania’s economic contribution to the EU budget.
“We have an important contribution, some dues that we pay annually and which is not without value,” he pointed out. According to Melescanu, “Romania has provided the European Union a special economic support.”
In that respect, he drew a comparison between the EU funds granted to Romania and the profits of companies from within the territory of the Community made in Romania.
“If we were to put on a scales the funds we received and the profits realised in Romania following our economy opening up to the European Union countries, I do not believe the EU is at a loss,” Teodor Melescanu maintained.
Moreover, he specified that a decision to condition the European funds depending on some cases “is not in the Commission [European – ed.n.]’s charge or of other bodies, but at the level of the Council of the European Union, which is at the level of the heads of states and governments.”
The Minister added that he has spoken on this issue with Romanian Commissioner Corina Cretu. “We had talks on this topic, I admit she was concerned with the discussions on this issue because they affect exactly her portfolio (..) We cannot leave her alone to lead a battle, this is a battle we must all lead,” Melescanu highlighted.
He declared himself against the idea of a “multi-speed” Europe. “If there is a very strong national consensus in the Romanian foreign policy, the consensus is about not condoning ides with theses of strong core and periphery, with variable speeds, variable geometry (…) From my standpoint, it is a stand that we should firmly promote and I assure you that we won’t be alone in this battle,” Melescanu concluded.