DIPLOMACY

President Iohannis in Ruse: I believe there is room for reviewing the Danube Strategy

President Klaus Iohannis declared Friday that the Danube Strategy should be reviewed and that it could receive a new impulse during the next Multianual Financial Framework.

“I think that there is room for reviewing this Strategy. It should be more visible for the citizens. It should focus on actual projects that create European added value. In the context of wishing to refresh the way in which European money is being spent, during the objective of obtaining European cohesion, the Danube Strategy could receive a new impulse during the next Multiannual Financial Framework”, said president Klaus Iohannis, during the “Sustainable Development of the Danube Region and Interconnection between Regions” conference held at Kaneff Center – Angel Kanchev University, where the president’s counterparts from Bulgaria and Austria, namely Rumen Radev and Alexander Van der Bellen, took part.

“My firm resolve is that our countries need to follow the full potential of Danube and Danube region as a trading route, in order to increase connectivity between business sectors and peoples from all around Europe. It is an essential piece in constructing a European cohesion: in actual terms, the number of ships on the Danube should be comparable to the one on the Rhine or Meuse; the corresponding railway and road infrastructure should be comparable. We are far from that (…). This is the goal concerning convergence. Thus, creating navigation conditions, port infrastructure and related facilities will increase the potential for the exchange of goods between the Black Sea and Central and Western Europe, said Iohannis.

The decisional transparency, the good faith in implementing public policies, the strengthening of the legal system, all of these are pieces in constructing a crucial institutional framework, not only for guaranteeing the European values, but also to ensure the economic growth, the investors’ trust and the well being of our citizens,” Iohannis added.

He mentioned that an efficient regional cooperation remains an important way to promote stability, mobility, economic growth and interconnectivity.

“This is the conviction and commitment of Romania, on the long term,” the president concluded.

 

“It is important to understand that rule of law is not a simple formality”

 

President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that each person must understand that the rule of law is not a simple formality.

“I strongly believe in democracy and the rule of law. It is very important, for each of us, to understand that the rule of law is not a simple formality but a state of mind. It consists in the justice based on recognition and full acceptance of the highest value of human rights, strong institutions and zero tolerance to corruption,” the head of state said at the conference “Sustainable Development of the Danube Region and Interconnection between Regions,” organized at Kaneff Center – “Angel Kanchev” University.

 

“I am firmly convinced that values represent the basis for European architecture. I know that values can be subjected today to numerous challenges. That is why, the perspective of the young generation in a Europe based on values is crucial to the future that we are building together. However, what it is important in the current context is how to use and how to implement these values. My belief is that these should be a guide for the conduct of each of us, an authentic guide for all citizens,” he said.

“We want to obtain a stronger Union, where economic development gaps in different areas or in different member states are constantly reduced. We also want a more coherent Union, where the specific challenges and needs of all states member states are taken into account and adequately treated, for the benefit of the whole of the Union,” Iohannis said.

“The history of the EU construction has repeatedly shown us that our force lies in unity, solidarity, cohesion and in an ambitious and innovative vision of future. These guiding principles and values are at the basis of the European project. Romania believes that they must remain the basis of its future development, for our common benefit,” the head of state said, indicating that the EU remains an indispensable project.

President Klaus Iohannis also said he had spoken with his counterparts from Bulgaria and Austria – Rumen Radev and Alexander Van der Bellen – about the European Union’s presidency.

 

“Common Agricultural Policy, Cohesion Policy must be kept in future multiannual financial framework”

 

President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that traditional areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy need to be kept in the future multiannual financial framework but importance should be given to such areas as education, defense and research.

“There are a lot of budget issues and, as it is about a multiannual budget – the multiannual financial framework – we have had many things to discuss, and here approaches must start from principles, equity, solidarity and unity. We need to keep some traditional areas, which have proven their viability and importance – agricultural policy, cohesion policy, very important for Bulgaria and for us as well, but we also need to finance areas that until now have been rather modestly funded, I think about education (…), we need, if we are talking about security, defense, the new PESCO program for research in the defense industry (…), research in general.

Defense of borders does not happen by itself. The partnerships with third countries that help us to control the migration flow need support and many other issues are important too. All these must be provided for in this draft financial framework,” the head of state said in Ruse at a joint press conference with his counterparts from Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, and Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen.

Klaus Iohannis reminded that Romania will hold the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2019 and that Romania will host a summit for the future of the EU, on May 9, in Sibiu.

The head of state also said that Bucharest will host the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, in September.

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