DIPLOMACY

Ambassador Rauscher: Austrian Presidency of EU Council prioritises protector role of the Union

The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU prioritises the protector role of the European Union, Ambassador of Austria in Bucharest Isabel Rauscher stated on Monday.

She participated, alongside Romania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu in the conference for launching the Austrian presidency, at the headquarters of the Representation of the European Commission to Romania.

Rauschae talked about the challenges that her country is confronted with at the helm of the Council of the EU, namely establishing the Multi-annual Financial Framework, the migration crisis and the climate prior to the European Parliament elections. She pointed out that the Austrian presidency focuses on security – “security in the classical sense, but also from an economic perspective.”

“For this reason, the Austrian Presidency prioritise the protective role of the European Union, the security and fight against illegal migration and the guarantee of prosperity and regional stability,” the Ambassador highlighted.

In his turn, Minister Teodor Melescanu pointed out that “the coordinated solutions” are the only manner in which a successful presidency can exist.

“You can count on Romania to further support your priorities,” the head of the Romanian diplomacy stated, bringing to mind that our country ensures the presidency from the shadows during the Austrian mandate of the EU Council.

Melescanu highlighted that the key-points of the Austrian presidency are migration and security.

“We appreciate the commitment of your country regarding the foreign dimension of migration, defending the external borders of the European Union. I believe that this aspect will be one of the important points on you presidency agenda, giving you officials’ statements,” the Minister pointed out.

He brought to mind that Romania, ever since the beginning of the migration crisis, “started from the point of view that the issue has to be treated from its origins.”

“The next point on the agenda is reforming the European asylum and the migration policy. From our point of view, this is one of the great challenges of the Austrian presidency. We believe that we need a consensual and positive basis for discussions,” the Romanian Minister added.

According to him, “Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen will represent an important consolidation of the internal and external security of the European Union.”

When asked if the recent amendments of the Romanian judiciary affects Austria’s standpoint regarding Romania’s accession to Schengen, Isabel Rauscher stated: “I believe it’s a misunderstanding. Austria does not oppose to Romania’s accession to Schengen. Consensus is needed among all EU members and there are difficulties. As regarding the President’s decision today (signing the decree for the revocation of the National Anticorruption Directorate head), it is an internal matter of Romania. I do not think it has any direct effect on Schengen and the Romanian Presidency. I do not think I’m allowed to comment on this situation.”

Furthermore, regarding the Austrian Gov’t’s intention to cut the child benefits of foreign children, Minister Melescanu stated: “We do not think that discriminations can be done between the citizens of the European Union, regardless of whether they come from West or East.”

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