DIPLOMACY

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pays official visit to Bucharest: We are on safe hands with Romania at helm of EU Council. President Iohannis: Probability of no-deal Brexit, very low. PM Dancila, Irish counterpart  tackle public procurement law, public-private partnership. Varadkar: Romania-Ireland bilateral relationship has become more and more powerful in recent years

The probability of a Brexit without concluding an agreement with the UK is very low, President Iohannis stated on Tuesday at Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

“Much is being said about the ‘hard’ Brexit, but nobody wants something like that. The probability of a ‘hard’ Brexit is very low. (…) Politically, we do not want this scenario. The ‘hard’ no-deal Brexit is not wanted by anyone, either by the UK, or the 27,” President Klaus Iohannis said at the end of the meeting with the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, on an official visit to Romania.

“So, I believe the probability of a ‘hard’ Brexit is actually very low because everybody realizes that a ‘hard’ Brexit doesn’t mean these complex talks are over and everyone minds his own business. That would mean that these very complicated talks become even more complicated and politically, we do not wish for such a scenario. Obviously, certain discussions could take place, certain scenarios could be carried out but the ‘hard’ Brexit, namely a no-agreement Brexit is not wished by anybody, be they the UK or the EU27. And it would look rather risky that now all of the 27 or 28 commence to prepare for a ‘hard’ Brexit, if we don’t want it. We make ourselves ready for more intense talks, perhaps more flexible, very thorough talks, in any case, so that we find the best solution to finalise this Brexit,” the Romanian president said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after a private meeting with the visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

The president stressed that solutions must be found for the issues that will occur after the Brexit.

“The Brexit, that interests and affects us all, and which for Ireland has specific aspects, there are specific complications, in particular the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, obviously, alongside many other matters. We have tackled these issues and we both believe that solutions should be found to the problems surfacing following the Brexit. Romania has supported from the very beginning the position of Ireland that a special, positive solution must be found here, and we further back it,” Iohannis said.

He stated that a return to the “tough” border, physical border respectively, between Ireland and Northern Ireland is impossible.

“It is an additional argument for us as well to insist upon a negotiation with a good outcome and not upon something with no outcome. I don’t believe it will come to a no-deal Brexit,” Iohannis added.

In his turn, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar emphasized that the odds of a no-agreement Brexit are small, but added that this scenario must be taken into account.

“I think it is a real risk. We must take it seriously. And yet I believe we could come to some agreements. I’d say it is a very strong probability that proper agreements will be met in October. This is what everybody wants in both United Kingdom and the European Union. The odds of a ‘hard’ Brexit are small currently, but obviously they must be taken into account and we must be ready for such an outcome”, Premier Leo Varadkar said.

He mentioned that Ireland is preparing for such a scenario and that in this context it diversifies its exports.

We make sure we have access to all kinds of credit lines. We solve matters with respect to agriculture and several such things. Likewise, even in the preparation for the after-Brexit period, we will multiply our efforts, but in order to make sure that a financial agreement and an accord for the rights of the European citizens and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be met. We cannot accept in Ireland a “tough” border, as they say. The entire transition period might be necessary to negotiate the final blueprint of some new treaties – economic and of security and so on – these treaties will potentially be ratified by the parliaments of all member states. Therefore, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. As for those negotiations, this is one additional reason for us to make sure we have an exit treaty, an agreement regarding the Brexit, properly completed in the present, the Irish Premier said.

 

President Iohannis thanks Irish authorities for exceptional support for Romanian immigrants’ integration

 

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday thanked the Irish authorities for having paved the way for the integration of the Romanian community in Ireland.

I insisted on thanking the Irish authorities for the exceptionally good and positive welcome they gave our fellow nationals, and for the way they allowed them to integrate in Ireland, Iohannis said after the meeting at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

He said that Romania – Ireland economic relations are increasingly better and that according to experts trade exchanges have doubled in the past 12 months.

The head of the state emphasized that Romania and Ireland share common ideas as regards the future of the European Union.

Even if Ireland and Romania sit at the geographical extremes of the Union, in the west and in the east, we have many common approaches, Iohannis said, citing the shared view on the future 2021 – 2027 Multi-annual Financial Framework, specifically the need to keep in place the common agricultural policy and the cohesion policy.

During the meeting at the Cotroceni Palace, the two officials also discussed migration.

“Together we came to the conclusion that we need to find good solutions to be able to solve the migration issue, to turn it more orderly. This is where solutions need to be negotiated that are good, generally acceptable, feasible and sustainable”, Klaus Iohannis said.

In his turn, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that despite not being a forefront destination for migration, Ireland will further contribute to identifying solutions to this issue.

As far as migration is concerned, we all took note of the Council’s decision. In Ireland we are not at the frontline, but we will further contribute to finding solutions and discussing internal and external dimensions, said the Irish official.

 

Leo Varadkar: Ireland will work closely to help Romania succeed during its presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

“Ireland will work closely to help Romania succeed during its presidency of the Council of the European Union”, said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday at the end of the meeting at Cotroceni Presidential Palace with President Klaus Iohannis, in the context of his visit to Romania.

“There will be six months full of events. I have given assurances of the President of Ireland’s commitment to work closely to help Romania succeed in its presidency [of the EU Council]. We are on safe hands in terms of having Romania at the helm. (…) Romania rightly considers the EU as a factor that will contribute to the increase of its prosperity. I wish you success on this path,” the Irish official said.

He said he invited the President of Romania to pay a visit to Ireland.

I hope you can make time in your schedule of future activities, the Irish Premier said.

Leo Varadkar mentioned that he is not at his first visit to Romania, “I was here as a student,” he added.

 

PM Dancila, Irish counterpart  tackle public procurement law, public-private partnership

 

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Tuesday said that she talked with her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar on the amendment of the public procurement law and the public-private partnership law, adding that a working group will be set up to ease a good practices’ exchange.

“I saluted the fact that last year the commercial exchanges between Romania and Ireland were above 500 million euro, a historic peak. We are glad with the 892 Irish companies operating in Romania and wish to extend the economic and commercial cooperation. Meanwhile, we wish that Irish investors come to Romania, we encourage the Romanian investors to go invest in Ireland and in this respect I talked with Mr. Prime Minister about the amendment of the public procurement law and the law of public-private partnership, as well. We know about the Irish experience and expertise in the PPP and we’d like to have an exchange of good practices, therefore we’ve decided to create a working group,” Premier Dancila said at the end at the meeting with her Irish counterpart Varadkar at the Victoria Palace.

“We have talked about the multiannual financial framework and decided that there should be a balance between the new policies – and I am talking about defence, research, migration, Erasmus+, border protection – and the traditional policies – and I’m referring here to the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. We know how important the agricultural sector is to both Romania and Ireland, which is why we’ve decided to advocate the common topics the two countries are benefiting from, such as the youth, encouraging the youth to choose the agriculture, the protection against disasters, topics we should support within the CAP. We have also talked about the Cohesion Policy and I invited Mr. Prime Minister to attend the conference due in Bucharest on 30 October 2018. We have tackled the Brexit, we have talked about the future of the European Union and obviously about the presence at the summit due next year, in central Sibiu,” the Romanian Premier said.

 

Varadkar: Romania-Ireland bilateral relationship has become more and more powerful in recent years

 

“The bilateral relationship between Romania and Ireland has become more and more powerful in recent years”, said Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the end of the Victoria Palace meeting with Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, during the joint press statements.

Varadkar highlighted the importance of the community of Romanians living in Ireland.

“We have a very large community of Romanians, around 75,000, which means some 1.5pct of the country’s population. It’s a well-integrated community that we care about. And, as the Prime Minister mentioned, the Romanian language is taught in Irish schools and the members of the community in Ireland are indeed some good ambassadors of the nation”, Varadkar pointed out.

The Irish prime minister also underlined that bilateral trade has doubled over the past 10 years.

“We had a very pleasant conversation about Romania’s plans for the first presidency of the Council of the EU and the main topic, of the European cohesion and values, is one with which we identify ourselves very well. So it will be a very busy presidency, because we have Brexit in March and the European elections in May. We are trying to negotiate a new multiannual financial framework. The agenda is extremely busy considering the fact that in May we have that meeting in Sibiu, where we will present the future of the European Union and we will discover what needs to be done”, Varadkar pointed out.

“During lunch, we discussed the EU budget, which will have to reflect the new challenges, such as increasing economic growth and jobs, managing migration and security but also tackling climate change, which, as far as I understand, causes floods and rain in Romania, while in Ireland we have drought. And we have agreed that we must support, at least financially, at the same level, the cohesion element and the element of common agricultural policy, which is extremely important for both Ireland and Romania. And I am sure that when I am asked about what is happening in this area of Europe with regard to the Western Balkans, the European integration of Moldova or Ukraine, I am sure that Mrs. Dancila is a person who can inform me correctly on these topics”, said Varadkar.

 

Speaker Dragnea tells Irish PM that Romania doesn’t support capping subsidies, payments to Romanian farmers

 

Romania does not support the capping of subsidies and direct payments to Romanian farmers, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea told visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Tuesday, during a meeting at the Palace of Parliament.

At the end of the meeting, Dragnea said that the topics discussed included the future of the European Union, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU next year, the Brexit, as well as the multi-annual financial framework.

“With regard to the Romanian Presidency, I briefed him on our goals – the same that Mrs. Prime Minister has also presented in Parliament. As for the Brexit, Romania supports Ireland’s stance as regards the preservation of peace and stability on the island. As far as the multi-annual financial framework is concerned, a subject where Romania and Ireland may have divergent positions – specifically on the common agricultural policy – Romania does not support the capping of subsidies and direct payments to Romanian farmers because this would deal a devastating blow to Romanian agriculture. Romanian agriculture has only two years ago taken to a positive development trend with the improvement of the ratio between import and export of agri-food products and this would be a terrible blow to Romanian farmers. I explained that it can be a solution for each country to opt for enforcing caps, if they particularly insist on the variant of capping direct payments, and I said this because the EU Commissioner for Agriculture is Irish. We also discussed, and I didn’t reject the idea that if this measure is adopted – because several countries oppose it – it be applied optionally. I said that our position cannot be changed because this is about the nation’s food security and we cannot accept being disadvantaged for the second time. The first measure that puts us at disadvantage is the difference between the subsidy allowed for Romanian farmers, which is lower than the one in the West,” explained the Social Democrat leader.

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