President Klaus Iohannis pleaded on Tuesday, in the plenary session of the European Parliament, for the strengthening of the European project.
“We are going through a new chapter in the development and consolidation of the European project in which we need to develop a new vision on the future of the Union. From this perspective, I strongly plead for unity, cohesion and solidarity and for the common European path in the efforts to consolidate the European project the key to our efforts must remain the unity. For Romania, this principle is the very essence of the European project that has given it the capacity to cope with the multiple challenges the Union has faced up to now,” the head of state said in his speech in the plenary session of the European Parliament, in the debate on the future of Europe.
He underscored that in the last decade the EU has been marked by multiple challenges – from the financial and economic crisis, the crisis of migration, the terrorist attacks up to the rise of populist movements.
“It was a decade in which the Union had to learn and adapt on the move,” said Iohannis.
The head of the Romanian state has stressed that European values must always be rediscovered, reappreciated and recapitalised on.
“The European Union is an evolutionary project. The new realities, both in member states as well as globally, call for a European project to be developed and strengthened, and under no circumstances rebringing to question the fundamental principles that the European project was built on. A strong Union must not be made at the expense of unity. We need an inclusive Union that does not leave any state or European citizen behind. From this point of view, a Europe with more speeds or a Union of concentric circles cannot be a solution to the extent to which we want to maintain the unitary and indivisible character of the European Union, which gives it value and credibility in its relationship with the rest of the world. President Juncker said last year that Europe must recatch its breath, that is to breathe with both its eastern and western lungs. I hope our future together will also show us Europe has one heart. A heart that beats in us all, that unites us, from east to west and from north to south, that makes our citizens to identify and to define naturally as Europeans. We have to assume this common ideal and, if necessary, adapt and recalibrate the instruments through which we can reach it,” Klaus Iohannis said.
The president has argued that the new phase in which the European Union will enter starting 2019 and which Romania, as the rotating president of the Council of the European Union, will prepare it together with the other member states and the European institutions will be fruitful.
“I am confident that the Summit in Sibiu on 9 May 2019 will be a landmark in the projection on the future of a stronger, more united, cohesive and democratic Union. It depends on our power, wisdom and will – member states, European institutions and European citizens – to turn this objective into a reality. (…) The summit in Sibiu is an important moment for the consolidation of the foundation of this future: a common future, a democratic future, an optimistic future, the future of the European Union can only be built with the participation and direct and active involvement of European citizens. I want Sibiu to be a moment of awareness raising for European citizens. Citizens want concrete measures and tangible results. They want good news about peace, security and prosperity. Also, the citizens must see that we are working to protect and strengthen the major symbols of the Union: the euro, the internal market, the Schengen area and the freedom of movement. At the same time, our citizens need more cohesion. And cohesion is not just the ambition of the new member states, which have a lower level of economic convergence, but it is a necessity also for the oldest members of the Union,” Klaus Iohannis said.
Romania is a democratic state where law rules; I am determined to keep these values
He also stated in the plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg that there is a political debate in Romania, but he did not provide further details, saying he is determined to remain involved in guaranteeing the Romanians that democratic values, rules and the principles of the rule of law are preserved, and in continuing a very tough but just fight against corruption.
“In December 1989, we, Romanians, decided that we no longer tolerate the communist dictatorship and we ousted it. Since then, we have been building a democracy that we, the Romanians, want, based on what is called European democratic values, the values of the EU. For almost 30 years, Romania has changed, it has changed profoundly, it is a country in Eastern Europe that still believes in European democracy. Romania is a growing economy that is a pole of stability in its geographical region, a country aspiring to leadership in areas such as those we have mentioned; Romania is a country appreciated and responsible for the security it delivers in the region, inside NATO and elsewhere. We, the Romanians, have long understood that we cannot remain security receivers, but we have to take on a much harder role in which we believe – of a security provider and that is what we are doing. Romania is a democratic law where law rules. There is a political debate in Romania, and also a very lively democracy. I do not want to go into the details of the domestic debate in Romania, but I can assure you that I am determined to remain involved in guaranteeing the Romanians that democratic values, rules and the principles of the rule of law are preserved, and in continuing a very tough but just fight against corruption, ” Iohannis told the European Parliament.
He added that there are several problems in Europe, with one of them being the connection between citizens and politicians, showing that the connection is often weak.
“Citizens do not understand what politicians do, and unfortunately, some politicians do not understand what citizens want. In Romania, the citizens have clearly said what they want, and I, elected by a significant number of Romanians, understood that they want to continue this message that we used when we started a democratic Romania, a European Romania, a Romania deeply integrated with the EU, a Romania that preserves the state of law intact and that fights, and I have to say with notable results, against corruption. It is true that there are controversies, but tell me what parliamentary democracy would be without controversy; I am determined for European Romania, democratic Romania to win this fight and I will get involved for this thing,” said Iohannis.
“Romanians, actively connected to civic values, proved when rule of law needs defending”
“Romanians are actively connected to the civic values and they proved this when the rule of law and democracy needed to be defended”, on Tuesday said president Klaus Iohannis in the European Parliament’s plenary session.
“2018 is the year of the Modern Romania Centennial, which means to us not only retrospective and historical analyses, but mostly projections for the future. During these 100 years, we have learned some important lessons, going through sad experiences and periods. And the democracy’s lesson is one of the most important. A reason why we appreciate all the more the values of the European family. For this reason, Romania is a country deeply attached to the European project. We have a vibrating, dynamic society in continuous evolution. We are a young democracy, with resources to get perfect. Romanians are connected actively to the civic values. They have proved it as clearly as they could, they made their voice heard when the rule of law and democracy needed to be defended. Romanians have the will and the force to go further on the European path they have assumed. It is the ambition to go over any obstacle so as to stay strongly anchored in the great European family we are part of fundamentally,” Iohannis said at the debates in the European Parliament on the future of Europe.
The president said that the young generation believes in Europe and gets involved in debates on the EU’s future in a positive, optimistic manner.
“These remarkable young people’s enthusiasm also fules our optimism regarding the future of Europe. Moreover, their enthusiasm compels us to take responsibility. The advantage of this wave of enthusiasm from Romania comes first of all from its force to inspire and awaken the reflex of defending democracy, which is not for granted, but entails a continuous responsibility to care for it, defend and promote it,” Iohannis added.
President Iohannis asserted that Romania is currently a dynamic, future-oriented country, mentioning that one of the Romanian companies has been for years now a world leader in cyber defence and cyber security and that a company fathered by two young engineers became this spring the first Romanian “unicorn”, reaching a 3 bln euro turnover and one of the global leaders in software robots, automatisation and artificial intelligence.
In context, he specified that the economics of data is the future, and the Romanian IT&C and creative sectors have one of the highest weights in the national gross domestic product in the entire Union.
Moreover, he said that Romania is actively supporting a European Union that invests in the safety of its citizens and brought to mind the moment Romania joined the EU.
“For Romania, accession to Euro zone as quickly as possible, national fundamental objective”
President Klaus Iohannis declared on Tuesday, in the plenum of the European Parliament, that Romania’s accession to the Euro zone as quickly as possible is a national fundamental objective.
“For Romania, accession to Euro zone as quickly as possible, when all requirements will be met, is a national fundamental objective,” the head of state said, during the debate regarding the future of the European Union.
He also underlined the importance of Romania’s accession to an area of free movement.
“For Romania, the accession to the Schengen area represents an important objective. This demarche will significantly contribute to consolidating security for the entire free movement area in the Union,” Iohannis pointed out.
According to him, the challenges generated by the migration, but also the ones regarding the security are aspects of maximum interest for all Europeans.
“We need to act so that the European project will rebuild the citizens’ safety, to grant a special attention to fighting terrorism and radicalization. It is necessary that we act so that we become more pro-active and raise the Union’s capacity for prevention. The crises response with contextual measures is not an efficient way, and, in that key, we need durable solutions. The European Union needs to remain an area of free movement, where all our citizens can move freely and be able to work anywhere in the community’s territory, where young people can travel, study, fully benefiting of one of the most visible and ambitious projects of the European construct – the Schengen Area,” president Iohannis said.
In his opinion, “the corollary of a safe and strong Union should be an enlarged Union,” thus motivating that “size grants power”.
Klaus Iohannis mentioned that the European Union is currently in a moment of economic recovery, showing that the economic security is just as important as that of the borders.
“The Union’s prosperity depends on our capacity of ensuring a strong Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), capable of responding to the citizens’ expectations, but also facing new challenges. In order to see this objective through, we need measures and wide-ranging decisions, that will guarantee the participation of all member states in the joint efforts of accomplishing a stronger Euro zone, more stable, and more competitive,” Iohannis showed.
He pleaded for a “functional, competitive and inclusive” internal market.