Referring to the European Parliament (EP) resolution and the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu has stated in an interview with RomaniaTV that Romania must learn from these lessons and Romanian political parties should not interpret them as a plot made by someone who means us harm.
“Unfortunately, it’s not an easy week for Romania. Firstly, the EP has adopted this resolution on the rule of law in Romania and the EC’s CVM report came on the same day too. I believe Romania must learn from these lessons. I don’t believe someone means Romania harm. The success of each country is the success of Europe in general. On the other hand, there has been a lot of politicisation, the impression has been created that the only concern is with justice. I’m not a commissioner for justice. Mr Timmermans held a press conference in which he said that the positive developments of 2017 are being called into question and another 8 recommendations have been added in contrast to 2017. I would like the Romanian political parties to look with wisdom and not to interpret it as a plot, as if someone means us harm. I believe we must understand that the future of our children depends on what we do in daily life,” Corina Cretu stated in an interview with RomaniaTV.
“Romania must continue in Europe; we shouldn’t play with our future”
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu believes that Romania must stay in Europe as, in her opinion, a possible Roexit would be a “national catastrophe.”
“My message is that Romania must remain in Europe. (…) We shouldn’t play with our future. (…) It’s surprising for a country who benefited so much from the support of the European Union (…) to consider turning its back to all these opportunities. I don’t think that there are people who actually want this and I am sorry that this possibility that Romania would ever leave the European Union came out, I don’t know, out of the blue. In my opinion, this would be a national catastrophe and we will all be responsible for our future and the future of our children,” Corina Cretu told Romania TV private television broadcaster.
She also said that, after the resolution on the rule of law in Romania adopted by the European Parliament and the latest CVM Report, it is important that people aren’t led to think that the European Union wants to do harm to Romania.
“I would like the parties to be wise and not turn this into a complot or claim that someone wants to do us harm. This is the result of what happened in the recent time. It’s hard to fight an image that has already been created, which is why our efforts must be strengthened. And of course that we are now in a pre-election stage related to the elections to the European Parliament, which are the most politicized debates in the European Parliament,” specified Corina Cretu.
Cretu asked whether taking over as PM was proposed to her: No, and I want to work as commissioner
Corina Cretu has stated for RomaniaTV that taking over as PM was not proposed to her and the PM’s office does not feature in her plans, since she wants to continue working as European commissioner.
“No, and I want to work as commissioner. No, it certainly is not part of my plans. I thank all of those who consider me capable of this. Firstly, I would like to thank Mr Victor Ponta. Being Prime Minister is not part of my calculations. I want to wish him good luck. But, on the other hand, I saw that Mr Basescu mentioned my name too. I have a different important job for Romania. You know well that he did not agree with my appointment. I have this responsibility toward Romania and toward Romanians, not toward the Government, not toward parties,” European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu stated in an interview with RomaniaTV.
She had a message for the Government, against the backdrop of the latest tensions between the European Commissioner and the Executive, pointing out that she wants to resume the talks “with the figures on the table.”
“I have a message for the Government: let’s resume the talks with the figures on the table. Let’s see why investments via non-reimbursable funds would be better than those through private-public partnership. A country must exhaust those resources that come freely and then stake on others or stake on public-private partnerships in parallel,” Cretu added.
Asked why she believes some party colleagues attacked her, Corina Cretu said: “I don’t know, maybe there are some political calculations. I can’t say. I was very affected. I was called a traitor and so on. I’m interested in these projects being accomplished. I want us to sit at the table and discuss precisely.”
Ex-PM Victor Ponta has repeatedly mentioned Corina Cretu as the person right for the office of Premier starting on 1 January 2019 when Romania takes over the presidency of the Council of the EU.
On relationship with Iohannis: It can’t be called a special relationship. It’s one of respect
In her interview with RomaniaTV, European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu also stated that her relationship with President Klaus Iohannis is one of respect, a relationship she also has with Premier Viorica Dancila.
“I respect everyone, the Prime Minister nominated by Parliament, the President. I have a relationship in the sense that we took part in two or three events. We are working with Mr Leonard Orban (presidential aide in the European Affairs department – editor’s note) and with people from the Romanian Government. It can’t be called a special relationship. In my view it’s an institutional relationship of respect,” Corina Cretu explained in an interview with RomaniaTV.
The European commissioner pointed out that in every country she visits she asks to meet its head of state and when she meets Klaus Iohannis there should not be a war just because the Romanian Head of State has a dispute with the PSD.
“From this standpoint, I don’t make exceptions in any country. I ask to meet the president of the country. If I meet the President of Romania, there shouldn’t be a war because he has a dispute with the ruling party. It’s not my problem as European Commissioner. I work with the ministers. We need institutional relationships, things on paper,” Cretu added.
Cretu asked whether she wants to be MEP: You never know what life has in store for you
European Commissioner Corina Cretu stated in an interview with RomaniaTV that she intends to seriously think, next year, whether she wants to be MEP, pointing out that after 11 years in Brussels it would be logical for her to continue and “you never know what life has in store for you.”
Asked whether she wants to go back being an MEP, Corina Cretu said: “I plan to give this a serious thought starting next year, because I’ve realised that I’m consuming far too much energy, with pain, because I’m being attacked; certain limits have been crossed by some people, but I have great respect for this party. After 11 years in Brussels it would be logical to continue. But you never know what life has in store for you. I’ll come back next year, and I’ll let you know.”
Asked whether she still believes in the PSD, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy said: “I have many worries and I refuse to think… I’m thinking about what I must do this moment. I’ll decide whether I’ll run as European Commissioner. It’s not mandatory for me to run.”
She added that being MEP was not proposed to her, pointing out that the PSD did not make her European Commissioner.
“No, it wasn’t proposed to me (being MEP – editor’s note). This thing – that I was made European Commissioner by the party… Let’s be very serious. It was an agreement between Mr Ponta and Mr Juncker,” Cretu explained.
Cretu on resignation from PSD: I’m only thinking about carrying out my mandate
Referring to a potential resignation from the PSD, Corina Cretu has stated in an interview with RomaniaTV that she only thinks about carrying out her mandate as European Commissioner. She pointed out that the tensest relationship she currently has is with her own Government.
“I grew up in the PSD. Thirty years of my life I worked with thousands of colleagues to win the elections, since 1990, and I want to tell these colleagues very clearly that I’m a left-wing person, attached to social values. I find it sad that there are no arguments to attack me,” Corina Cretu stated in an interview with RomaniaTV.
Asked about a potential resignation from the PSD, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy said: “No, at this moment I’m only thinking about carrying out my mandate.”
She added that the tensest relationship she currently has is with the Government, pointing out that this is sad, but she has nothing to reproach herself with in this regard.
“Unfortunately, the tensest relationship I have is with my own Government. It’s sad, but on the other hand I have nothing to reproach myself with. I’ve said what the risks are and that the implementation of the projects must be accelerated on the ground during this period, because we now have to fight for a budget. The first initiative I had as European Commissioner was that task-force for better implementation. I took over my mandate as European Commissioner with 48 percent for 2007-2013,” Corina Cretu explained.
On the other hand, she had a message for the Government, pointing out that she wants to resume the talks “with the figures on the table.”
Corina Cretu’s statements come against the backdrop in which criticism has been levelled against her from within the PSD and the Government. Darius Valcov, aide to Premier Viorica Dancila, has said that it is more advantageous for some projects to be carried out in a private-public partnership, considering that, according to the EIB, the feasibility studies for regional hospitals would cost EUR 120 million.
PSD Deputy Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu has claimed that Cretu is betraying national interests and she should not forget that she ended up in office by running on PSD’s lists.
Likewise, PSD Alba President Ioan Dirzu has stated that Corina Cretu must decide whether she is the commissioner of the EU or of the PNL, asking her to say whether the absorption of grants policy is being done with the Government or “only with some PDL mayors, over a cup of coffee at expensive receptions.”