Prime Minister Viorica Dancila declared on Wednesday that Romania’s motto at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union will be “Cohesion, a common European value”.
“Two weeks ago, we pleaded from this tribune for a united, better and European Romania. I come today in front of you with the same vision for Europe: a united Europe, better and why not, more ‘European’. That is why the motto of the presidency to be exercised by Romania will be ? Cohesion, a common European value.’ All the actions we will carry out over the next 6 months will be to support and strengthen this cohesion concept, on which the whole European architecture is based on. We will act to reduce development gaps, for equal access to benefits, to remove the factors that create separations or hierarchies between the member states. We must be able to overcome the approaches of the old member states versus new member states type or West versus East, the demarcation lines, the development imbalances, in favor of a Europe that advances in unison with its internal voices, with its objectives,” the prime minister said in the joint plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
She added that there are several dimensions to this “essential cohesion concept”.
“First of all, we are talking about the economic cohesion between the member states, which must aim at diminishing the development gaps and strengthening the single market. Of course, there is a natural competition between the member states of the Union or even between the development regions of the European space. We must be equally aware that an accelerated growth in the less developed regions will mean a stronger European Union. It will mean a natural decline in labor migration from these regions to the most developed ones. Reducing development gaps means inclusively increasing purchasing power in these areas of Europe and, implicitly, more attractive markets for selling the products made within the Union,” Dancila said.
The prime minister moved on to talk about “social cohesion, which must ensure benefits, guarantees and equal opportunities for all European citizens”.
“There must be no more first-tier and second-tier citizens in the European Union. There must be equal access for all European citizens to the resources and social benefits promoted within the Union so as to strengthen their trust in the European institutions and especially in the future of the EU. All European citizens must feel in a concrete way that they do better, that they live and they will live better and that they will have access to more benefits in the community space rather than outside this space,” Dancila said.
The prime minister said that last but not least one must speak of “political cohesion” – “equal treatment and single and fair standards for all those belonging to this European family”.
“Like any other member state, Romania wants to be treated with respect and to enjoy equal rights within this Union. Respect means fair treatment, real participation in major decisions and taking into account the positions expressed by each member state. The mutual respect between the states of the Union must not only be found in the European Treaty and in the European directives, but also in the attitude and dialogue of the European institutions and the member states,” declared Dancila.
“ I’m asking you to show decency in political discourse and to abstain from actions that may affect Romania’s image”
On Wednesday, while presenting the Working Programme of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Premier Viorica Dancila asked parliamentarians to show decency in political discourse and to abstain from actions that may affect Romania’s image.
“Our country’s European road, an irreversible choice we have all undertaken, has brought Romania where it is now, a Romania that has healthy economic growth, stable democracy, a safe Romania. Taking over this extremely important role is an event we mustn’t politicise in any way. There will be six months in which Europe will look carefully toward Romania, because the most important news regarding the future of the European Union will come from here, from Bucharest. There will be multiple challenges, however we must be aware that the future of Europe also means the future of our children,” Dancila stated.
“Hence it is important to show the whole of Europe that Romania is a country worthy of leading the Union, a country worthy of contributing decisively to the future of the European space whose members we too are. As I said before, I believe in consensus, balance and cooperation. In relation to this important stake for our country, there is no longer room for egos or political resentments, for personal interests or sterile confrontations. I reiterate my call for political peace, the call for consensus that I issued during the solemn meeting organised by Parliament on the occasion of the Centenary Year. We have a national project that calls for this. Regardless of your political opinions, please think primarily about our joint interest as a European Union member state; I’m only asking you to show decency in political discourse and to abstain during this period from launching actions or political messages that may affect Romania’s image,” she added.
The Premier emphasised that taking over the presidency of the Council of the EU will allow Romania to play a role as a facilitator of balance and consensus and to continue promoting a consensual approach based on unity, cohesion and solidarity.
The Prime Minister went before Parliament after she was in Brussels last week, alongside the members of Cabinet, where they took over from their Austrian counterparts the mandates of the fields of activity that they will be coordinating. Likewise, the day before, Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba officially took over the mandate as Chair of the General Affairs Council, at the end of the European Affairs Ministers’ summit that took place in Brussels .
The first point on the agenda of Wednesday’s joint meeting of the House and Senate read: “Prime Minister Viorica Dancila’s presentation of the Working Programme of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.”
The second point read: “The Romanian Parliament’s Declaration on the parliamentary dimension of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which Romania will exercise from January 1st to June 30th, 2019.”