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FinMin Teodorovici on freezing EU funds in case rule of law is breached:We have to be pragmatic, not at someone’s whim

The European Union should be pragmatic in the discussions of the European Parliament regarding the freezing of EU funds for the countries that breach the rule of law, as it competes with other powers of the world that “don’t expect things to occur at the whim of some or the others,” Public Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici told AGERPRES on Tuesday.

“This is a much wider discussion, criteria should be established, it’s a mechanism that should be established in detail. We are talking about the welfare of the European Union, we are talking about the fact that we are in a competition with other powers of the world. The other powers of the world don’t expect issues to occur at the whim of some or the others in Parliament, the Committee, the Council. No, we must be much more pragmatic at European level. We truly have to be competitors or, ultimately, as a Romanian saying goes, be mounted by some or the others, economically speaking, from outside Europe. We must be more pragmatic,” Teodorovici stated, when asked about his view on this topic.

Furthermore, in respect to the discussions on the cohesion funds, whether they should increase or decrease, Teodorovici underscored that this topic is being discussed every year.

“Some want them to decline, others to increase. Romania and other states wish to maintain those financial jackets, both in terms of the cohesion funds and the common agriculture policy. Now, there is also a context which creates a more agitated situation, namely Brexit, an important contributor. We have to find a way to make up for the amount difference, if this departure occurs. But there are discussions and we are seeking the best approaches,” the Finance Minister said.

According to him, also very important is the manner in which the money is spent.

“Any type of delay can create, as it happened in the previous financial framework, chain delays in each member state. We must learn from the experience of the past. Romania brings a very important contribution in terms of expertise, on the technical side and, perhaps, a different political involvement than it has ever been at European level,” Teodorovici added.

The priorities of Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council and the assessment of the Austrian Presidency results over the past six months, as well as the regulations for freezing EU payments to member states that go to courts or do not take measures against fraud and corruption are included on the agenda of the first plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) to be held between 14 and 17 January in Strasbourg.

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