DIPLOMACY

ForMin Teodor Melescanu: No reason to deny Romania’s Schengen accession. The Eastern Partnership represents a priority for Romania’s Presidency at the EU Council

Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu said on Tuesday in Strasbourg that there is virtually no reason to deny Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area and expressed hopes that a solution will be reached during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

”Since we became a member of the Schengen Information System and we have access to the respective information and provide that information about the people who cross the border of the European Union, it is obvious that there is virtually no reason to deny such an association. I believe that certain political concerns are rather being considered,” Melescanu said during a meeting with Romanian journalists at the European Parliament.

The ForMin assured that during Romania’s tenure of the Presidency of the Council of the EU it will be possible to “very openly” discuss with the countries that oppose Romania’s bid to join the border-free zone “and especially to have them tell us what their reasons are” for their opposition. “We hope to be as convincing as possible and to reach a solution,” Melescanu said.

Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu was part of the government delegation that accompanied Premier Viorica Dancila to Strasbourg, where she presented on Tuesday the priorities of the Romanian EU Presidency in the plenary session of the European Parliament.

 

The Eastern Partnership represents a priority for Romania’s Presidency at the EU Council

 

The Eastern Partnership represents a priority for Romania’s Presidency at the Council of the European Union and there is hope of carrying out a ministerial meeting in April dedicated to the issues and, especially, to the prospects that the Eastern Partnership will have in the coming years, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu told Romanian journalists on Tuesday in Strasbourg, at the European Parliament.

“There are 10 years since the establishment of the Eastern Partnership, five years have passed since the conclusion of three association agreements with the Republic of Molodva, with Ukraine and with Georgia, countries that are part of the Eastern Partnership. We must provide a future perspective for all countries,” Melescanu stated.

According to him, the Eastern Partnership and the Western Balkans issue are part of some very well established priorities of the EU’s foreign affairs policy, an area in which the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council is closely working with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini, with the desire that all EU member states be much better coordinated on topics of foreign affairs action.

“We are very ambitious, but, at the same time, we are realistic. And we understand very well that our role is to provide consensus among the member states of the EU and not to promote just our interests as a country. From this point of view, we made great efforts that all the ministers participate in the previous activities of the Austrian Presidency, so that they can take over the files they have to solve on the way,” the Minister explained.

The Eastern Partnership is a specific Eastern dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy aiming to strengthen the political association and economic integration of six partner countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

Regarding the EU’s foreign affairs policy area, the head of the Romanian diplomacy also mentioned the collaboration of the EU with the UN on issues related to peace, development and resilience against natural disasters, which will also be an aid for Romania’s 2019 bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

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