POLITICS

PM Dancila on Timmermans’s letter: Inappropriate politicking. President Iohannis speaks as if he had a court in Brussels where he could judge us

Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Wednesday that it is inappropriate for the first Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans to send a new letter to Romania two weeks before the elections to the European Parliament.

“I have not yet answered Mr Frans Timmermans, but to me there is disappointment. It is for the first time – and in nine years that I was a MEP in Brussels I saw many European Commissions – but I find it politicking, and, given that we are two weeks ahead of the European elections, I find it inappropriate for him to send such a letter to the Romanian Government. I will explain why I made this statement. The Romanian government has not made any decision on justice yet, so the Romanian government cannot be rebuked for having made a decision on what it is being reproached of in the letter. Secondly, the Romanian Parliament is the law-making body; it is elected by the citizens’ vote, it is the right of the Romanian Parliament to legislate and legislating is what it has done; asking the government to step in for laws Parliament has made is impossible because we know that we have to have the separation of powers. We are the executive power, we cannot intervene for the legislation made by Parliament,” Dancila said on a visit to Prahova County.

She added that she finds the threat with Article 7 a dangerous thing.

“He is talking about lifting the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM). Yes, I know that if Article 7 gets activated, there can be no CVM, but in his letter Mr Frans Timmermans is also talking about a mechanism that will apply to Romania. We have had no prior talks about such mechanism in the European Parliament; I guess that the group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) has come up with a proposal, a precise criteria-based mechanism that applies to all member states. We were just talking about double standard and we see that it is trying to be applied again. I will answer Mr Vice-President Timmermans and I will ask that my country and Romanians in this country be treated fairly and respected as other EU citizens. I find his to be an unfair approach. The Co-operation and Verification Mechanism only applies to Romania and Bulgaria. Let us not forget that Croatia joined the EU after Romania, but there is no such mechanism for it. In order for us to have a strong and united Europe that we all want, because we are pro-European, we have to make citizens from all the member states and Romania confident that they are treated fairly and equally,” said Dancila.

The European Commission confirmed on Monday that Timmermans sent a new letter to Romania voicing concern about the recent developments in the rule of law in Romania. The letter is addressed to President Klaus Iohannis, Senate Chairman Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Liviu Dragnea, and Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.

 

President Iohannis speaks as if he had a court in Brussels where he could judge us

 

President Klaus Iohannis has “a wrong and undignified” approach when he criticizes the government, when “figures are saying a different story,” PM Viorica Dancila stated on Wednesday.

“I believe this approach to always say “the Government goes the wrong direction,” with all the figures saying a different story, doesn’t help Romania, for we need predictability and stability and we need the investors’ trust so that they will come to invest in Romania. (…) Mr Iohannis speaks as if he had a court in Brussels where he can judge us, when we do good things and when we do bad things. We are an EU member state and I believe that Mr President must show dignity at European level, so that we can be treated equally, as the other European states are treated,” the PM stated in Prahova County.

Viorica Dancila also added that, in what concerns those things that are not so good, the government is open to discuss with the European institutions and believes that Romania should enjoy an equal treatment, the same as the other members states of the European Union do.

“What goes wrong we are open to discuss with the European institutions. But this approach seems wrong to me and undignified. I set my objective ever still I took over as head of the Executive, alongside my ministers, to ask to be treated with dignity as a member state with obligations, but with equal rights too, when compared to the other states. This approach seems wrong to me. The Romanian Government is making important steps in all fields of activity, so that we can align to the European norms. There are still things to be done, steps to be made, but I tried, and as a former MEP I know how important this is, to align to the European norms, but at the same time we shouldn’t accept double standards, and I don’t mean know just the double standard in the food industry, in what all kinds of products are concerned, but I also mean the double standard applied in how we are treated in the EU. I believe that Romania must be treated as a state with equal rights, it must sit at the decision table and what is good for Romania it should also be good for the other states, and what Romania is required to do the EU should require to all the other states. I believe this approach is wrong and I cannot agree with it,” concluded Dancila.

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday stated that PSD (Social Democratic Party) is the only one guilty of the fact that Romania is not in Schengen at this point and the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism has not been lifted yet.

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