Romania and the Social Democratic Party (PSD) will be the permanent and involved advocates of the EU’s expansion to the Western Balkans, the PSD’s leader, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, stated on Tuesday, at the Regional Forum with the topic “The Integration of the Western Balkans in the European Union”, organized by the Social Democratic Party at the Palace of the Parliament.
“Romania and the Social Democratic Party will be the permanent and involved advocates of the expansion of the European Union towards the Western Balkans, towards the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. (…) Regarding political realities on our continent, we must admit there is need for a much stronger impetus in what regards the enlargement policy of the European Union. The last EU enlargement, that of 2013, when Croatia became an EU member state, opened up the way of the European Union towards the Western Balkans, and it is our duty to continue this direction,” Viorica Dancila stated.
According to the Prime Minister, the EU is facing currently a series of complex problems and internal and external pressures that are putting to the test the solidarity of the member states and, in this context, the appetite for expansion of the Union seems diminished while attention is focused on other topics.
“To not decide now the integration of the Western Balkans in a credible formula and with a predictable agenda would be a major strategic mistake, given that the EU is no longer the only player in the Western Balkans. From my point of view, however, the EU project is a promise to all democratic European states, a promise which, as I’ve mentioned, must be honored, because it is part of the fundamental nuclei of European values. Referring to the position of those who say that the states of the region are not prepared for integration, we remind them that the accession negotiation process is a complex one. During its course it is essential to use the positive energy spawned by the start of negotiations to accelerate progress, otherwise the states in the Balkans will become the theater for confrontations between the fatigue of expanding the EU, manifested at the level of the states in Western Europe, and the expectations of the Balkan states. It’s in our interest, as Social Democrats from this region, to support this promise and to support the EU’s expansion towards the Western Balkans,” Dancila emphasized.
Viorica Dancila recalled that the history of Romania’s integration with the European Union was marked by the solidarity manifested by the Social Democrat family with our country.
“I believe that the Social Democratic Party of Romania has the political and moral duty to return this solidarity towards the friends of center-left parties. For this we have the duty of strengthening regional cooperation and to give a strong signal towards Brussels that the enlargement project must remain at the top of the European agenda. We must state clearly in Brussels the right to a European future for the entire Balkan region, the right to peace and prosperity for each Balkan country,” the PSD’s chair stated.
Chamber Speaker Ciolacu: Romania to support European, Euro-Atlantic path of all states in region attached to EU values
Romania will support the European and Euro-Atlantic path of all the states in the region that prove their attachment to the fundamental values of the European Union, democracy and the rule of law, said the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, on Tuesday, in Parliament, at the Regional Forum on “Integration of the Western Balkans in the European Union”, organized by the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
“The European Union is far from a perfect construction. It would be utopian to say so. The migration crisis, the Brexit, the terrorist attacks or the economic gaps between East and West are just some of the challenges that we must face and which often have sparked heated discussions between member states. However, I want you to be aware that the European Union is the safest way to reach the prosperity and expectations of the citizens. Romania’s experience has shown that, in the 12 years since accession, foreign investments and European funds of tens of billions of euro have entered the country. This is an achievement related to this guarantee on achieving a package of common values and a stable democracy, but also on institutional modernization and state reform in accordance with European principles and values. For this reason, Romania will support the European and Euro-Atlantic path of all states in the region which prove their attachment to the fundamental values of the European Union, democracy and the rule of law,” Ciolacu said.
He added that the authorities in Bucharest are ready to share their experience and to deliver those elements of expertise “to all the states with European aspirations in the Western Balkans and on the eastern border of the European Union”.
The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies reminded that Romania paid special attention to boosting the enlargement process throughout its rotating Presidency of the EU Council and welcomed the presence at the event organized by the Romanian Social-Democrats of the PES President Sergei Stanishev and of the Social-Democrats leaders from Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia and Northern Macedonia.