President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday said that being awarded the International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen represents an opportunity to present Romania as a solid and trustworthy partner within the European Union.
“I have showed that I am going to receive this high and prestigious distinction on Romania’s behalf, as an acknowledgement of our efforts, our commitment to the benefit of European unity and solidarity. At the same time, the prize is owed to the Romanian society, which reconfirmed through the votes cast last year the attachment to Europe and its values. (…) The Charlemagne Prize award will represent (…) an excellent opportunity to present Romania as a solid and trustworthy partner within the European Union, deeply devoted to the consolidation of the European project,” Iohannis said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, at the joint press conference with Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charlemagne Prize Jurgen Linden and Lord Mayor of the city of Aachen Marcel Phillipp.
He showed that this prize brings forth the opportunity to get involved in consolidating the European project.
“I believe it is important and, I like to highlight, that I am the recipient of this extremely honouring, important prize, but I believe in fact I receive it for Romanians, for Romania. One politician can give an impetus, can have an attitude, can come up with ideas, but to make things move he or she needs at least one team and my team is very big – all pro-European Romanians. In this sense, I wish to use this opportunity to reiterate the value of the European project, to get involved in consolidating the European project and to be a voice in Europe who speaks clearly, firmly for the EU, for the EU’s future and for overcoming various crises we, want it or not, deal with, but I am positive that we, Romanians, we, Europeans, also have the force and capacity and knowledge to further modernise the European project, to make it more solid, more consolidated, more united and to manage to make it more performing for the European citizens,” Iohannis said.
According to the President, the Romanian people is deeply attached to the European values and construction.
“Romania’s image as a profoundly pro-European state is much more visible now, after the first exercise of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019. The important results for the advancement of the European files with a major stake, as well as the events organised in Romania during this mandate – the most important one being the Sibiu Summit of 9 May 2019, concluded with the adoption of the Declaration of Sibiu – have proven Romania’s capacity to assume a role of a mature EU member state, prepared to contribute to the consolidation of the European Union,” Klaus Iohannis maintained.
The head of state showed that Romania wants a consolidation of the European integration project based on the principle of convergence and cohesion.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Charlemagne Prize Jurgen Linden argued the choice of awarding the prize to the Romanian head of state.
“The Board of Directors unanimously adopted the award granting. Very soon this year we made the decision to award the prize because we are convinced that President Iohannis is currently one of the most important leading figures of European politics, he is a stable personality who defends the European values, he is the one promoting the European values, he is a supporter of the rule of law, the separation of powers, he endorses the protection of minorities, he represents a personality who knows that people in Europe must also benefit from the social balance and must have security of life. We are very proud that the President is the recipient of the prize this year,” Jurgen Linden said.
He said that Europe is confronted with crises such as Brexit, migration, unclarified financial issues.
“These crises can be solved with the stability of some people such as President Iohannis is in Europe. From our point of view, he is a fortunate case and a good fortune for Romania and from the city of Aachen’s point of view I can say that he is a fortunate case and a good fortune for Europe and a model for our citizens, especially for the young generation. (…) Together with you, in Aachen, we can give an impetus for the future Union, an impetus we hope to be heard in Europe,” Linden maintained.
The Mayor of the City of Aachen also highlighted the importance of President Klaus Iohannis being awarded the prize.
“Our goal is to create Europe’s future together. To this end we need progress in Europe’s integration, but, at the same time, we look at the cultural diversity, at the chances residing in it as we see Romania is a country Europe needs and a country about which Germany must find out more than it already knows. Aachen is maybe a special place to talk about Europe, Europe’s future, to have an opinion exchange about history, the chances residing in Europe’s diversity and unity. We want to use this possibility to speak from Aachen about Europe, we want to create a platform for the people who have something to say, who are an example for Europe,” Marcel Phillipp said.