Prime Minister Florin Citu on Friday met with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, as part of an official visit to Brussels, with the talks approaching subjects related to ensuring the continuity of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at EU level, the elimination of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Romania and our country’s accession to the Schengen area.
According to a government statement, the two officials discussed major EU files, with a focus on managing the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, European economic recovery efforts and the Union’s external agenda.
Prime Minister Florin Citu presented the Romanian Government’s priorities and expressed our country’s commitment to further support the efforts to strengthen cohesion and convergence at Union level.
President Charles Michel voiced his appreciation for the deeply pro-European conduct of our country and for the excellent cooperation with Romania within the European Council.
The two senior officials agreed on the need to continue efforts for coordinated action at European level in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Prime Minister Florin Citu underlined the importance that Romania attaches to ensuring a continuous vaccination process, without interruptions, and showed that it is essential that the Union’s actions ensure, on the one hand, the supply of vaccines, and on the other hand, guarantee the implementation of the measures necessary for economic recovery, for the good functioning of the single market, for the flow of essential goods and services and for the free movement of persons,” reads the Romanian Government release.
In this context, the head of the Executive in Bucharest stressed the need to send a message of solidarity, especially to the European Union’s closest partners, such as the Western Balkan countries and the Eastern Partnership, by supporting vaccination campaigns and donating vaccine doses, evoking, in context, Romania’s commitment to donate 200,000 doses to the Republic of Moldova.
President Charles Michel fully agreed with this approach and expressed support for “developing an effective mechanism in this regard”.
The cited source states that in the context of discussions on the operationalization of the European budget and economic recovery instruments, Prime Minister Citu expressed appreciation for the special role played by the President of the European Council in obtaining the agreement at European level on this issue in July 2020.
At the same time, the Romanian Prime Minister evoked Romania’s efforts to finalize the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
“The two senior officials also discussed the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Romanian Prime Minister emphasizing Romania’s support for the objectives set at EU level, while adjusting the implementation process according to the specifics of each country; he pointed out that in Romania’s case there is need for a correct and sustainable transition from the use of coal to that of natural gas and then to hydrogen, with the adequate support of the social costs involved,” the release further mentions.
The Romanian Prime Minister also argued in favour of “closing the CVM process” following the fulfillment of the recommendations of the European Commission, to which the Government he leads is fully committed, respectively for “Romania’s accession to the Schengen area”, given that our country has fulfilled all the requirements.
“President Charles Michel expressed support for Romania’s efforts on the two issues,” according to the statement.
The meeting also facilitated a discussion on several issues on the European Union’s external agenda.
Thus, Prime Minister Florin Citu expressed the expectation that this year’s Eastern Partnership Summit will reconfirm the importance of this European initiative, emphasizing the need for “the post-2020 agenda to focus on bringing the Eastern Partnership states closer to European values.”
“Also, the Prime Minister of Romania underlined the special opportunity opened by the mandate of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, pleading for the consolidation of the European support for boosting democratic reforms in the Republic of Moldova, promoted by the new President, according to its citizens’ pro-European choice. The EU’s relations with Russia and Turkey were also addressed,” the release also said.