On a working visit to Brussels, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca had a meeting on Wednesday with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, with whom he discussed Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, the status of the fulfillment of the recommendations under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR).
“The Romanian Government appreciates the support of the European Commission for the enlargement of the Schengen Area and the essential contribution to advancing the calendar regarding Romania’s accession, which has experienced a new dynamic in recent months. The very good conclusions of the recent evaluation mission confirm our country’s preparedness regarding the Schengen acquis and brings us closer to the fulfillment of this country objective,” said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, according to a press release of the Executive.
The Prime Minister mentioned the state of the adoption of the new justice laws package, emphasizing that the last months’ progress is a good basis for a positive CVM report from the European Commission.
The head of the Executive gave assurances regarding the commitment of the Romanian Government for the coherent and comprehensive implementation of the targets and benchmarks assumed through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. As regards the targets and benchmarks that still need to be met, the prime minister expressed his willingness to continue the technical discussions with the representatives of the European Commission, in order to close them on time. He showed that proposals for adjusting the Plan are being prepared, both in the context of RePower EU – which prioritizes the response to the energy crisis, but also of the necessary savings following the change in the value of the grant allocated to Romania.
“These adjustments will be performed without the maintenance of the focus on the objectives of the digital, ecological transition and the strengthening of resilience being affected,” the cited source says.
Nicolae Ciuca mentioned that adjustments of some targets and benchmarks are also important to meet current needs. He pointed out that Romania will insist and continue discussions with the Commission on the milestones related to the reform of the pension system, including the replacement of the ceiling of 9.4 percent of GDP with another reference mechanism, the maintenance of coal-based energy production as back-up and on adjustments of some transport infrastructure projects.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of the European Union providing consistent support to the Republic of Moldova, in particular through non-refundable financial aid, additional measures to facilitate access to the EU market for products from this country and the elimination of roaming tariffs.
The head of the Executive reiterated Romania’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, including through the support and integration of refugees, respectively the grain transit. At the same time, he noted with satisfaction the recognition by the president of the European Commission of the efforts of the Romanian authorities and citizens for the support and integration of refugees from Ukraine, respectively the consistent support of grain transit from Ukraine.