President Klaus Iohannis spoke in the European Parliament today about Romania’s vision of the future of the European Union.
The president’s speech came at a difficult time for Romania in the European context, as the EU’s institutions have been very critical regarding the most recent changes to the country’s justice laws.
The main statements made by president Iohannis:
- The EU has been marked by multiple challenges that have tested our unity and cohesion, from the economic and refugee crises to the rise of populist groups.
- The main positive observation is that there’s an element that unites us – the European identity based on common principles, values and interests, which always need to be rediscovered.
- I plead for unity, sovereignty and a common path in the effort to strengthen the Union.
- The EU is an evolving project – new realities impose a development and a strengthening of the European project and by no means a reevaluation of our values. A strong Union must not be built at the expense of unity.
- A two-speed European Union cannot be a solution if we want to maintain unity.
- I hope that the future will show that Europe has a single heart that makes our citizens identify and define themselves naturally as Europeans. We must have this common goal.
- This goal depends on our wisdom and will.
- Citizens must see that we work towards protecting and strengthening the EU’s symbols – the euro, free movement and Schengen.
- We must go back to the essence of the cohesion principle.
- The EU is going through an economic recovery.
- Economic security is as important as border security.
- Entering the Eurozone is a fundamental national objective for Romania.
- We cannot imagine the EU without a single market and its three fundamental liberties. We need a competitive market that allows the citizens to see its benefits.
- Europe must remain a leader. We must ensure a proper adaptation for our workforce.
- We’re talking about a future where the union will regain its own citizens by strengthening the feeling of security. The challenges related to migration and security are a major interest for us all, and we must pay special attention to fighting terrorism and radicalization.
- The EU must remain a free movement space where people can travel, study, and work.
- Being part of Schengen is an important objective for Romania.
- The EU’s expansion policy contributed to the prosperity and security of the continent. It continues to be a necessity.
- We can’t truly be relevant globally if we can’t significantly influence the environment around us. Maintaining their commitment for irreversible reform depends on our capacity to fulfil our commitments to them.
- It is our responsibility for the EU to have the tools it needs for security.
- Another objective is to avoid parallels to NATO and strengthening the transatlantic partnership.
- 11 years ago, when Romania joined this family, I felt extremely proud. Next year, when Romania takes over the presidency, will be a turning point. It is our duty to shape the future of Europe. National pride and European pride are not obsolete concepts. Europe is Romania and Romania is Europe.
- The lesson of democracy is one of the most important ones, which is why we appreciate the European values. Romania is deeply attached to the European project.
- We have a dynamic society, we are a young democracy that has the resources available to improve. Romanians are actively connected to civic values. They made this very clear when they made their voice heard in defense of the rule of law. It is our ambition to overcome any obstacle to remain in the European family. The young generation believes in Europe, in democracy. Their enthusiasm feeds optimism regarding Europe’s future.
- Security is an important aspect for Romania and we are capable to provide security for all of the EU, as we do as part of NATO.
- The EU was built on a deep human desire to bring peace to the European continent. This internal peace, with all of its ingredients, has become a valuable asset we can export. Now it’s time to turn this model back on to ourselves.