The President of Romania debated the future of Europe with MEPs and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Tuesday.
“I resolutely ask for unity, cohesion, solidarity and for one common European voice”, said the President of Romania, a few months before Romania takes over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU and eleven years after the country’s accession to the European Union.
The President recalled the many challenges that the EU has had to face recently, including the financial and migration crises, which have called into question European unity. However, he pointed out that this difficult period has brought us to “a positive realisation – there is a thread which unites us; it is an identity based on common values”. New realities call for change, he said, whilst rejecting “the erosion of values on which the European Union was founded”.
He referred to the ongoing debate on the European model. “A two-speed Europe or a Europe of concentric circles is not an option”, he said.
“European citizens need tangible results and good news on security, peace and prosperity”, said President Iohannis. He also highlighted the role that cohesion plays for the EU. “It is not only an ambition for the new member states; it is also a necessity for the oldest members of the EU”, he said.
He also said that joining the Schengen area remains a priority for Romania. The President referred to Romania’s intention to join the Eurozone “as soon as possible, when the necessary requirements have been fulfilled”.
“The trajectory of a strong and secure EU must be an enlarged EU “, said Klaus Iohannis. “We cannot be a key player at international level if we cannot significantly influence our neighbours.”
You can watch the speakers’ interventions by clicking on the links below:
- Introduction by Antonio TAJANI, President of the European Parliament
- Klaus IOHANNIS, President of Romania
- Jean-Claude JUNCKER, European Commission President
- Manfred WEBER (EPP, DE)
- Josef WEIDENHOLZER (S&D, AT)
- Monica MACOVEI (ECR, RO)
- Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE)
- Ska KELLER (Greens/EFA, DE)
- Tania GONZALES PENAS (GUE/NGL, ES)
- Rosa D’AMATO (EFDD, IT)
- Nicolas BAY (ENF, FR)
- Response by Klaus IOHANNIS, President of Romania
- Watch the whole debate