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de Victor Bratu 14.5.2017

Present for the first time in Bucharest in his official role as President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker sent a very clear message to Romania on Thursday: Europe has no time to still wait and it will depend on every member of the EU where it will be positioned in the future common construction.

Speaking in the plenary session of the Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker assured that there are and will be no differences between the EU member states which should build a common future together.

Europe is first and foremost a story of the soul, of several hearts that beat together. (…) We all must constantly give our best for this people, often martyred, to be the artisan of peace within the EU and the world. I wish to protect the steps previously taken in Europe over these years. I was surprised by some misunderstandings. There are no countries in Europe worth more than others, the nations are equal (…) There have never been second-hand countries. I pledge that, while staying united, Europe will be able to do extraordinary things. (…) Europe has been divided in the past and that should not happen again,” the EC President said.

The message that should be taken into account though both by authorities and citizens is the following: “We can move forward together but at different paces. A multi-speed Europe already exists, it is laid down in the treaties (…) The Europe of citizens is a Europe of justice, freedom and equality,” said the President of the European Commission in a speech delivered in the plenary session of the Parliament.

Appreciation for Romania

Most of the speech that Jean-Claude Juncker had in the Parliament in Bucharest comprised appreciations and positive positions for Romania.

The President of the European Commission said for instance that he will militate with Romanian authorities to guarantee the irreversibility of the reforms made regarding the MCV. Juncker reminded that one of the objectives he set for himself was for the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Romania and Bulgaria to be lifted by the end of his mandate.

Juncker also reaffirmed the support offered for Romania to join the Schengen area.

“I would like to congratulate you for the courage of the Romanian people and for the leaders who had the European compass in hand. This courage has always impressed me, while thinking about the reforms that still need to be completed by the end of my mandate, like the MCV.

The end of the MCV does not mean the end or the withdrawal of reforms, but even more cooperation. After the end of this mechanism, cooperation will go further. I will militate with Romanian authorities to guarantee the irreversibility of reforms made.

Citizens’ legitimate hopes must be respected. Romania deserves its natural place in the EU and in the Schengen area. We must not make these criteria more difficult, Romania should become a member of the Schengen area as soon as possible because it is a deserved place,” said the European Commission President.

At the beginning of his speech in the Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker explained that he chose to address to the Romanian lawmakers, “as a loyal friend”, in French because “we belong to the Francophonie, this large family of 247 million citizens belonging to the same language.”

Last week, President Juncker said during a visit to Italy that English loses importance following Brexit and he would, therefore, prefer to use French in the future.

Former prime ministers Adrian Nastase, Victor Ciorbea and Victor Ponta attended the discourse of the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the plenary assembly of the Parliament.

At the entrance to the plenary hall, Jean-Claude Juncker hugged Victor Ciorbea and Adrian Nastase, kissed Traian Basescu on his forehead and cordially greeted Victor Ponta.

The plenary meeting was chaired by Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Liviu Dragnea and Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu attended the solemn meeting, accompanied by a part of the Cabinet members.

The European Commission President will also be received by President Klaus Iohannis, with whom he will have talks in private. Later, Juncker will attend the Europe Day reception organised by the head of the Romanian state, then he will go to Victoria Palace, where he will be expected by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu.

The President of the European Commission also has a meeting scheduled with the citizens, organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Bucharest at the Romanian National Art Museum.

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