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EP Environment Committee chair Adina Vălean: The rift between Europe and US will affect the competitiveness of our interdependent economies

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The European Union needs to have a very active climate diplomacy, in order to keep the other signatories of the Paris Agreement in line with their commitments, stated Adina Vălean, chair of Environment Committee in the European Parliament, in an interview ahead of the plenary debate about climate change and EU’s engagement.

FOTO: European Parliament

“The natural partner for us has always been the United States, but now we find ourselves alone in our leadership on climate. It will be challenging, for sure, but the European Union has a lot of experience in working with other countries to tackle climate change. This is nothing new for us. However, we need to give a quick response, not from a climate change point of view, but from an economic point of view. Our economies – both in Europe and US – are so interdependent that this rift between us is going to heavily affect the competitiveness of our businesses. In my opinion, we have to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. A transition is always hard and it affects competitiveness, but the sooner we get there, the better opportunities our economy will have”, the EPP MEP stated.

The Paris Agreement was adopted on 12 December 2015 by the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

It provides a framework for global actions to address climate change in the period after 2020.

The objective of the agreement is to maintain the increase in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, whilst making efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.

The agreement aims to ensure global greenhouse gas emissions peak as soon as possible, and to balance emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. Furthermore, the agreement addresses adaptation to climate change, financial and other support for developing countries, technology transfer and capacity building, as well as loss and damage.

 

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Robert Lupițu este redactor-șef, specialist în relații internaționale, jurnalist în afaceri europene și NATO. Robert este laureat al concursului ”Reporter și Blogger European” la categoria Editorial și co-autor al volumelor ”România transatlantică” și ”100 de pași pentru o cetățenie europeană activă”. Face parte din Global Shapers Community, o inițiativă World Economic Forum, și este Young Strategic Leader în cadrul inițiativelor The Aspen Institute. Din 2019, Robert este membru al programului #TT27 Leadership Academy organizat de European Political Strategy Center, think tank-ul Comisiei Europene.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: EU will not recognise Russian documents issued in areas illegally occupied by Russia in Ukraine and Georgia

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The European Parliament agreed by a large majority at its last plenary session in Strasbourg not to recognise travel documents issued by the Russian Federation in the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine and Georgia, said MEP Vasile Blaga on Monday.

MEPs agreed by 540 votes to 6 with 36 abstentions on a mandate for negotiations with the Council on a legislative proposal on the non-recognition of travel documents issued by Russia in the occupied Ukrainian regions and the so-called breakaway territories of Georgia for visa purposes or when crossing the EU’s external borders.

At the same time, MEPs amended the Council’s proposal and underlined the right of citizens from conflict zones to flee the war and their right to enter the European Union for humanitarian reasons.

“The illegal annexations in Ukraine and Georgia require clear EU decisions on the non-recognition of documents issued by Russia in those territories to be used for travel within the European Union,” said Vasile Blaga, EPP & NLP MEP, member of the LIBE Committee, which handled this dossier in the European Parliament.

“The Russian Federation must understand that the European Parliament and the European Union will not compromise on these unacceptable aggressions. At the same time, the European Union must allow access to refugees from conflict zones, honest citizens fleeing war. The European Union must also take humanitarian cases into account and provide adequate support to refugees”, said the EPP MEP.

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Marcel Ciolacu: It is time for all decision-makers and political parties to support Romania’s Schengen accession on all fronts

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© Marcel Ciolacu/ Facebook

The President of the Chamber of Deputies (România), Marcel Ciolacu, calls on the entire political class to support, in the coming weeks, through all channels and on all fronts, Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area.

“It is very important that during this period we are all united and act for our country. There is no room for pride and rivalry in this matter. My call is for all parties to use the contacts they have in their European political families to support Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area,” the PSD President said.

He also announced that at the Congress of European Socialists, where he will be present, he will support Romania’s accession to Schengen for the near future: “This is what I will do at the Congress of European Socialists, which will take place shortly in Berlin. My colleagues in the European Parliament are also holding daily talks with officials from other Member States to convince them to support Romania’s cause. I am convinced that the other parties can also contribute significantly to achieving a success for Romania.”

“We must not have any reservations in this fight for a strategic national objective, because justice is on our side. Romania has long met all the technical conditions for accession, and our country’s conduct in managing refugee flows from Ukraine and in securing export routes for Ukrainian grain shows that we fully deserve admission to the Schengen Area,” concluded Marcel Ciolacu in a post on his official Facebook page.

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MEP Vasile Blaga warns: A new rejection of Romania and Bulgaria’s integration into the Schengen area will create waves of euroscepticsim in the two countries

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© European Union 2022 - Source : EP

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) took part on 5th October, in the plenary session of the European Parliament, in the debate dedicated to Romania’s accession to the Schengen area.

“As a former Minister of the Interior, I was directly responsible for fulfilling the conditions for Romania’s integration into both the EU and the Schengen area. Romania’s integration into the Schengen area is a subject that concerns me and I treat it very personally”, said the MEP in his speech.

The MEP stressed that there are three main arguments why Romania should have been a member of the Schengen area for years: technical, moral and practical.

“There are three arguments that should lead to a quick decision on the integration of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen area. First there is the technical argument, which should be sufficient, as it was sufficient for the other Member States that are already members of the Schengen area. Romania meets all the technical conditions for Schengen, and the war in Ukraine was a test for the EU’s external border, a test that Romania passed with flying colours. The second argument is the moral one: Europe has been teaching us the lesson of solidarity for years. Solidarity in the face of the war for refugees and migrants, solidarity in the face of the energy crisis. Romania has done its homework without comment. We have shown solidarity without reservation and not because anyone forced us to. We did it because Romanian citizens believe in these values. The question is: Is Europe capable of putting into practice to the end the lesson it is teaching? The third argument is a practical one that concerns the future of the European Union. This future is threatened by Euroscepticism and we see this more and more often in national elections. The future of the EU depends on how it treats the citizens of each Member State. Does not the refusal to take a legitimate decision on the integration of Romania and Bulgaria into Schengen create a wave of Euroscepticism in these two countries? Isn’t the lesson of Brexit enough?” said the Liberal MEP in his speech in the European Parliament plenary.

The initiative of the Social Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament, the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area was once again debated in the plenary of the European Parliament.

 

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