On 9 March 2018, the European People’s Party, together with Political Party GERB of Bulgaria, will launch an EPP Grassroots Engagement in view of the 2019 European Elections.
This engagement, stemming from EPP regional and local leaders, aims to restore trust in the EU and increase ownership of the European project by reconnecting with local people and giving them a say on European issues ahead of the European Elections in 2019. The launch event takes place in Sofia Tech Park upon the invitation of Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov, President of the European People’s Party, Joseph Daul, and President of the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions, Michael Schneider.
Other confirmed speakers include: • Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia • Andrianos Giannou, President of EPP Youth • Doris Pack, President of EPP Women, President of the Robert Schuman Institute • Virgilio Falco, Chairman of European Democrat Students • Ludovic Orban, President of the National Liberal Party, Romania • Dominik Schrott, Austrian People’s Party • Rafał Trzaskowski, Civic Platform, Poland, EPP Vice-President
More than 400 local mayors and regional politicians, EPP members of the European Parliament and of the European Committee of the Regions are expected to attend and give their support to this initiative at the event moderated by Dara Murphy, Vice-President of the EPP and Campaign Director for the 2019 EU elections.
EPP Local Dialogues
The first EPP Local Dialogue will take place on 9 March, directly after the launch of the Grassroots Engagement. During a debate on the theme „Europe Starts in Sofia – Youth perspectives and the future of Europe”, citizens living and working in Sofia will have the chance to share their views on Europe. The dialogue will be co-moderated by Calea Europeană’s Director Dan Cărbunaru.
Green Village Resort, the Danube Delta impressive location, opened for tourists under maximum safety measures
Green Village is naturally isolated with access to immense beaches stretched for kilometres, canals where tourists can make a different trip every day, they can fish, walk in nature, watch birds, without meeting any crowds.
„Even in a normal period, tourists felt safe and enjoyed a quiet vacation. Romania is a growing destination for foreign tourists. Although slower than we want, Romania attracts foreigners, who come here with moderate expectations, but return home beyond enchanted by the landscapes, people, and security that our country offers”, said Dragoș Anastasiu, owner of Green Village Resort.
Last year, more than 40% of our tourists were foreigners. They enjoyed mostly excursions on the canals, fishing, birdwatching, going to the beach and short trips to nearby cities such as Sulina and Tulcea.
Romania Remains Attractive As Software Outsourcing Destination in COVID-19 times
Romania is 1ST IN EUROPE and 6TH IN THE WORLD, in terms of number of certified IT specialists. With an estimated 150,000 in 2020, Romania is moving up the diversity spectrum in terms of outsourcing capabilities. The local talent pool has been a main decision factor for evolving from a cost driven approach to a value driven one, Romanian specialists proving to be very resourceful in operating many complex project assignments.
Romania doesn’t offer lowest prices in the outsourcing business, but it is highly competitive when you take into account the level of technical proficiency and soft skills in the country, “superior to what is typically found in other outsourcing locations,” according to IDC.
Romania also benefits from two political factors—its membership in the European Union, and strong institutional support from the government. This includes several tax incentives and breaks, alongside wages that remain highly competitive within the EU (the average minimum wage is the second lowest in the political union). More importantly, membership in the EU comes with more than just financial and security advantages, one example is access to the Horizon 2020 program for Research and Innovation.
As a member state, Romania’s regulations and compliance laws must fall in line with the broader union, meaning that companies have significantly less startup barriers when setting up BPO or ITO offices. Apart from easier setup, this gives companies a much safer framework and infrastructure for financial transactions, as well as access to many of the same financial services and banks available across the West.
We asked one of the local companies what are their thoughts on the Romanian IT sector future and how is the COVID-19 disrupting their business model:
“This highly competitive industry sometimes forces us to ignore the long-term strategy and focus on the quick opportunities. The biggest risk is that we won’t see a lot of Romanian products competitive at global scale any time soon, but definitely in almost every successful project launched today around the World there is at least one Romanian engineer in the team. We give a lot of attention to our Research and Innovation department and we try to keep the right balance between outsourcing and internal products development (chasing our dreams). Regarding the COVID-19 disrupting our business, we just practiced what we preach, we used our entire digital offering on ourselves and we were able to completely switch into remote work during lunch break” says Anamaria POPA, General Manager of Soft Galaxy.
It is not enough for the professionals out there (in institutes, universities, private companies, innovators and entrepreneurs) to press ahead with their work, they need to stand together and promote the Romanian excellence in research and education.
Vasile Blaga, MEP: I am convinced that the firm measures adopted by the EP against Covid-19 will not stop here. The EPP Group is already working on a strategy for the rapid recovery of the post-crisis economy
Vasile Blaga, MEP (PNL, PPE) told caleaeuropeana.ro that the EPP group in the European Parliament is already working on a “very clear strategy” for managing the current crisis generated by the new coronavirus, but also for the rapid recovery of the post-crisis European economy,
The unanimous vote of the European Parliament last week on proposals from the European Commission for the management of the European health crisis shows that the hesitant response at the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic was an accident, explains MEP Vasile Blaga, adding that “the answer came to correct the rather timid initial reaction of the European executive in the beginning of this challenging crisis for Europe and all the other states around the world ”.
The 37 billion euros (part of the Corona Initiative) allocated to the Member States through the vote in the European Parliament will be directed towards health systems, local communities, small and medium-sized enterprises and economy sectors seriously affected by this crisis.
“The European Union means, first and foremost, solidarity – for better and for worse, and those who support the opposite are either not aware of what is being done at EU level, or have an interest in destabilising the Union,” says Blaga.
The vote in the European Parliament was also aimed at reallocating 800 million euros from the Cohesion Fund in 2020 to cover emergencies in the medical systems of the EU member state
“I am convinced that the measures will not stop here. The EPP group is already working on a very clear strategy for managing the current crisis, but also for the rapid recovery of the economy once the public health crisis is over. There are countless proposals and projects in progress that will help us all overcome this unprecedented crisis in recent history,” adds Vasile Blaga.
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