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EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu: History, especially the one of Europe, tells us that the anti-Semitism it always begins with the Jews, but it never ends with them

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EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu, together with S&D MEP Andi Cristea, has organized on Wednesday, March 20, the debate “Human shields – complex realities of the modern battlefield”, an event which will be held on the initiative of the My Truth non-governmental organization and EIPA, a pro-Israel advocacy group with offices in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Israel.

Please find below her intervention at the event:

”The “Human Shields” report, which generated the discussion we are having today, is an extremely valuable document. Many should carefully read it, no matter if they are EU decision makersmedia representatives, or they are just interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It certainly opens the debate on a challenging and difficult topic!

We can actually look at today’s debate as a fact-finding mission in an area that witnessed more armed conflicts than most of the world. This is because we have a rare opportunity, to freely address questions to some of those that have personal experience in conflicts from places like Gaza, West Bank or the Golan Heights.

The “Human Shields” report is not the first one of its kind. I remember another valuable document, the 2015 High Level Military Group Assessment on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. It was followed by several other reports, examining various operations, exploring comparative national approaches in a variety of modern conflict scenarios that Western nations have fought in recently.

One thing, which we can understand going through the “Human Shields” report, is that the issues in discussion do not relate just to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are common to many of the conflict areas, where UN peacekeeping missions are present or NATO forces are involved in support missions. We are talking about Western Sahara, Sudan, Libya, Mali, Iraq or Afghanistan. In all these places, there are active terrorist groups with a complete disregard for the Law of Armed Conflict and no respect for human lives.

Romanian, Italian, French or Belgian soldiers, serving their countries, encounter similar situations with those described by the Israeli Defence Forces. This makes today’s topic to be important both for the EU and the Member States.

Here, in the European Parliament, but also in the Commission and in the Council, we take decisions that ultimately affect the citizens of the European Union. However, being a global power, our decisions also affect other people, all over the world. Sometimes, we vote based on very strong convictions, but without having a complete and correct understanding of the facts.

Discussing here today, we have the opportunity of a dialogue, so our decisions could come out more deliberated and better informed.

Thinking about past decisions, I remember the 2018 European Parliament Resolution about the Situation in Gaza Strip.

I know that, at that time, the Parliament had a very correct stand, calling for the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul to be returned to their families. Almost one year passed since then and almost five years since their disappearance and the situation is unchanged.

We also acknowledged and condemned “the persistent tactic of Hamas of using civilians for the purpose of shielding terrorist activities”.

I also know that what Hamas and Hezbollah are doing, is clearly hybrid warfare with asymmetric tactics. Here I will quote, not the “Human Shields” report, but the one belonging to our military, that I’ve mentioned earlier:

Hamas’s strategic concept is the active encouragement of harm to its own civilians.

Hamas understands clearly that it benefits from harm to its own civilians not only in seeking to galvanise Palestinians for its war on Israel, but rather by pursuing an asymmetric strategy aimed at the court of international public opinion, where Hamas’s tactic of drawing Israel into fighting in civilian urban areas with the resultant casualties and television pictures is a targeted attempt to erode Israel’s legitimacy at the cost of Gaza’s civilian population.

This hybrid strategy is a targeted and alarmingly effective effort on the part of Hamas to exploit the protections of, and misguided notions in international forums about the Laws of Armed Conflicts”.

This situation, which exists for many years already, leads me to say that there is a connection between a growing anti-Semitic attitude within the EU and Hamas or Hezbollah hybrid tactics of warfare.

Terrorist organisations are successful in promoting their narrative at the highest levels of the EU decision! But also among the EU citizens.

Such a reality is extremely dangerous. History, especially the one of Europe, tells us that the anti-Semitism it always begins with the Jews, but it never ends with them.

In various places and at different moments in time, the well-being of the Jews was a sure indicator of the health of society as a whole:

“A country that turns against its Jews is preparing the path for greater hardships.”

It is our duty, as decision-makers, to make sure that evil, out-lawed organisation can’t put a spell on us and our citizens, altering our perception about reality.

It is also our duty to learn from the experience of others. The IDF is, for sure, among the most experienced forces in dealing with modern, urban, asymmetric warfare. Learning from them, we can help our own citizens, especially those serving their countries.

I am glad we have the chance of this discussion today, in the European Parliament, and I hope that all those who got a copy of the “Human Shields” report will see its added value for all of us.

I want to thank My Truth for the effort in bringing to us this report and the support of Europe Israel Public Affairs in organising the debate”.

ENGLISH

Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu: The Strategic Partnership with the US is the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy, while the accession to Schengen remains a priority

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Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu said on Thursday that Romania’s accession to Schengen remains a priority of the Romanian diplomacy.

“Evoking the period when I was MEP, I can certainly tell you that (…) all the time both [the European] Parliament and the Commission said Romania was prepared to join Schengen, from a technical and logistical point of view. (…) Practically, we function de facto as a Schengen member state, but de jure we are not regarded as such. Romania doesn’t ask anything but the observance of the Treaty, we are members with full rights, we met our commitments and we seriously continue to meet them, no one can challenge Romania’s contribution to the security space, because we are not talking only about the eastern flank of NATO, we are also talking about EU’s eastern flank,” Ramona Mănescu told Antena 3 private television broadcaster on Thursday, quoted by Agerpres.

She maintained that the Romanian citizens “have all the right to get this well-deserved position of Schengen member state.”

“This is not something we must beg for, or be made a favour. It is provided in the Treaty and it must be observed. (…) I assure you we keep this on the agenda as priority topic, and all bilateral and extended discussions will include the Schengen accession component, we won’t stop from telling our colleagues in the EU that the Romanian citizens have the same rights,” Mănescu underscored, mentioning that, at present, in the Council half of the states support Romania’s accession to the free movement area, and the others oppose.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Strategic Partnership with the US must remain the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy.

She also showed that Romania has the same position towards Russia as NATO and the EU.

“Romania’s position towards Russia starts in the first place from the vicinity we are in, but it is also part of the EU’s position regarding Russia, as we are part of the EU, we must get in line with EU’s stand. I am referring to sanctions, to certain limitations that we have in the dialogue and cooperation with Russia and I am particularly referring to the firm position we have as EU member, which we have always had, of observing the international legislative framework. We don’t ask too much from Russia as an actor on the geopolitical stage if we ask them to respect the international legislative framework. (…) It is the principle which we start from and which we cannot fail to keep not even for Russia, which is here, close to us. We have no reason to make an exception, because nothing is negotiable in this story,” Ramona Mănescu said.

According to the Minister, the relation with Russia represents “a key point in the stability in the area, in securing NATO’s eastern flank, in the manner in which we can further manage the discussions in the Black Sea. “The threats and gestures which Russia has repeatedly done in the Black Sea space, from a military stand, have been sanctioned all the time. (…) Both NATO and the EU have the same discourse. Romania cannot have a different discourse, because it is both part of the EU and NATO, and we are at the Black Sea,” she added.

Mănescu also said that she expected “the energy diplomacy to have its word,” in regards to the resources in the Black Sea.

“Our desire is for a partner such as Exxon to stay here and continue to work together as much and as well as possible. This entails our making some steps in an expected direction. I believe things will settle in the end, enter the right track and I even want to clarify this position shortly and the US partners must be convinced that we’ll be keeping the same line. (…) Mrs PM wants this as well,” Mănescu said.

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Romania has a new Foreign Affairs Minister. Ramona Mănescu took the oath of office

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Ramona Mănescu, Nicolae Moga and Mihai Fifor took the oath of office on Wednesday in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis for the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries office, Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships office respectively.

The head of state wished success to the new three members of the Dancila Cabinet.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, ministers, Deputy Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Florin Iordache, Government Secretary General Toni Grebla and presidential advisors.

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Meleșcanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

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Romania: President Klaus Iohannis appoints former MEP Ramona Mănescu as the new Foreign Affairs Minister

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President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Melescanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

The swearing-in ceremony takes place on Wednesday at 11:00hrs, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace. 

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

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