The European People’s Party (EPP) and the group in the European Parliament will stand in full support of whatever measures Prime Minister Ludovic Orban takes regarding Romania’s accession to Schengen and will continue to ask those who are also responsible of solving this matter, such as France and the Netherlands, to give Romanian citizens access to the right of free movement they deserve and for which they sacrificed themselves, is the message conveyed by the EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz White following the meeting with the head of the Romanian government, on the latter’s third and final day of visit to the European Union institutions.
This statement was made with regard to the support the EPP, the largest political family in Europe, is willing to give to the Romanian leadership in solving one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda thirteen years after the accession to the EU and it comes as part of an interview given to caleaeuropeana.ro.
Insights about the meeting between the EPP Secretary General and the overall positive impression the timely visit to Brussels of the liberal prime minister had made on the heads of the EU institutions and the members of the European Parliament were also given to the caleaeuropeana.ro correspondent in Brussels. Also, talk on the EPP’s expectations from the Romanian government was also made.
Calea Europeană: Thank you so much, Mr. Secretary General, for accepting this interview as you have just finished your meeting with prime minister Ludovic Orban, on his third day of his official visit in Brussels. How was the meeting?
Antonio López-Istúriz White: I think it is a good occasion for a politician like Ludovic Orban, who I have known for several years, to build a profile here in Brussels. He has been received not only as a friend, but also as a trusted representative of Romania by commissioners, the president of the Commission, and in this context I could cite the words of David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament who said about the visit that ”Ludovic Orban and the new government bring new hope for the relations between Romania and the EU after, unfortunately, the bad episode of last year when the Romanian commissioner-designate did not pass the test which demonstrated that the government at that time was not in line with the EU reality”. Things are changing and I think it is good for Romania to have a government that really is in line with the European institutions. Here in the EPP are very happy about it, we know Ludovic Orban as well as president Klaus Iohannis and I think the couple is going to represent this European approach that Romania so much needs. We cannot escape the difficult moments lying ahead regarding the social and economic relations between Romania and the EU but we have to do our best. Specifically, in the EPP we always have in mind the Romanian diaspora in all the European countries. I am, as a Spaniard, very dedicated to the 1 million of your compatriots living in my country, which is a successful story of integration, and I believe it should continue like this. I hope that the current Spanish government will help with this like the previous governments have done it.
Calea Europeană: Mr. Orban publicly announced the objectives of his visit to the EU institutions at the meeting he had in the EPP Group in the Parliament and among them there were several national and political objectives that still have to be achieved 13 years after becoming members of the EU: accession to Schengen and lifting of the CVM. How can the EPP provide help for the government of the same political colour in Romania, and as well as to president Iohannis, who has just been reinvested for a second mandate? There are a lot of expectations from Romanians towards the EPP and, especially, towards PNL.
Antonio López-Istúriz White: These expectations are in good hands. The EPP has always been vocal and supportive regarding the integration of Romania in the Schengen Area. Everyone in our group, even those from member countries where the accession to Schengen is more problematic, were declared in favour of Romania joining. There are countries where the government is not EPP, such as France, the Netherlands, where we are doing our part of talking to Macron or Rutte on behalf of the Romanian citizens to have the freedom of movement which they deserve and for which they have sacrificed a lot. It is now time for everybody to take responsibility and in the EPP we have done so. This is what Ludovic Orban has been asking in Brussels and the EPP will stand behind in full support of this government as we have been supportive of other governments before, including the social-democrats, when it came to Schengen. We do not do differences about it. So I ask those who also have a responsibility on this, president Macron and prime minister Rutte, to do their part and be vocal because Romania can no longer stay outside Schengen. This is an unacceptable situation that the EPP will fight to change and we will support whatever measures prime minister Orban takes in this sense.
Calea Europeană: In Romania we talk about what Brussels can bring for us, which generally is welfare, but there are also expectations that we must meet. So what expectations has the EPP from prime minister Orban’s government?
Antonio López-Istúriz White: First, the Romanian delegation in the EPP Group is one of the largest and full of active people. The list that was made is outstanding and the professionalism of many of my colleagues form PNL is outstanding. This will be much needed not only for the Romanian government, but also for the citizens. Romania has a lot of influence in the group thanks to the size of this delegation and some of us are very happy about it. Second, it is the question of expectations from you as a country and it is something we ask of every country: never to fall into the trap of populism and negative thinking about the EU. Both Romania and Spain, where I come from, share the support and enthusiasm for the European project because we know it is part of the solution to some of the outstanding problems that we had in the pas for different reasons. We have to perform inside the EU and be an example. Spain started as a weak member of the EU in 1986 and today it is the fourth largest power inside the EU and I think that Romania can as well achieve this but it has to do it with the backing of a serious and responsible government which I believe is now the case.
Antonio López-Istúriz White is a Spanish politician and Member of the European Parliament from Spain. He is a member of the People’s Party, member party of the European People’s Party. He has served as the Secretary General of the European People’s Party since March 2002.
Diana Zaim, photojournalist of CaleaEuropeană.ro, won the #EYE2020 Public Prize Photo Contest
Diana Zaim, the photojournalist of CaleaEuropeană.ro, is the winner of the Public Prize in the photo competition European Youth Event 2020, the largest event for young people in Europe, organized by the European Parliament.
Diana Zaim’s picture, with the theme “The future is now for the young generation”, has a greater number of views (over 120,000), as well as appreciations (over 4,000).
For Diana “The future is now for the YOUNG GENERATION because we represent a point of reference in the future of our Union. We want to grow up and live through European values, that unite us and never gonna divide us again”. .
The picture was taken during the manifesto “Everyone for Europe”, an event organized on May 19, 2019 in Bucharest, which aimed to motivate the citizens to go to vote in the European elections on May 26.
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#EYE2020: “The future is now for ________!” 📷 @dianazaaim has been shortlisted for the “public prize winner” award. During the contest, we will regram some of the best shots. Then we will award the public prize winner from the photos which receive the most likes ❤ on our pages before 02 March 2020, at noon CET! Thanks for participating in our contest and good luck! . For Diana “The future is now for the YOUNG GENERATION because we represent a point of reference in the future of our Union. We want to grow up and live through European values, that unite us and never gonna divide us again”. . Show us what matters to YOU and what Europe should tackle NOW. You could WIN a trip to the European Parliament to take part in the European Youth Event and influence Europe’s decision makers! . 🏆 We will award 4️ jury prize winners and 1️ public prize winner. All five winners will be invited to EYE2020 in Strasbourg! . 📸 Take part by using the hashtag #eye2020 on a photo about one of these topics “The future is now for 📚 Education 🌱 Environment 😷 Health 🚀 Innovation 🙋♂️ 🙋♀️ Participation or 👩👨👩 Young People”. Or you can go out of the 📦 box by creating your own! . 📣 All you need to do is complete the following sentence in the caption or comments of your post: “The future is now for ________!” ⏩ We are looking forward to receiving your ideas! . 📌 RULES: ✔ Use the hashtag #EYE2020. ✔ Tag @europeanparliament & @ep_eye. ✔ Live in an EU country. ✔ Be at least 18 years old. ✔ Have full copyrights of the photo you shared. ✔ Post your photo(s) before 2 March at noon CET . ✔ Be ready to travel to Strasbourg on 29-30 May, 2020 . ✔ Your account needs to be public in order for your entry to be visible. . 🔍 The @europeanparliament and @ep_eye photo #contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, @instagram .
Every two years, the European Youth Event (EYE) brings together at the European Parliament in Strasbourg thousands of young people from all over the European Union and beyond to shape and share their ideas on the future of Europe. It is a unique opportunity for 16 to 30 years olds to meet and inspire each other and exchange their views with experts, activists, influencers and decision-makers right in the heart of European democracy.
The fourth edition will take place at the European Parliament’s seat in Strasbourg on 29-30 May 2020.
The entire list of the winners:
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📷 Our #EYE2020 contest is over and it’s time to announce the winners and to congratulate all of you for the beautiful photos we have received! . Thanks for showing what matters to YOU and what Europe should tackle NOW! . 🏆 The public prize winner is: @dianazaaim 🔎 “The future is now for the young generation!” . And our four jury prize winners are: 🥇 @olv_r (@dreamingmoria) 🔎 “The future is now for humanity!” . 🥇 @martinellisphoto 🔎 “The future is now to prevent nuclear war!” . 🥇 @mqmaj 🔎 “The future is now for education!” . 🥇 @sophiasophiasophia3 🔎 “The future is now for opportunities!” . A special thanks to @rares_gheorghiu who was part of the jury for the contest!
Following the event, the ideas, concerns, and hopes from young people are presented in a report distributed to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Some participants will also be able to further develop the most impactful ideas and present these directly to the MEPs in the parliamentary committees during “Youth Hearings”.
The EYE strives to promote equality, inclusiveness and sustainability with a strong commitment to accessibility for everyone. Our aim is to accommodate the needs of all participants, including persons with disabilities, and to implement actions that make the event more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
EPP MEP Vasile Blaga about Green Deal: ”At the European Parliament level the ecological radicalism is quite strong”
The Green Deal is the main topic discussed in the EU, especially in the Member States where a transitional period is needed, in order to have a green economy.
MEP Vasile Blaga stated to CaleaEuropeana.ro that “Romania’s high-stake is that nuclear energy and gas to be accepted in the transition to a green economy”.
We all know that the Green Deal requires some changes. For example, the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, believes that nuclear energy will no longer be economically feasible. But this is not the case for all Member States.
Vasile Blaga mentioned that “for rational political groups, such as the PPE, gas and nuclear energy are mandatory in the energy mix of the future. We need to be realistic and we have to understand that the Member States will have to produce several times more energy than they do today to cover the future needs of the economy”.
According to the MEP, there must be a “rational” approach to implement the Green Deal
“A rational approach is mandatory, but at the European Parliament level the ecological radicalism is quite strong.”
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, EPP candidate, elected as new President of the European Committee of Regions: “Together, we must make our Committee the bridge between Europe and its citizens”
Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia and EPP CoR member, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, was elected as new President of the European Committee of Regions.
“Together, we must make our Committee the bridge between Europe and its citizens”, transmitted the new CoR president in his speech.
— European Committee of the Regions (@EU_CoR) February 12, 2020
Apostolos Tzitzikostas wants a change of the European Committee of the Regions and presented to the new colleagues a plan based on three pillars: Modernizing the administration, a focused dialogue between citizens and the European Union and establishing an agenda in order to ”make this Committee the point of reference in the European Union.”
The February 2020 plenary session represents the inaugural session for the European Committee of the Regions’ seventh’ term of office.
The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. Since 1994 its mission has been to represent and promote the interests of local and regional authorities in relation to the European decision-making process. From its Brussels headquarters, the European Committee of the Regions has thus helped to ensure ever closer union of the European nations and territories with decisions being taken at the closest possible level to ordinary Europeans, in line with the subsidiarity principle.
The New Mandate
CoR members and alternates are appointed for 5 years, which is the length of a CoR mandate. The next mandate starts on 26 January 2020 and will last until 25 January 2025. At the beginning of a new mandate, all CoR members have to be appointed, and all organs, including the Bureau, the commissions, the working groups, and the interregional groups have to be re-established. A new President, a new First vice-President and a new Bureau are elected by the members meeting in the first plenary session.
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