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EPP Secretary General Antonio López-Istúriz: 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



© Ludovic Orban/Facebook

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

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 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.

Alexandra Loy este redactor și specialistă în afaceri europene. Deține un doctorat în domeniul științe politice, dobândit în anul 2018, cu tema analizării impactului președinției României la Consiliul Uniunii Europene asupra sistemului național de coordonare a afacerilor europene. Alexandra este membru al comunității academice din cadrul Școlii Naționale de Studii Politice și Administrative.


S&D Group and MEP Victor Negrescu host an international conference on the future EU budget and the European Recovery Plan (LIVE, 19th November, 11:00)



The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament is organizing on Thursday, at the initiative of MEP Victor Negrescu (PSD, S&D), an international conference on the future European budget and on the economic recovery plan.

The conference, which will start at 11:00 (Bucharest time) and will be broadcast LIVE on CaleaEuropeană.ro, is an invitation to dialogue on how European funds should be used at European and national level.

At the conference organized with the support of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats on the future EU Budget and the European recovery plan, the European Commissioner for Budgets, Johannes Hahn, will address a video message. Also, among the participants will be Margarida Marques, MEP and rapporteur of the S&D Group for the future multi-annual budget, Dan Nica, leader of the Romanian Delegation to the S&D Group, Radu Magdin, study coordinator, Roxana Mînzatu, member of the Romanian Parliament, European funds expert and former Minister of European Funds, and Adrian Câciu, economic analyst.

In order to set out these objectives, the S&D MEP Victor Negrescu initiated a complete and complex study on the impact of the European relaunch plan on Romania and the identification of development objectives that the progressive group in the European Parliament will support at the level of the European institution.

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Dacian Cioloș, Renew Europe’s leader: Maia Sandu’s remarkable victory, clear proof that the Republic of Moldova’s future lies in Europe



© Photo Collage (Image source: European Parliament & Renew Europe)

The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament welcomes the preliminary results of the presidential elections in the Republic of Moldova and congratulates Maia Sandu for becoming the first woman elected to the highest-ranking position of the state, the third largest EP political group says in a press release.

Maia Sandu’s pro-European agenda and her determination to tackle corruption and unite the country are the key elements of her emphatic victory over the pro-Russia President Igor Dodon.

The President of Renew Europe Group, Dacian Cioloș (USR PLUS, Romania), said:

“Maia Sandu’s remarkable victory in the presidential elections is clear proof that the Republic of Moldova’s future lies in Europe. Through their vote, the citizens of Moldova endorsed the consolidation of democratic institutions and practices, the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against corruption as national priorities for the years to come. It won’t be an easy path, but I am confident that with the full support of the European Union, including Renew Europe group, Moldova will get gradually closer to European values, develop its economy and ensure prosperity for its citizens.”

Renew Europe MEP, Dragoş Tudorache (USR PLUS, Romania), the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Moldova, added:

“Just as Maia Sandu’s victory is a landmark for the democratic evolution of the Republic of Moldova, her mission is equally historic, challenging, but also transformative for the whole society. If this transformation succeeds, if this mission is successful, Maia Sandu may be the one bringing the Republic of Moldova closer to the European Union than it has ever been.

The reform agenda, which Maia Sandu embraced decisively already as a Prime Minister, requires political will, expertise and financial support. We, the European partners of the Republic of Moldova, shall stand by Maia Sandu in the ambitious mandate entrusted by the Moldovan people, whether it is the fight against corruption, institutional reforms, the reconstruction of public administrations, or to increase the economic exchanges with the EU.”  

Renew Europe MEP Ramona Strugariu, (USR PLUS, Romania), Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, commented:

“Maia Sandu’s victory is in fact the victory of a courageous, visionary and European Republic of Moldova, determined to fight for the values in which it believes. I am convinced that the first woman President in the country’s history will be able to steer firmly the Republic of Moldova towards European integration. It will not be an easy path, but we will support the country every step of the way in order to bring it in the European Union.”

MEP Hilde Vautmans (Open Vld, Belgium), Renew Europe Group’s Coordinator in the Foreign Affairs Committee, concluded:

“I congratulate Maia Sandu for this well-deserved victory, which will strengthen ties between the EU and Moldova and it will increase Moldova’s role in the Eastern Partnership. We must keep fighting for what brings us together in the benefit of Moldovan citizens.”

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Manfred Weber: We need a new and ambitious European transatlantic agenda



© European Union 2020 - Source : EP

European Parliament EPP Group leader Manfred Weber, awaiting the outcome of the US elections, is calling for a new transatlantic European agenda.

“We Europeans should focus more on how we imagine our future relations with the United States. We need a new and ambitious European transatlantic agenda “, writes Manfred Weber on Facebook.

The leader of the most influential political group in the European Parliament also stressed in other messages that the European Union’s transatlantic ally would no longer be the same “big brother” and that Europe should militate for its own sovereignty.

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