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Exclusive interview with the Romanian President Traian Basescu: What we need is a competent Government capable of generating sustainable growth and jobs. Public trust in European Union, a record low, because EU didn’t deliver what it promised. Petty political interests are placed by the current coalition above the national interest

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traian-basescuRomanian President Traian Basescu gave an exclusive interview to caleaeuropeana.ro European and Global Affairs website,  in which he talks about austerity, Romania’s advantages and disadvantages as part of the EU, entering the Eurozone, Schengen accession, European funds, the latest CVM report, Romanians from abroad and the portrait of the future president of Romania.

President’s most important statements:

–          There is no credible alternative to austerity. Anyone can understand that you can’t get out of debt by creating new debts. Austerity is very bad for the people, for the economy and for politicians- where such measures apply. But we must admit that no matter how bad austerity is, it has significant lighter consequences to the population and economy than unsustainable interest loans over 6-7% or payment incapacity have.

–          In Romania we are at a point were we have restored macroeconomic balance, what we need is a competent Government capable of generating sustainable growth and jobs

–          European money is at our disposal. We just need the competence and the rightness to use it.

Romania’s benefits as EU member

–          Free movement of persons, free movement of goods and services, free movement of capital, direct foreign investments that have created jobs and generated technology transfer, the right to work in other EU member states and here it must be said that starting January 1st 2014, Romanians will no longer be subject to any restrictions in EU countries, European non-refundable money for agriculture and development, which, unfortunately, we haven’t used efficiently –at least not yet.

–          Disadvantages: partial disposal of sovereignty in some areas.

Public trust in European Union, a record low, because EU didn’t deliver what it promised

–          European Union did not deliver what it promised- jobs, economic recovery. It takes honesty in communicating with citizens.

–          Some national governments have paid enormous amounts of money for incompetence, business immorality, for the bankers’ greed and now the holes are covered with public money.

Joining the euro area – it is wrong to not have set a target date

–          Regarding the euro adoption, I believe it should be firmly stated in our documents a target date, and an optimum time can’t be other than 2017.

–          Some important people in Romania have stated the term 2019, or suggested not fixing at all a national target date to adopt the euro, arguing that other countries also did not have such a target.

–          Not having such a schedule is wrong. I believe that those who think otherwise,  don’t know that well the EU inner workings, or they support sectorial interests that don’t overlap the general interest.

 

Schengen accession – Those responsible for postponing Romania’s accession to Schengen now seem to claim that they have pulled the country out of isolation

–          Romania has good chances of entering Schengen through a JAI Council decision in December. Everything now depends on us and our Bulgarian neighbors.

–          It should be noted that Romania meets the technical criteria to enter Schengen, and if it weren’t for the parliamentary coup last summer, most certainly, at the JAI Council in October 2012, we would have entered Schengen area. It wasn’t meant to be and nobody seems to feel responsible for this. On the contrary, those responsible for postponing Romania’s accession to Schengen now seem to claim that they have pulled the country out of isolation.

 

CVM report- We still have a minister under criminal investigation. Petty political interests are still more important to the current coalition than national interest

–          We still have a minister under criminal investigation, which makes Europeans look at us as to a country that has different standards than the European ones; we still try legislative tricks in the MPs Statute, in the immunity area or in the incompatibility one.

–          These are risks in our way to the accession to Schengen, and it also proves that petty political interests are placed by the current coalition above the national interest.

European funds

–          European funds have become a vulnerability for Romania.

–          It as an example of lack of patriotism and administrative capacity. How else can you explain the lack of interest for not using 19 billion euro to modernize infrastructure and to create new jobs?

–          It is the right thing to do, to say that former minister of Tourism is an exception; there the absorption was better and at least, until last year, according to the schedule. The figures show it.

–          Otherwise, both ministers and officials have proven their incompetence and lack of patriotism.

–          Statements such as <this year we will absorb 50% of the European funds>, coming from the government seem to be a rhetoric without coverage that places the government in an area of incompetence and instability of understanding the mechanism of absorbing European funds.

 

Romanians abroad – Either introduce electronic voting or voting by mail, or increasing the number of polling sections abroad to 10.000-11.000

–          The greatest humiliation these people suffer from their state is when they want to express their right to vote guaranteed by the Constitution.

The problem should be solved through the new electoral law by either introducing electronic voting or voting by mail, or increasing the number of polling sections abroad to 10.000-11.000 in Romanian communities. Otherwise, we will continue to have distorted election results.

 

The situation in Moldova seems to be detached from a manual that was used in Bucharest in the summer of 2012

–          -Unfortunately, recent political developments in Chisinau could discredit all politicians’ work in recent years and especially people’s sacrifices to approach EU.

–          – The scandal regarding the replacement of the Prosecutor-General, dismissing the President of Moldovan Parliament, the major attack on the Constitutional Court judges, the alliance within the Parliament between a center-right party and the communists, they all seem to be learned from a manual used in Bucharest in the summer of 2012.

–          Chisinau politicians must understand now, at the eleventh hour, the responsibility they have for the country and for future generations.

“People’s Movement” will have to create a center-right party. If successful, the foundation will have to create a power vehicle for implementing solutions, and that vehicle can’t be other than a center-right party based on local branches spread throughout the country.

About the future president – Romania does not need a President that would turn everything silent. All thefts, al illegalities are made quietly, in silence.

–          – What I can say for sure is that Romania does not need a president that would turn everything silent in politics and in the state institutions.

–          – Romania has parties and institutions still far from perfect, which make the President’s  public statements mandatory as an element of pressure for correcting things.

–          Those who, in a country like Romania, want complete silence must know that all thefts all illegalities are done quietly, in silence.

The crisis will pass and EU will remain to ensure a decent living

No matter how hard it is for us in this time of crisis, we must know that in a few years, the crisis will pass, and the European Union will remain to ensure a decent living for its citizens.

Full version (RO) AVAILABLE HERE.

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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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