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MEP Ramona Mănescu (EPP, PNL) – The stand on binding quota for the distribution of asylum seekers among all the Member States

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MEP’s Ramona Mănescu (EPP, PNL) stand on binding quota for the distribution of asylum seekers, as proposed by the European Commission:

”One of the main topics of debate in the European Parliament these days is the refugee crisis.

epp groupThere is an equal interest on this subject in Romania and I believe some elaboration on two matters is necessary, considering how European decision making can be rather difficult to follow sometimes. The first matter is related to the Stand on binding quota for the distribution of asylum seekers among all the Member States, and the second matter of the unquestionable human tragedy that spreads from Middle East to the middle of European continent.

I stand against the mandatory “quotas”, established in a bureaucratic way, without considering the real situation on the ground. In the same time, I strongly believe in all European values and I can’t let those that are about solidarity and protecting the vulnerable ones pass.

ramona manescu fbThe recent decisions taken by the European Parliament begun on Tuesday[1], 8th of September, debate upon the main legal document: European Parliament Report[2] on the proposal for a Council decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece[3].

The Rapporteur from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) for this document was the German MEP Ska Keller from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance.

In short, the text proposed by the Council refers to the procedures and complementary measures regarding the handling of the refugees from Italy and Greece together with the relocation of 40.000 of them to other Member States.

According with the annexes[4], the text proposes the relocation of 1.023 refugees who are coming from Italy and 682 from Greece to Romania, summing up to 1.705 immigrants.

Additionally, the document stipulates that each Member State will have to deliver information periodically on the number of applicants who can be relocated to their territory. This procedure is of major importance for Romania, as it did not face such challenges and it needs the financial and logistic support of EU and those countries that are more experienced in building and managing refugee centres. It is in everyone’s interest that Romania to approach this joint humanitarian effort with maximum of seriousness and responsibility.

LIBE Committee, proposed two amendments to this Report that are profoundly changing its content and that I cannot agree with.These modifications are introducing the idea of “binding quota for the distribution of asylum seekers among all the Member States”.

The two amendments (number 3 and 4) are the following:

(4a) The temporary measures for emergency relocation are only one part of the holistic approach to migration as outlined in the Commission’s communication of 13 May 2015 entitled, ‘A European Agenda on Migration’ and the forthcoming own-initiative report by the European Parliament. The European Parliament stresses that all dimensions of the holistic approach are important and should be advanced in parallel. At its meeting of 25 and 26 June, the European Council agreed, in particular, in the light of the current emergency situation and of the commitment to reinforce solidarity and responsibility, on the temporary and exceptional relocation over two years from Italy and Greece to other Member States of 40 000 persons in clear need of international protection. Member States should agree on binding quota for the distribution of such persons.

(5) In its resolution of 28 April 2015, the European Parliament reiterated the need for the Union to base its response to the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean on solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility and to step up its efforts in this area towards Member States which receive the highest number of refugees and applicants for international protection in either absolute or proportional terms on the basis of the criteria for establishing the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a. The European Parliament called for among all the Member States.

During the meeting of the EPP Romanian Delegation it was decided that Romanian MEPs to vote against these amendments and the EPP Leader was notified accordingly. Despite the numerous votes against[5] the two amendments, they received the green light from the European Parliament[6]. For the first one there were 471 favourable votes, 204 against and 17 abstentions. For the second one, there were 488 favourable votes, 167 against and 37 abstentions.

Because of the pressure coming from the politicians representing those countries in favour of a binding quota mechanism, Wednesday evening (9th of September), the MEPs were notified about the introducing of a new document on the debates and voting agenda on the following day.

This new document, is a “joint motion for a Resolution on migration and refugees in Europe”[7], which is mostly redundant to theReport text voted the day before.

The main difference between a Report and a Resolution is that while the Report is a strong legal text, with immediate effects, the Resolution has just the strength of a political declaration coming from the European Parliament, which recommends a course of action to the Executive bodies.

Considering the content of this second text, which mostly makes a reference to the concern that we all have regarding the unquestionable human tragedy and the refugee crisis that are spreading now from the Middle East up to the very heart of Europe, and starts with:

  1. Expresses its deep regret and sorrow at the tragic loss of lives of people seeking asylum in the EU; urges the EU and the Member States to do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea or on land;

  2. Expresses its solidarity with the high number of refugees and migrants who are victims of conflicts, grave violations of human rights, tangible governance failures and harsh repression;

I voted in favour of this Resolution, expressing this way my solidarity with the joint humanitarian effort of the European countries but mostly with the need of support that is requested by all the victims of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, no matter if they are still trapped in Homs – Syria, if they are waiting for the conflict to end in jordan’s Al Zaatri refugee camp, if they are in a rubber boat in the middle of Mediterranean Sea or if they are walking alongside a highway in Hungary.

I believe that Europe is facing a crisis that deepens on a daily basis and to which we must answer with the most urgency.

An increase of accommodation facilities within EU borders, without a determined and consistent involvement of Europe, will just add new refugee waves and will escalate the humanitarian crisis.

We all agree that we must tackle the deeper causes that force some to seek for a better world while others are embracing the extremists and terrorists groups. Economic disparities, lack of opportunities, collapsed education and health systems, poor infrastructure – these are the profound causes. And we can see this so clearly in the contrast between countries like Qatar, Oman or Kuwait, the immediate vicinity to those others that became the land of war and terrorist groups.

Such an approach is not just a right answer to the problems that we face today, but is also in the interest of the EU. Peaceful vicinity, stable and with convincing perspectives of economic development is in the interest and advantage of the European Union.

Within this context, Romania finds itself in a good position, being capable to contribute in promoting a sustainable solution and bringing in significant diplomatic resources.”

_______________________________

[1] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+AGENDA+20150908+SIT+DOC+XML+V0//EN

[2] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A8-2015-0245+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

[3] http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-11132-2015-INIT/en/pdf

[4] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:7a15efe3-053d-11e5-8817-01aa75ed71a1.0001.03/DOC_2&format=HTML&lang=EN&parentUrn=CELEX:52015PC0286

[5] Pages 33-36: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bPV%2b20150909%2bRES-RCV%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

[6] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bPV%2b20150909%2bRES-VOT%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

[7] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+MOTION+P8-RC-2015-0832+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

 

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INTERVIEW Manfred Weber launched in Bucharest his bid as head of the next European Commission: ”We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens”

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©️ Calea Europeană/ Diana Zaim

We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens, came out from Manfred Weber’s call ahead of the EPP local and regional leaders Summit in Bucharest, were we spoke in an interview for Calea Europeană about the plans that a Weber Commission has for Europe and the program of the National Liberal Party from Romania in the upcoming EU elections.

Speaking before the speech where he presented is vision as EPP lead candidate for the president of the European Commission, Manfred Weber described to Calea Europeană the profile that the next European Commissioners should have in his mandate.

 

Robert Lupițu: Mr. Weber, the current President of the European Commission and the former Spitzenkandidat from EPP did not manage to visit Romania during the EP elections campaign back in 2014. But now you are here in Bucharest for the EPP regional and local leaders. Why is Romania important for you and for your project for Europe?

Manfred Weber: For me there is no Europe of East, West, North, South, small or big, poor or rich countries. There are only Europeans with their concerns, with their emotions and with their hopes for the future of our European way of life. That is why first of all I want to listen. The mayors told me about the problems in their regions, their villages and their cities. To listen is the very most important thing for a European politician and then to act. This is why I am in favour of a strong regional policy. I think we have still to invest a lot, especially in Romania. In infrastructure, in hospitals, to make the life better here in Romania. This is what I want to do, together with the agriculture funds. This is what we need for the future. And again, Europe starts with listening, that’s why politicians have to listen.

Robert Lupițu: PNL list of candidates for the EP elections looks like a solid one – 6 current MEPs, two important mayors and on top of the list there is one of the finest Romanian journalists. Why should the Romanian citizens vote for PNL candidates and not for others?

Manfred Weber: First of all, it is about the concrete program of PNL for the future of Romania inside of Europe. I have to say, the last years under the Socialist government, Romania was more perceived as a country we spoke about the weak engagement in the fight against corruption and other developments that were negative. Romania was not anymore in the first row of the European development and this why I think PNL has a good chance to show that Europe must be the first row. Romania is a strong European country and we want to see a strong Romanian voice on the European level. And the second is about the list. I think it is a good mixture, with professionals that have a lot of experience at a European level, six of them are active current members of the European Parliament and also fresh air: mayors who are very professionals and know what to do from a local point of view and others such as journalists. I think is a good mixture and is good to see that PNL is going up in the polls. We are having a good momentum. Everybody must now: when you vote for PNL you will be part of the largest political family in Europe that makes a lot of impact to the decision-making process.

Robert Lupițu: One final question. You mentioned about your program for Europe. How will the Weber Commission look and what type of profile should the next Romanian Commissioner have for your Commission and for your program for Europe?

Manfred Weber: I don’t wan to propose anything. We need a good mixture in the next European Commission between men and women. I think we have to respect the gender balance in the European Commission and we have to think about the practical impact. Is someone capable to deliver what it has to do? So, the next European Commission must be, first of all, a democratically legitimated Commission and it must be a Commission who is really listening a lot. We are not Brussels bubble, we are not elites in Brussels. We should be close to people and that is why all the Commissioners, I myself as a Commission President, must be close to people. And all the project must be linked to the concerns of the people. That is what I deeply believe. We have to reconnect Europe, the Brussels level to the citizens. 

Manfred Weber has served as Leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliamentsince 2014. He has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany since 2004.

On the 5th September 2018, Weber declared his intention to run for the position of President of the European Commission and was elected as the candidate of the EPP on November 8th.

 

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The National Liberal Party has nominated its candidates for the European elections. The list includes six MEPs, two important mayors and distinguished leaders with the journalist Rares Bogdan on top

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©️ PNL/ Facebook

The National Liberal Party is the largest center-right party in Romania and a member of the European People’s Party, has nominated today the list with the candidates for the 23-26 May European elections. The National Liberal Party adopted the list of those who will compete for as many mandates as possible of the 33 mandates which are allocated to Romania. The list has been made under the motto “Romania in the first place” with two days before hosting in Bucharest the Summit of regional and local EPP leaders about the European elections in 2019.

On the list of the Liberals for the European Parliament elections, there are, according to the seats occupied by the internal vote: Rareş Bogdan (TV producer), Mircea Hava (Mayor of Alba Iulia), Siegfried Mureşan (MEP and EPP spokesman), Vasile Blaga (former co-president of the National Liberal Party) AdinaVălean (MEP), Daniel Buda (MEP), Dan Ştefan Motreanu (vice-president of the National Liberal Party), Gheorghe Falcă (Mayor of Arad), Cristian Buşoi (MEP), Marian-Jean Marinescu (MEP and deputy chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament ), Vlad Nistor (vice-president of the National Liberal Party), Mihai Ţurcanu (MEP) or Violeta Alexandru (former minister).

“The National Liberal Party is the political force, in fact, the only political force that is respected and  appreciated at European level, which has the capacity to influence the decisions at European level in favor of Romania. It is up to every member of the National Liberal Party to be seriously involved in this campaign, to open and have an open ommunication with every citizen of Romania. We have to send  to our message very clearly, that  “Romania in the first place!”, said the leader The National Liberal Party, Ludovic Orban,  in the debates of the Liberals meeting.

After the list of candidates for the European Parliament has been set by BEx, it will be validated by the National Political Bureau of the party, which will be held also on Thursday in Parliament.

A total of 49 liberals entered the race for the European Parliament.

At present, MEPs in the European Parliament are: Daniel Buda, Cristian Buşoi, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Siegfried Mureşan, Traian Ungureanu and Adina Vălean.

Continue reading: EPP Regional and Local Leaders to debate future of Europe with Manfred Weber and Klaus Iohannis on 16 March in Bucharest

© EPP

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EPP Regional and Local Leaders to debate future of Europe with Manfred Weber and Klaus Iohannis on 16 March in Bucharest

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© EPP/ Flickr

Around 4.000 political leaders across all governance levels will gather on Saturday in Bucharest for the Summit of EPP Regional and Local Leaders in view of the EU 2019 Elections, a high-level event that will bring together Manfred Weber, Spitzenkandidat of the European People’s Party (EPP), Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, and main EPP leaders across Europe.

According to a press release sent to CaleaEuropeană.ro, the Summit, co-hosted by the National Liberal Party of Romania (PNL), together with the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions (EPP-CoR) and the EPP, takes place in RomExpo upon the invitation of President of PNL, Ludovic Orban, President of EPP-CoR, Michael Schneider and EPP President Joseph Daul.

© EPP

Manfred Weber, the EPP Lead Candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, will deliver the Summit’s keynote speech and hold an EPP Local Dialogue with regional and local leaders and young citizens as part of his Spitzenkandidat Listening Tour.

The event will also see a high-level debate on Europe is our Common Future with Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, as well as a debate with mayors and regional representatives across Europe on how the EPP Family delivers results that protect and improve citizens’ lives.

Adding to the momentum of the Summit, youth members from the young EPP and PNL will share their perspective on the future of Europe in view of the European elections in May. The Summit will also showcase successful EU-funded projects in EPP-led regions and cities which have greatly benefitted EU citizens.

The Summit will adopt the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto, presenting the long-term vision of cities and regions for the future of the European project.

United together in Bucharest, EPP local and regional leaders will send a strong signal for a united and value-based Europe, closer to its citizens, withstanding populist pressures and delivering tangible results on the ground.

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