Connect with us


Op-Ed | German Foreign Minister marks 20 years since EU’s biggest enlargement: The generations before us created a Europe of freedom. Our task is defending Europe



© Official Photo (Courtesy by German Embassy to Romania)

Annalena Baerbock, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs

With the European anthem ringing in their ears and fireworks lighting up the night sky, complete strangers embraced each other. I joined hundreds of people back then, on 1 May 2004, on the Oder bridge between Frankfurt in eastern Germany and Słubice in western Poland in celebrating this special European moment. East and West were united in the European Union at long last. Around 75 million people in Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Cyprus became part of the EU family on that night. Our neighbours in Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia also joined them later on.

It was the courageous responsibility and vision of the people in the accession countries – from the Baltic region to the Mediterranean Sea – that made this great celebration possible back then. They had embarked upon the long and difficult road of reform and harmonisation with determination.

For me as Germany’s Foreign Minister, 1 May reminds us that each generation has its task. The generations of our parents and grandparents recognised after the Second World War that reconciliation is the basis for a European community of peace. We Germans must never forget that especially we, who brought war and destruction to so many people, were thus able to find the path to peace and friendship. The generations before us created a European Union of freedom – for living, working and doing business – from the Atlantic up to the border with Russia.

The generation of the major round of enlargement had to have the courage back then not to be deterred by pushbacks or populist slogans. Like in Germany, where in times of high unemployment the fear of the “Polish plumber” was stoked. The job of politicians, however, is, as former Federal President Walter Scheel once put it, “to do the right thing and make it popular”, as opposed to giving in to moods and letting ourselves be driven by them. If social media had already existed at that time, then I wonder whether the debate would have perhaps had a different conclusion. But nothing hopeful can grow from hatred, populism or naysayers.

Our generation now faces the task of defending and strengthening the peace and freedom project that is Europe, even though this takes incredible strength. After all, Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine is a most brutal reminder that our peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe cannot be taken for granted. What guided the generations before us in building our united Europe is what we also need today to protect our Europe, namely courageous responsibility and vision.

As the European Union, we are defending our values and our security together with friends and allies and are standing firmly by Ukraine’s side – for as long as it takes. By the side of a country that, for over two years now, has made the very greatest sacrifices for a future in freedom and democracy – and which is now itself taking big strides towards EU accession.

At the latest since Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, we know that today the expansion of our EU is a geopolitical necessity, too. Political and geographical “grey zones” in the Balkans or in the east of the EU are highly dangerous. We cannot afford such grey zones as for Putin they are an invitation to interfere and destabilise.

The European Union stands for freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Just like 20 years ago, once again today millions of Europeans see an opportunity and a promise in becoming EU citizens. And we cannot afford once again to make an entire generation sit in the EU’s waiting room, as in the countries of the Western Balkans. We must not pass up the opportunity to make our Union bigger and stronger – and therefore also more secure. Our Union of peace and freedom is open for new members.

However, in order for the accession of further countries to the Union to be successful, we must ensure that the EU remains capable of taking action both internally and externally. We will continue to develop our EU with all due resolve to this end. Even if we have intense debates about how time and again – as is to be expected in a big family. The wealth of experience of the EU members that have joined the Union since 2004, countries that successfully mastered a long transformation process, is particularly valuable here.

In order for our Union of freedom to accomplish this task for our generation, we must reform it. To my mind, this includes reducing the scope for vetoes in the Council. We must remain capable of action also in a future Union potentially numbering over 35 members. This includes reaching decisions more often with a large majority as opposed to achieving unanimity. Even if this means that Germany – like any other member state – can also be outvoted. We must address enlargement and reform with determination.

Showing courageous responsibility means today that we must make our European Union fit to take in new countries already in this decade. So that people can embrace each other once again, with the European anthem ringing in their ears, united in our growing European family.


Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu: Romania will continue to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees



© screenshot/Government of Romania

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu gave assurances on Friday that Romania will maintain aid for Ukrainian refugees, highlighting our country’s continued support in the context of the war unleashed on 24 February 2022.

At a press conference in Iasi, Ciolacu stressed that there are currently 84,000 Ukrainian citizens settled in Romania.

„We will maintain our aid to Ukrainian refugees. You know very well, that of the 84,000 who have remained on Romanian territory, many of them are mothers with children, with grandchildren, we have placed them in the school system, even in their native language, regardless of the level of education. So far we have had an effort from the state budget paid for by European funds. Romania will continue to support Ukraine, especially in the humanitarian area, which is only natural. We hope that we will no longer have to deal with an exodus, as it was at the beginning of the war”, said the Prime Minister.

The head of government is in Iasi on Friday to visit the construction site of the Regional Emergency Hospital, an important project for the region.

Continue Reading


The Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is attending the 21st International Congress of Dental Esthetic in Bucharest




Between 16-18 May, the JW Marriott Grand Hotel Bucharest is hosting the 21st edition of the International Congress of Esthetic Dentistry, a landmark event in the international dental community, organized by the Romanian Society of Aesthetic Dentistry (SSER).

With the theme “Revolution in Esthetic Dentistry”, the congress will gather around 2,400 participants in person and online, bringing together more than 60 world-renowned lecturers from 12 countries. These include Prof. Dr. William Giannobile, Dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Prof. Dr. Daniel Edelhoff from Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Prof. Dr. Marius Steigmann from the University of Michigan and Boston University, and Prof. Dr. Philipp Sleiman from the University of Beirut.

The congress will take place over three days in nine parallel rooms, covering topics as diverse as periodontology, prosthodontics, implantology, dental aesthetics, endodontics, and orthodontics.

In addition, over 48 exhibitors from the dental industry will be present, offering attendees presentations and activations on the latest innovations in products, techniques, and equipment.

Over 1300 doctors have registered for in-person attendance at the congress and over 1100 doctors will participate online.

This edition of the International Congress of Esthetic Dentistry is an exceptional opportunity for dental professionals to connect, learn, and discover the latest trends and innovations in the industry.

For more information on the Congress programme and the full list of speakers, visit the event’s official website.

Continue Reading


Op-Ed | A call from Moldova for a European budget for peace: A Marshall Plan could be Europe’s promise of peace



Article signed by Carolina Bogatiuc, European Affairs expert at the Institute for Strategic Initiatives (IPIS) in Moldova. Carolina Bogatiuc is the former Chief of Cabinet of the Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Nicu Popescu.

Republic of Moldova, as an EU candidate state since June 2022, is increasingly active internationally and within the European community. As we approach potential accession, our nation participates in meetings that could significantly influence the direction of EU development and restructuring, akin to the 2004 enlargement. Moldova doesn’t just report on reforms; it actively contributes to regional security and prosperity. Many wonder how Moldova contributes and by what means? True, we lack a robust military and state-of-the-art equipment, and our policies in this regard remain undefined; we are a neutral state. Nevertheless, Moldova grapples with oligarchic forces that have isolated the country for over three decades. Through puppet figures, these forces cling to power aspirations, masquerading as pro-Europeans while questioning Moldova’s progress.

However, it’s imperative to stress that Moldova can no longer postpone critical reforms. The nation must exert maximum effort to appoint a Prosecutor General and deliver the economic growth plan—essential for lifting Moldova out of stagnation and attracting investments, ensuring quicker economic recovery. Brussels’ deadlines aren’t mere time limits but reflect the confidence earned through compliance. Failure risks exclusion from discussions with EU leaders.

Moldova needs to amplify its voice and firmly back its European trajectory, aligning with other nations worldwide that champion freedom and democratic principles. While reforms are progressing and justice is advancing, albeit with some anticipated outcomes still pending, Moldova’s readiness to commence EU accession talks cannot be denied. Brussels comprehends the exerted efforts, recognizes them, and pledges support for their continuation. Despite the inherent complexities of the justice system, significant strides have been taken, and Moldova should not languish in the shadows or wait idly; it deserves swift, immediate support. Twenty years have elapsed—far too lengthy to remain on the EU’s outer threshold.

Any investment in our country, or in our neighbors in Ukraine, signifies an investment in the future—a widening of the realm of peace, where destabilizing forces and aggressors find no haven. Through intentionally placed and strategically directed investments in candidate countries, the EU not only lends support to these nations but also fortifies its own borders and security. President Sandu has underscored the necessity for a EU budget that transcends the conventional spending paradigm, emphasizing a strategic blueprint for peace investments. Budgeting, as European Commissioner Johannes Hahn asserts, is also a process of learning. Hence, the time is ripe to embrace a budgetary approach that diverges substantially from the current internal procedures of the EU, which at times hinder progress. Moldova lacks the authority to dictate the spending of European Union funds, a stance endorsed by President Sandu. However, it can play a role in shaping a budget that is adaptable, forward-thinking, and bold.

To reconstruct and bolster the democratic and economic foundations of nations aspiring to EU values and standards, the bloc is confronted with the concept of a Marshall Plan, which could stand as Europe’s solution and pledge for peace. The notion of the Marshall Plan was, in essence, a focal point of President Sandu’s address at the annual EU budget conference. This strategy extends beyond mere financial aid, it involves investments in critical infrastructure, governmental reforms, anti-corruption efforts, and justice initiatives — all fundamental components for fortifying the rule of law and democracy.

Addressing EU bureaucracy and sluggish procedures is vital, given the time-sensitive nature of regional security. Streamlining fund management accelerates progress, yielding quicker crisis responses. Europe stands at a crossroads; today’s decisions shape tomorrow’s landscape. Prudent allocation of EU resources fosters a safer, unified, and prosperous Europe.

Post-Brussels momentum assigns Moldova a significant responsibility: meeting set objectives and adhering to EU accession goals. Judicial reform tops the agenda, Moldova must prioritize effectively. The honeymoon phase fades, leaders question meritocracy. Launching the inaugural intergovernmental conference isn’t just a promise fulfilled but earned recognition for Moldova’s steadfast European path amid internal and external challenges. Moldova’s EU accession isn’t just a diplomatic endeavor but a strategic and moral imperative—a larger investment in a freer, safer Europe. Time is of the essence; Moldova’s future hinges on decisive action now. The clock is ticking against us, pressure is mounting, and Moldova faces high expectations. It’s a question of NOW or NEVER.

Fall’s EU accession referendum affords an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment. Thousands must voice their aspirations, safeguarding our identity against usurpation. I remain hopeful; Moldova and its people have evolved.

Continue Reading


Concrete & Design Solutions

CONSILIUL UE8 mins ago

Țările UE solicită Comisiei Europene o nouă strategie cuprinzătoare pentru piața unică până în iunie 2025: Piața unică este încă fragmentată, iar marii actori își impun propriile reguli

NATO21 mins ago

Summitul NATO din 2025 va avea loc în Olanda, la Haga, anunță secretarul general Jens Stoltenberg

U.E.2 hours ago

UE pregătește modificarea taxelor vamale pentru coletele de sub 150 de euro pentru a contracara volumele uriașe de colete Shein și Temu, acuzate că nu respectă legislația europeană


România și R. Moldova își reactualizează cooperarea militară, miniștrii apărării celor două țări semnând un protocol de amendare a acordului bilateral din 2012

ROMÂNIA3 hours ago

Ministrul Apărării evidențiază nevoia unui sprijin ”ferm” pentru Ucraina și R. Moldova și necesitatea unei abordări cuprinzătoare a securităţii în regiunea Mării Negre

ROMÂNIA4 hours ago

Ministrul Bogdan Ivan a lansat consultările interministeriale asupra Cadrului național de competențe digitale, inițiativă ambițioasă realizată cu sprijinul Băncii Mondiale

ROMÂNIA5 hours ago

MAE: Un diplomat din cadrul Ambasadei Rusiei a fost declarat persona non grata pe teritoriul României

CONSILIUL UE5 hours ago

Statele membre solicită o politică spațială ambițioasă pentru consolidarea competitivității UE: Sectorul spațial va juca un rol din ce în ce mai important în autonomia strategică a Europei

CONSILIUL UE5 hours ago

Consiliul UE a adoptat noul Cod al frontierelor Schengen pentru a securiza granițele și a aborda migrația clandestină


Reuters: Oameni din anturajul lui Putin susțin că liderul de la Kremlin dorește încetarea focului în Ucraina pe actualele linii ale frontului

U.E.24 hours ago

Îmi doresc o Europă puternică, prosperă, care protejează, răspunzând așteptărilor tinerei generații, subliniază Ursula von der Leyen în dezbaterea Eurovision

U.E.1 day ago

Candidatul Socialiștilor Europeni la șefia CE, Nicolas Schmit: Ceea ce mă interesează pe mine cel mai mult este să îmbunătățesc condițiile de viață ale tuturor cetățenilor europeni


R. Moldova are ca obiective principale obiective asigurarea păcii pe termen lung în regiune şi salvarea vieţilor prietenilor şi vecinilor ucraineni, subliniază premierul Dorin Recean

ROMÂNIA1 day ago

România își propune să fie unul dintre cei mai importanți actori ai procesului de reconstrucție a Ucrainei, având resursele și hotărârea pentru a ajuta această țară să renască, a subliniază premierul Marcel Ciolacu


România și Turcia au înființat, la Ankara, Consiliul Cooperării Strategice la Nivel Înalt pentru a apropia cele două state “strategic, economic, militar, energetic și social”


Gaza: Procurorul-șef al Curții Penale Internaționale solicită mandate de arestare împotriva lui Netanyahu și a ministrului israelian al apărării pentru crime de război și crime împotriva umanității

SUA4 days ago

Biden sprijină „protestele pașnice și non-violente” ale studenților față de criza umanitară din Gaza: „Știu că vă frânge inima. O frânge și pe a mea”

ROMÂNIA6 days ago

Ministerul Economiei și ROMCHIMICA își unesc forțele pentru tranziția energetică a industriei chimice. Ștefan-Radu Oprea: Menținerea competitivității economice este esențială în acest proces

ROMÂNIA1 week ago

Mai mulți copii palestinieni răniți vor fi tratați în spitalele din România, anunță ministrul Sănătății, Alexandru Rafila


Președinta Georgiei consideră că noua lege privind ”influența străină” întoarce țara ”în trecut” și își arată intenția de a o respinge