Angela Cristea, head of EC office in Romania, about the 5 scenarios on EU future
* Angela Cristea, the head of EC office in Romania, declared that although certain politicians would like not to be asked by Brussels about making decisions, their responsibility was first of all towards people who voted them and that attachment to EU values was a guide for stormy weather.
Angela Cristea explained in an interview granted to Mediafax, what each of the five scenarios suggested by EC president Jean Claude Juncker supposed for EU future and why the decision made by Romania was important. She added that following public consultation, Romania, a country which joined the community train without being able to decide on the route, can now decide on the future EU trail for the first time. The stake is very high: keeping all 27 member states in the same boat.
Cristea speaks about difficult negotiations EC will have with Great Britain for Brexit, when concrete information can come out about what leaving EU means and what consequences are.
“They chose scenarios which do not need changing EU treaties.Because reopening treaties would mean reopening Pandora’s box. Once everything is put on the table again, it is hard to begin rebuilding EU. From this point of view it is not a T zero moment, as some would say, it is a very important moment, especially for countries like Romania, which joined a moving train. They joined a moving train and then they knew the route of that train and passengers could not change much. Now, with these five scenarios Romania can be part of the process which decided the future of EU. It is the first time in history when a member state has that chance.”
In her opinion,”I tried to give them a name. The first scenario is the one where we continue from where we are now. So we go to the ten priorities of the Juncker Commission and try to make the best of these ten priorities. The second scenario is that on which we concentrate on the single EU market. Everybody agrees that the single market is the biggest achievement and if we talk about Romania, the Romanians took advantage of one of the four liberties - the freedom of movement for persons and workers. That is why we have a few million Romanians who decided to settle and work in another country. This second scenario involves a massive reduction of EU involvement in other domains outside the single market.
The third scenario is the middle one. Each member state can do more or less at EU level and can get involved according to its national interests, in a more ore less profound integration for certain European policies.
The fourth scenario is an extension of the second scenario which defined which means less, while the single market says there could be other domains in which we should be ready to do more. This variant has the advantage of concentrating all resources on a limited number of priorities and then the impact would be bigger. But it has the disadvantage of being a very difficult negotiation between member states. The last variant is that which goes toward a federalist one. That mean we all fo toward European integration for the next generation of European policies. That sounds great and strong arguments support it, but if we are realistic we see the signals we have received in the last years, following the crisis. But who knows, maybe this variant will be chosen. That means that EU states will grant more mandates to find solutions at European level, rather than each state at its own level”.
As for the best variants for Romania, Angela Cristea answered:
“I will not say my personal opinion because it does not matter and almost the institutional opinion of EC does not matter either. If we wanted to make clear our option we would have come with a single variant. This is the best moment to listen to all EU citizens because they do not always go to the same direction. There are different interests and the presentation of the five scenarios represents the EC invitation to all to reach a consensus. That is why the 5 scenarios do not exclude each other. Maybe the collective wisdom of 500 million citizens could bring out something better. A combination of the 5 scenarios. The stake is big - all 27 member states remaining in the same boat. We have already lost a member state. It is a great loss for Europe and we want it to be the last one.
Referring to the situation where Romanian politicians do not want to be asked by EC why they made certain decisions and why they did not respect European legislation to get out of EU, she answered: “The politicians’ responsibility is first of all to its own citizens and then to Brussels. Firstly they are responsible to those who voted for you. That is why the attachment to a set of values which EU offers you is very useful. Because it is a set of landmarks at moments when they seem unclear, when we don’t know what is fake or true, what is good or bad.”