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EPP's Chairman Manfred Weber: We want Romania to become a member of the Schengen Area


The European People's Party Group always supported Romania's accession to the Schengen Area, Chairman of the European People's Party Group of European Parliament Manfred Weber stated on Thursday in Bucharest.

"Our group always supported Romania's accession to the Schengen Area. We want Romania to become a member of the Schengen Area," Weber mentioned at the reunion of the the Bureau of the European People's Party Group (EEP Group) that takes place in Bucharest.

"As regards security and migration, I would like to say that the EPP Group wants to secure the borders. We need security and safety at our borders in the first place in order to find a solution to migration. Security means defending the external boards but also an intern security," Manfred Weber pointed out.

He said the EEP Group supports the idea that Romania benefits further from the European funds.

În this context, president Iohannis said that Romania has "changing results" in regards to attracting European funds, adding that a lot of relevant projects weren't achieved. 

"With variables results - to express myself optimistically. But, at the end of the day, most of the money in this area will be spent, used in new project which is very good. Important is to prepare very seriously for the next funding period, because we all noticed that most of the projects are good, but not relevant. A lot of relevant projects hadn't been achieved," Klaus Iohannis said when asked, after the reunion of the Bureau of the European People's Party Group, how does he see the efforts Romania made so far to draw the European money. 

He underlined that the best ways must be found, in order to have relevant projects for Romania to be afterwards accomplished in the established funding period. 

"Otherwise we will find ourselves in the situation we've been in the last years. We are still discussing about the lack of performance in attracting the European funds and I believe the biggest problem here is the lack of vision. This is why I said we must have relevant projects for Romania, so this money that is being spent (...) to actually transform Romania fundamentally. We have a great chance here," the head of state mentioned.

It is a mutual interest that the European Union and the United Kingdom maintain a closest relationship after the Brexit, on Thursday said president Klaus Iohannis. 

"It's important that the negotiation process to be managed through inclusive dialogue, of a transparent, orderly, predictable manner," said Iohannis at the reunion of the Bureau of the European People's Party Group, held in Bucharest. 

He said that negotiation should take place in accordance with the Treaties provisions and the framework decided at the 29 June's reunion of the Council of Europe, namely the 'no negotiation without a notification' principle, added to the full assuming of the fact that the access to the EU's Internal Market supposes acceptance of the four freedoms. 

The head of state said the EU is facing several challenges: migration, Brexit, adding that they are added a new one, 'perhaps not as visible, but as important: the temptation of populism and extremism, of the radical, intolerant speech.'

Romania wants to be part of the European Union integration core and in the strong involvement of the reflection process regarding its future, President Klaus Iohannis stated on Thursday. 

"Romania shares a pro European vision, articulated around the fundamental principles of the European project," Iohannis said at the reunion of the Bureau of the European People's Party Group, that takes place in Bucharest. 

He underlined that a strong European Union and a profound integration of Romania in the EU are representing national strategic objectives. 

"In our opinion, national interests can be reached best in an inclusive and functional European framework. This is why it's vital the maintenance of the key accomplishments of the Union - the four freedoms that assure the foundation of the Internal Market, the cohesion policies, the Euro area, the Schengen Space," President Iohannis said. 

The head of state stressed out that the approach of a Europe of "the elites" must be overcome in the benefit of a larger closeness of the decision to the citizen, and the responsibility of the elites, in regards to respecting the European fundamental values and principles, must be acknowledged, pointing out that otherwise the managing, on an European level, of a succession of identity crisis, deriving from the national election calendars, is at risk.

The Bureau of the European People's Party Group has a meeting on Thursday and Friday in Bucharest to address the cohesion policy as a structural policy to promoting and developing the economic growth in all the European Union regions.