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President Iohannis: A Union of concentric circles can lead to disintegration of European project


President Klaus Iohannis welcomed Prime Minister of the Republic of Malta Joseph Muscat, on Wednesday, at the Cotroceni Palace, context in which he firmly positioned himself against the ideas of late regarding a Europe with more speeds - a Union of concentric circles.

According to a release of the Presidential Administration, in the opinion of the head of state such reconfiguration formulas of the Union can lead to the disintegration of the European project.

"The head of state underlined that Romania is in favor of a powerful, strengthened, unitary and inclusive Europe," the release points out.

In respect to the debates regarding the future of the European Union (EU), President Klaus Iohannis reconfirmed the firm commitment of our country to strengthen the European project. The head of state reiterated that, for Romania the further integration on the EU level remains a strategic objective.

Within the discussions related to the future negotiations regarding the exit of the UK, the head of state emphasized the special importance of maintaining the unity of the 27 EU member states.

President Iohannis underlined that, for Romania it's very important that the provisions of the UK's Withdrawal Agreement from the EU ensure the protection of the rights and interests of Romanian citizens who are residing in the UK, in order for them to also benefit after the Brexit from the rights they already gained.

Furthermore, President Klaus Iohannis said he is in favor of an open partnership between the EU and the UK after the Brexit, showing that the UK is a strategic partner of the Union and it's important that it remain in a close relationship with the EU.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presented the tenure priorities as holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, context in which President Iohannis expressed his support for it.

On this occasion, the head of state underlined the interest of the Romanian side for an exchange of good practices in respect to preparing for taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU, in the perspective of our country exercising this tenure in the first semester of 2019.

In his turn, the Maltese Prime Minister pointed out that in the migration area he proposes an approach based on efficiently managing the borders, on flexibility, on dividing responsibilities between member states and identifying consensual solutions in respect to the future of the migration policy and asylum. He underlined the progresses gained so far in this area, especially on the external dimension of migration.

Romania's President reiterated our country's commitment to further implement the measures agreed on a European level and highlighted the openness of the Romanian side to identify some solutions that will have in mind the interests of all member states.

The Maltese Prime Minister is paying a visit to Bucharest, in the context of the Republic of Malta holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first semester of 2017.