Theme: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
PM Victor Ponta: It is absolutely necessary for Romania to be represented constitutionally and efficiently at European level and for Romanian Parliament, Government and President to cooperate
Thank you, Madam President. Mr. President of the Senate, Deputies and Senators, I would like on behalf of the Romanian Government to thank you for the fact that you accepted to hear today Prime Minister in a statement on the inter-institutional cooperation and Romania’s representation in the European Affairs field. I would ask you to allow me for the beginning, being only two days from ballot, to thank from this rostrum of the Romanian Parliament, all citizens of Romania who voted on Sunday, irrespective of their affiliation, their electoral options. I think that an important presence, 60 percent of Romania’s population, according to census in 2002, therefore, in reality, much more than 60 percent, represents an important message for the political class and for the political interest for democratic elections. On this occasion, without any political side taking, to congratulate all Deputies and Senators who participated in the electoral campaign and all those who got a term of office as President of County Council or mayor, and those who got it. It is important that the lawmakers of Romania participated in this ballot. I would like to allow me, considering that it is an extraordinary political signal for the entire political class, to congratulate Madam Senator Olguta Vasilescu, the first candidate who won the elections for an important city hall, irrespective of what was considered as being for the Romanian society, traditional remains and the impossibility of electing a woman candidate in an important position. I think the election of our colleague; Senator Vasilescu is an important signal for the modernization of the Romanian society. I want to wish her success as well as to all lawmakers elected in local administration positions.
I would like to tackle as soon as possible the substance of the political statement I deliver before Parliament, reminding all who watching us in this moment that Romania’s EU accession was among the few fundamental objectives for our country in which political consensus really functioned. Surely, our accession to European structures is due to all political forces and all governments after 1995, and I think it is our duty today for the current political class to do whatever possible, for Romania’s EU integration to become effective, and to ensure a constitutional representation but efficient of Romania, in European structures.
I would like to stipulate ever since the outset, that I see this political statement before you, not as a gesture of conflict among state institutions, between President of Romania and Prime Minister but as an attempt to return to normality of cooperation among state institutions. I see especially as a return to what in any democracy and in the Romanian constitutional system should be involvement, Romanian Parliament’s decision in all representations and solutions Romania has at European level. I consider that after 2008, state institutions have not cooperated enough in our representation at European level, Romanian Parliament being practically omitted from the most important decisions, and the Head of Executive, from its own initiative has considered that his non – involvement is an useful solution.
From my point of view, as Prime Minister, I think it is absolutely necessary for Romania to be represented constitutionally and efficiently at European level, that the Romanian Parliament, Government and President cooperate and therefore, practically, Romania’s positions to have a greater impact at European level, and more chances to be really implemented. I was lawmaker in all these years, and I know patience is not always the strong point of Parliament.
I will tackle rapidly the five points on the European agenda the Romanian Government considers at this moment, fundamental in medium and long term for Romania’s interest.
First, accession to Schengen Area, I want to inform you – you have at your disposal all MPs, in written form the statement I make now, I want only to inform you that at the last Council of Interior Ministers, Romania’s position and progress have been really appreciated and that it is our duty, of the Government and Parliament, President to focus our efforts that in September, the European Council’s Decision be a favorable one to Romania’s accession to Schengen Area.
The EC Report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism: in July, there will be adopted and issued a report which will include the progress achieved by Romania over the last five years. From the viewpoint of the Executive I am leading, I want to appreciate here the efforts of former Justice Minister, Mr. Predoiu but also of the incumbent Minister, Mr. Corlateanu – from the standpoint of the Government I am leading, all obligations we undertook at European level, should be met, we have taken all measures for the implementation of the measures stipulated in the Anticorruption Strategy.
I want to make only one observation: I consider that a positive report on MCV is a positive report for Romania. Irresponsible and selfish statements of some Romanian politicians, who want us, only because their party is not in power, to have a negative report on justice, are part of a way of doing politics used before 1995 or even before 1989. A positive report is a positive report for Romania, not for one or other political force, because in the last five years, in one or other form, parties represented today in Parliament were in office, and a positive report would mean an achievement for overall Romania.
I do not think petty interests are related to the overall interest of Romania and, in this regard, I assure you that all efforts of Romania and the Government will be directed towards achieving those benchmarks that Romania must implement as quickly as possible.
A third key point on European agenda, regarding Romania is the stage of European funds absorption. Certainly, is where Romania could have won the most and in which, unfortunately, lost the most. In recent years, without trying to present to you the guilt as I see now, it is obvious that we missed the opportunity to use the cheapest money in the world, as structural and cohesion funds, as those on CAP are non – refundable funds.
Romania borrowed from international financial institutions and, of course, the private financial market, the money it could obtain by accessing Europeam funds. Together with Minister Orban, who, as you know, was a part of the last Government, is also part of the current Government, with new structures that we have built into the Advisory Board of Prime Minister, we have taken all measures and still we take to limit any possible loss of EU funds and try to build an institutional system that allows Romania to really absorb this money.
I want in front of you, of the Romanian Parliament, to assure you that the Government I am leading will stop all previous practice of blocking European projects on political criteria. From my point of view, any mayor, any county council president, whether from USL, PDL, UDMR or any other party, will have full support for accessing European funds and I consider the evaluation of such projects on political criteria as reprehensible and I assure you that this will not happen in the future.
Also, Ladies and Gentlemen, Deputies and Senators, it is essential our active involvement in the debate on the future multiannual financial framework, the future EU budget, the budget will be discussed at current European Council and within the Cyprus EU Presidency and will aim at the funds the European Commission will have available, and will make available to the Member States during 2014 -2020. Some ten days ago, we had an essential meeting in Bucharest, attended by the President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, nine Prime Ministers attended this meeting, and other six representatives at high level from the Member States of a group entitled “Friends of Cohesion”. It is for the first time when Romania participates actively at the discussions on the budget 2014 -2020. It is essential for Romania that funds allocated to Romania, both on the joint agricultural policy and those of cohesion and structural ones to be at the level we expect. I repeat because it is perhaps important in the debate to follow, that took place in the Palace of Parliament on June 1, the President of European Commission was there, in a form of institutional parallel if you want, a Prime Minister of Europe, Mr. Barroso and Prime Ministers of the sixteen member states of the European Union. It is normal for the Governments and Prime Ministers of these countries to be responsible before their countries for the way the EU budget will look like, and how this budget is to be adopted and allocated.
Last but not least, at European level, and the adoption of the Treaty of Fiscal Governance you have ratified soon, in the Senate, there is an important debate on a pact of economic growth and jobs creation. This proposal initially belonged to the President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, but in reality, at European level, besides the budget discipline and austerity policy, once with the election of the Mr. Hollande as President of France and new Governments at the helm of seven countries, this discussion is becoming increasingly important and may represent for Romania a chance to get involved in what is desired at European level, as the effort towards jobs creation and economic growth.
These are the five essential points the Romanian Executive, with your consent and the term of office assigned by you, wants to promote at European level.
I would like to pass to the next point in which to tell you once again that I want, and Sunday vote showed that there is popular support for resumption of communication and institutional cooperation. I do not think that the Romanian Parliament can be simple audience to what means Romania’s representation at European level. I consider you should always be informed before the European meetings on the agenda of these meetings and to give a mandate of principle to those representing Romania and obviously afterwards, you should be informed on the decisions taken at European level.
There is no provision in the Romanian Constitution according to which, one of the two Executive representatives have a monopoly on representation; on the contrary, it provides certain cooperation and sharing of powers between Government and President. I would like to remind the fact that at European level, out of 28 countries, the 27 EU Member States plus Croatia that will join by the end of July 2013, 25 states are exclusively represented at European level by Prime Ministers – except Cyprus where the constitutional system does not provide the position of Prime Minister and France where Prime Minister is nominated and dismissed by President – without undergoing the parliamentary procedure you well know. From this standpoint, I consider useful for the good representation of Romania that the one who is to represent Romania at European level, according to the meeting agenda, to have a principle mandate from you, of the Romanian Parliament, and to present before you, both before the Council and after, the main topics and the decisions aiming at our country as well. I consider useful and constitutional and efficient in all topics relative to military policy and military security, as well as EU common foreign policy, Romania to be represented by the President, on the basis of his constitutional powers. I consider and equally propose you Deputies and Senators that the Executive, and the Prime Minister to represent Romania in all issues relative to economic, social activity, European funds, borders security. Ladies and gentlemen, the agenda of the European Council of June 28, public agenda stipulates very clear that the main discussions will focus on economic situation at EU level, on the issue of adopting a pact of economic growth and jobs creation and on negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014 -2020.
Finally, I want to tell you once again that I try and want through this statement to bring cooperation and inter-institutional collaboration where Constitution and democratic rules put it. I would like together with you to set for the future that irrespective of who is to be President of Romania and who is to be Prime Minister, a constitutional and efficient way of representing Romania at European level. Thank you.
Issuer: Government of Romania – Press office