Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania, presented his vision for the Future of Europe in front of the European Parliament, on 23 October 2018. He started by making a firm plea for unity, cohesion, solidarity and for a common European path. In this regard, he expressed that the EU should not “leave any state and any European citizen behind” and warned against “ideas like a Europe of multiple speeds” that are not “a solution.”
The Romanian President reminded MEPs of the importance of cohesion policies, that are “not only the ambition of the new member states, that have a lower level of economic convergence but also a necessity for older member states of the Union.” He underlined that joining the Eurozone and the Schengen area were “fundamental” national goals for the country: “we cannot imagine the EU neither without the single market nor without its four fundamental freedoms: the free circulation of goods, people, services and capital.” He also pledged for innovation and massive investment in education in these times of digital revolution as the best way to guarantee that social progress and competitivity go hand in hand.
In order to guarantee security, he defended multilateralism and proposed to maintain a solid transatlantic partnership, to honour commitments with neighbouring countries and to implement the enlargement policy in the agreed limits to bring hope to current EU candidates. Iohannis remained optimistic about the future because, as he put it: “the younger generation in Romania believes in Europe and gets involved in debates regarding our future in a positive manner.” Romania, he concluded, is a country that is deeply attached to the European project.
To watch the debate following the speech click here.