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11 Ianuarie 2019
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European Commission President delivered a speech at the inauguration ceremony of Romania's Presidency of the EU Council.

Launch of Romanian EU Council Presidency: EC President Jean-Claude Juncker


President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo:

European Commission President delivered a speech, on Thursday, at the inauguration ceremony of Romania's Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"Mr. President, Prime Minister, dear friends. I want to thank you first, to thank the Romanian Presidency for welcoming us to this magnificent place, a symbol of the richness of Romania's cultural and intellectual history.

Your past and present musicians, sculptors, writers, poets, the greatest artists and intellectuals belong to our continent. I admire your intellectual and cultural life, which has always been powerful, even at times when Romanians, like other Central and Eastern European countries, paid a tough tribute until their liberation, until the Romanians decided to fight for their freedom and release from being subjugated. I am not only very pleased I am also extremely touched that I am here tonight.

I feel that this day is a milestone when we are opening the first-ever Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. We remember that in 2007 Romania joined the European family. On that day, we remembered a decree that (…) in April 2005, when I was the President of the European Council, I - on behalf of the European Union - signed the accession treaty of Romania. I want to say, dear friends, that to this day I am proud I signed this document.

I remember that Romania's road to accession has always been difficult and often demanded great exigencies, the performances made by Romania (…) the demonstration of their belonging to the European Union and their defense of our common values, which must be respected always with no doubt.

EU does not compromise, even if it is human rights, rule of law or fight against corruption. It is not possible to compromise, because Romania has its place in the center of the EU. The EU is not complete without Romania. Romania's natural place is also in the center of the Schengen area. I have pleaded in the European Parliament for Romania to be part of the Schengen area from July 2014 on and I remain faithful to this promise. Romania must be part of the Schengen area. Romania is now taking over the Presidency of the EU Council, it is a crucial moment of our common history.

Under your Presidency, dear friends, we will open a new chapter in our common history, that will be written at the EU Summit in Sibiu, where we will give a true future perspective to all our citizens. On the occasion of the European elections, the European Parliament will be renewed. These are the first European elections where young Europeans will vote, young people who are the generations taking over from generations that preceded them, and we must guarantee our ambitions for a Europe that protects and defend its citizens, a Europe that has the opportunity to respect all the promises for tomorrow and to ensure all the commitments and financial means for the future.

Your Presidency will have an important role to play in reaching agreement on the future EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). During these months in which Romania will hold the EU Presidency, many countries will be next to you, they will have the same desire that animates everyone to succeed.

Today, we will make sure that the first Romanian Presidency of the EU Council is a great moment in Romania's history and a great moment in the history of the European Union. Yes, we will make sure that this Europe, which has been divided for too long, this Europe that has to reconcile itself, will remain a model in the world. I'm thinking of one of your great artists who said that things are not difficult to do, but it's difficult to start doing them. I count on the energy and unity of the Romanian nation, it is essential, all political forces, all institutions must be together and decide what needs to be done and what needs to be decided in the coming months. French philosopher Blaise Pascal said: "I love things that go together". Romania and Europe, Europe and Romania are two things that go together. Long live Romania and long live Europe!"

Source:RRA.Translated by Miruna Matei

Etichete Președinția României la Consiliul UEjean-claude junckerManifestăriRomâniapreşedinţia Consiliului UE

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