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11 Ianuarie 2019
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Romanian Prime Minister delivered a speech at the official opening ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council.

Launch of Romanian EU Council Presidency: Speech of Prime Minister Dăncilă

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Speech of Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă at official launch of Romania's Presidency of the EU Council. Photo: Dan Preda.

Prime Minister of Romania, Viorica Dăncilă, delivered a speech, on Thursday, 10 January 2019, in Bucharest, at the official opening ceremony of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Courtesy of Romania2019.eu, the official website of Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council, English translation of speech can be read below:

Mr. President Juncker, Mr. President Tusk, Mr. President Tajani, Mr. President Iohannis, Mr. President of the Senate, Mr. Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Esteemed guests, Ladies and gentlemen, I have the honor and joy to bid you welcome to Bucharest today! I thank you for your presence at this event where we mark an important moment for Romania: the launching of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

For me, this is a particular emotional moment, because today, on the occasion with this very special event for my country, I have the honor to speak on behalf of my compatriots. I have the honor to speak on behalf of Romania, which for six months starting today will sit with dignity at the table where important decisions of the EU are taken. 

Today, Romanians enjoy their country’s Presidency of the Council of the EU and hold a well-deserved place in Europe, where they receive the same respect, same rights and same benefits as all the other European citizens.

With this thought in mind I will represent my country and my compatriots in the following six months. Romania will lead the Council of the EU with dignity.

I see here today some of the architects of the European integration, some of those who have contributed to Romania’s commitment to the EU values and Community acquis. I sincerely and gratefully thank them for their contribution.

Looking back, I believe that the most important step of our integration was accomplished when the Romanian people adopted, by referendum, the current Constitution of Romania. That was the starting line from which our integration truly started. It was at that time when the act of will of the Romanian people took place, to align and assimilate the values and principles of the European Union. The Constitution adopted at that moment and which governs today the rule of law in Romania is the most powerful guarantee that our nation started the irreversible path of European integration.

The Constitution is our most important European benchmark, because it was drafted with the agreement of our European partners and has represented the starting line in the Euro-atlantic integration process.

Today we can say with full conviction that all that is European is constitutional, and at the same time all that is constitutional is in full agreement with European values and principles.

This Constitution tells us today, that at the moment of the EU Presidency takeover, that the Romanian Government has the duty to manage the European files during Romania’s Presidency of the EU Council.

As the Prime Minister of Romania I honorably and with dignity assume this high responsibility in front of you and of EU’s over 500 million citizens.

We will demonstrate the fact that Romania has fully earned its statute of full rights EU Member State. We will demonstrate that Romania deserves the respect of the European Community and the status of equal partner in the great European project.

We will demonstrate that Romania is fully prepared to hold its head up high, among the other EU Member States.

And we will show that Romania is well prepared to manage the important files on the European Agenda and will be an impartial mediator which can generate consensus at European level.

Therefore I want to say to all Romanians and our European partners the same message: „Dare to believe in Romania! Dare to believe in Romanian`s capacity to hold with honor the Presidency of the Council of the European Union”!.

Today, more than ever, we can demonstrate that the Romanian people are truly European, attached to the values and aspirations of the EU.

And I want to say to our partners that the Romanians have been, are and will remain pro-European. We have not changed our pro-European option and I see no reason to change it in the future.

On the contrary, we want to actively participate in major decisions of the Union and today we are starting to do so!

We want to be equal and respected partners in the European Union and today, Romania is taking a place at the table where the future of the Union is discussed and decided!

We want Romania, together with all the other European Member States, to enjoy the same benefits that this grand project of a strong and united Europe offers and today, Romania`s Presidency at the Council of the Union is starting under the sign of a strengthened cohesion among Member States!

Cohesion and unity represent our vision at the leadership of the European Union!

I guarantee that the ministers of the Government I lead will manage with all the seriousness the vital files for the present and future of the European Union.

At the same time, we are also fully aware of the challenges we are facing. We do not minimize them, we do not exaggerate them.  We will treat them with the same seriousness and will answer them with realism and determination.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am addressing you today as a Prime Minister of a country for which joining the European Unit has represented the fulfillment of a national aspiration. Democratic system, economic development and safety that Romania enjoys today are tangible results of this path. The European path was and will remain our choice, and at the same time we are fully aware of the irreversible character of the path we have taken. Our future is always in front of us, not behind us! Therefore we are moving forward on the European path that we have started!

At the same time, however, we must never forget where we have started from. It is an imperative for all EU Member States. Let us all remember the ideals, principles and values on which the EU project was built. We have started from the conviction that together we will be truly stronger on the world stage and that the national interests will be fulfilled to a larger extent within the Union than outside of it.

If we want the EU to move forward then we all must move forward! Nobody can be left behind!

If we want the EU to be stronger, then all Member States must be strong, and the weak must be helped to become stronger.

And if we want the EU to be respected on the world stage, then we first must respect ourselves and realize that each Member State has a certain contribution to the value of the whole Union.

And we are not few those that wish for a more united Europe. The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, stated in the White Paper on the Future of the Union that “as we establish the direction towards we want go to, we must always remind ourselves that the moments in which Europe was in its best shape were those where we showed unity, courage, and conviction that we can have a future together”.

This is also our reason for which we target during our EU Council Presidency that the EU moves forward with the same rhythm and pace! We will first support those decisions that will be above political differences, above national varieties, above development differences and which can thus contribute to strengthen cohesion among Member States.

We will promote that which unites us and we will restrict that which divides us.

I honestly wish that after our mandate at the Presidency of the EU Council, the EU will be stronger, more united and more solidary.

This is the spirit if the European Union. This is the vision that Romania will follow in the six months that it will hold the Presidency of the EU Council.

Finally, I once again thank the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the former rotating Presidencies for the fruitful collaboration that has allowed us to prepare properly for this moment. I am convinced that the unity is the key to power, and I invite you all to continue working together for a successful Presidency of Romania at the EU Council! Thank you.

 

 


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