Today, May 14, 2019, Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba spoke in the opening of the conference titled “30 Years on: Lessons from the Past, Challenges of the Present, Inspiration for the Future”, which was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with The Aspen Institute Romania, The European Endowment for Democracy and The German Marshall Fund.
In his speech, the minister for European affairs referred to 2019 as the 30th anniversary of the 1989 events. They paved the way for Central and Eastern Europe to being restored to the principles that had underpinned the early integration of Western Europe, such as common values, fundamental rights and liberties, multilateral cooperation among Member States, unity in diversity, as well as high social and economic standards.
“The revolutionary movements that reinstated sovereignty and democratic values, shaped the return to Europe into the convergence of two parallel and complementary developments, namely the triumph of liberal democracy and the long structural reforms which took place on the way to Romania’s accession to NATO and the EU”, stated Minister George Ciamba.
“Convergence is the only way to build a stronger and more cohesive Europe, one that will not leave any Member State lagging behind. Unless we learn from the lesson of convergence, we are faced with the risk of jeopardising the chief element that has enabled progress in the European project, namely, the unity of EU Members States around common values and objectives”, emphasised the Romanian official.
George Ciamba also pointed out that the European Union should continue to adapt to the current challenges. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the upcoming European elections and the transition to a new legislative cycle are but a few of the hot topics on the European agenda.
The minister for European affairs stressed out that a stronger and more efficient Union should not only be build on visions, but also on practical approaches and concrete efforts. He also reiterated the role played by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU in strengthening the European project.
He pointed out that the efforts of the Romanian Government led to significant results in the negotiation of more than 90 important legislative files that would have a direct influence on the daily lives of the European citizens. He also recalled that the office of Council Presidency was a landmark in Romania’s becoming a mature Member State that was fully committed to strengthening the European project, a fully-fledged member of the European family.
The minister also referred to the Gas Directive as an important step towards ensuring a single and transparent regulatory framework. Another important step that the EU has taken in the social field is the political agreement on the proposal to establish the European Labour Authority. The minister also recalled that the Romanian Presidency did its utmost to protect the electoral process by facilitating the adoption of a set of European legislation amendments in order to prevent the political parties or the European political foundations from misusing the personal data in the European Parliament elections.
Minister George Ciamba pointed out that the future of Europe and its stronger role on the global area were closely connected to the Union’s capacity to keep projecting stability and prosperity in its immediate neighbourhood. A more solid, stronger and more efficient European Union, one that has the capacity to integrate new members, safeguards both the interests of the Member States and those of the candidate and aspiring countries. Enlargement remains one of the most successful EU policies as well as a chief priority on the European agenda and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU is one of its strong supporters.