Today, June 7, 2019, Minister for European Affairs George Ciamba participated in the second day of Globsec Bratislava Forum as a speaker in the session “EU’s new political landscape”. Among the panellists were also the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomàš Petřĭček, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó, the Vice-President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Maria Joāo Rodriguez, the President of Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies Mikuláś Dzurinda and the Director of the German Council of Foreign Relations Daniela Schwarzer.
In his speech, the minister for European affairs pointed out that the latest elections for the European Parliament were marked by a significantly higher turnout, which demonstrated the EU citizens’ strong attachment to the European project.
The minister also pointed out that the recently confirmed pro-European options of the citizens revealed that the European project remained popular and credible, but that the institutions were bound to meet the citizens’ expectations.
In that regard, the Romanian dignitary emphasised the importance of a political discourse that focused on the values of cohesion and solidarity, as well as the need to promote policies that would achieve European convergence.
In the panel discussions, Minister Ciamba also approached the importance of the enlargement process and highlighted that for the EU to strengthen its role on the global arena, it had to first demonstrate that it was regionally relevant. He also highlighted that the EU enlargement policy should remain unchanged, which would be encouraging for the countries that had already made efforts to strengthen their European way.
At the end of his speech, Minister Ciamba recalled the excellent results of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, with reference to the Gas Directive, a crucial element in strengthening energy security.
On the margins of Globsec Bratislava Forum, Minister George Ciamba also participated in a series of bilateral discussions.
In his talks with the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Romanian official approached issues bearing on the future EU institutional structure and the enlargement policy.
The minister for European affairs also met Philip T. Reeker, Acting Assistant Secretary, United States Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. The two officials discussed the Union’s energy security in the light of the adoption of the Gas Directive under the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The US official thanked the Romanian minister for the way in which the Romanian Presidency approached the Transatlantic relationship. In his turn, George Ciamba presented his interlocutor with the status of the EU enlargement process and pointed to the importance of securing a climate of stability and pro-European in the Western Balkans. The Romanian official underlined the firm commitment of the Romanian Government to continuing the allocation of 2% of the GDP to defence.
On the margins of the Bratislava Forum, George Ciamba also met United States Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of Committee on Homeland Security. The two dignitaries discussed about the achievements of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first five months of its mandate, with reference to the approval of the Gas Directive, as well as about the importance of strengthening the Transatlantic relation. The minister underlined that, in its capacity as Council Presidency, Romania was a promoter of a stronger EU-USA dialogue on the dimensions that were open to cooperation and that it would continue to act the same way, including from the perspective of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US.
The round of talks continued with Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The Romanian minister thanked the EU’s chief negotiator for constantly informing the Romanian Presidency and the Member States on the latest developments regarding UK’s exiting the Union. The Romanian official pointed out that irrespective of the scenario, in the last five months the EU had taken measures to safeguard the rights of the EU and the British citizens and also to protect the business environment. He also recalled the commitment of the Romanian Presidency to further supporting the efforts of the EU in order to identify a good solution.