16 October 2018

MAS Talks: European Affairs Representative Minister, Victor Negrescu: Romanians are optimistic, but still realistic people- Brussels sees Romania as a stable country

Indira Crasnea

Romanians are “euro-optimistic, but at the same time more realistic people”, very interested on European issues and with a “not-too-good, not mediocre”, but “fine” feeling about being part of EU, said Friday, for MAS Talks, European Affairs Representative Minister, Victor Negrescu

Asked also how detached are at the moment the Romanians regarding EU, considering the major interest for European issues, minister Negrescu added: “Generally, the answer is that our membership with EU is a good one. Not too good, not mediocre, but practically they are euro-optimistic, at the same time realistic, at least the Romanians that we talk to. I think this is not a bad thing. With this realism advantage can appear concrete solutions for EU’s future. This future is to be majorly debated during our presidency. (…) Romanians are very interested in the European issue. The only option in fighting against skepticism would be to talk to people, to explain them what is working and what is not, to involve them in this process, because the anti-european movements increased only because of peoples’ feeling that they do not count, that only few of them have access to information (…) and the European opportunities (…)”.

The minister also said that during our semestrial presidency of EU Council in Romania will be no “highways built”, but will be taken “decisions that will help citizens”.

“Expectations are sometimes bigger than reality. We met people saying us that during our mandate we must build highways. Or to solve the issues in education from the countryside. Unfortunately, we cannot do that with this position. Presidency means talking about the initiatives launched so many times by European Commission and to adopt a common position with the member states, which then will be discussed with European Parliament’s representatives. There are some proposals for the Commission which will be useful for Romania. (…) For example, we want the future European budget to support the cohesions policy and the common agricultural policy one. We want citizens to have access to education in digital domain. We want in education to be taken in consideration the diplomas (…) we will be not building highways, but we can decide over things that will help citizens”, said Minister Victor Negrescu.

Asked if, at this point, Brussels sees us as a country with a stable government, the Representative Minister for European Affairs answered: “I think Romania is seen as a stable country. I must say that it is absolutely normal to have political disputes, different opinions. Romania knows what to do. (…) I truly hope that until January things to get calmer and to focus on this. I said it clearly: European Union’s Council presidency is Romania’s presidency. It must be seen accordingly. It should not be the topic of political disputes, political controversies”, underlining: “Let’s not mess Romania’s presidency to EU Council with internal disputes”.

Regarding the process of calling on EU’s Council presidency, the minister said that it is “in process”, that “we must work more and more in information” and that “we are already the grey eminence of presidency, so at Brussels we are already acting as we would have the presidency”.

“The training process is put in a logistic graphic also regarding the political substance. (…) As for the substance, we have something that I really care about: we have a unanimously approved document in Romania’s Parliament, practically all our interested topics and what we aim to do during the Presidency. (…) I am saying it firmly and clear: we are in the graphic with this training process. (…) We must work more and more in information. I often see in the public space mentioning European Union’s governing, European Union’s leadership. But, we have a mandate which asks us to listen to all different points of view of the member states and to create a consensus, a common point of view. Practically, our role is to mediate. Practically, we will not be the only ones to take the decisions. That is because decisions are taken in European Union’s Council, are then negotiated with Commission’s representatives, with European Parliament’s ones. So, this lack of information that we must together correct, generated, sometimes, unfortunately, fake news and all kinds of debates in the public space, which we must avoid during our mandate”, said, for MAS Talks, Victor Negrescu.

“We must admit when we are wrong, but also when we have things to solve. (…)This is our effort for Romania”, states the Representative minister for European Defence, Victor Negrescu.