Tag Archives: European Commission

Why Should Romania and Bulgaria fight for Schengen ?

Earlier this week, European Commission has expressed its continuous support to European Presidency’s efforts of including Bulgaria and Romania into Schengen area. It is a big diplomatic win for Romania, the country which has faced rejection to the entry in the Schengen region several times along with Bulgaria. In May 2011, The European Parliament’s civil freedoms committee had approved a recommendation for Bulgaria and Romania to joined Schengen free-travel zone. The principal condition for the nations joining the multinational Schengen zone is their ability to ensure the security of the EU’s external borders.
schengenAfter all these development and use of power against the two countries, do we think Romania really needs the entry in the Schengen area? Recently,Romanian Foreign Minister, Titus Corlatean said, “We have lived without entry to the Schengen zone for a long time, and we can live without it for a longer time as well.”
To know what Romanians think about their membership of European Union, we asked Gabriela Ionita, Editor in Chief of Power&Politics World.
TWR: – What do Romanians think about Germany preventing them to enter Schengen Agreement Last Month?
G. Ionita:Pragmatically speaking, Romanian people have many other real problems. Discussion about the opposition of some country like Germany, Netherland (official) or France (unofficial) is rather an issue of mass-media agenda. According to a poll, there were in fact seven states that expressed their disagreement regarding Romania`s accession to Schengen zone. Sure, we can speculate about the fact that three of these states are run by the family of European political parties where its part also actual in power party PSD, and the four belong to the European political family where is part opposition party PDL. However, the position of a State to the Schengen expansion is not linked necessarily to European policy, but domestic policy and how it will affected the State. Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Interior Minister and member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, publicly announced that Germany will use its veto, if required, to prevent Romania from joining the Schengen zone. But, we must not forget that Germany is one of the states that negotiated the plan of Romania’s accession to Schengen in two stages, thus overcoming the deadlock from 2012 in the talks on the accession of Romania.
TWR: – What do Romanians feel about EU? Are they happy to join it in 2007? What are the significant positive changes in Romania after joining the EU?
G. Ionita: – If we look at the broad aspect, we can say that Romania is one of the European Union countries with a balanced distribution between Euro-sceptic and Euro-optimistic. Of course, joining the EU was a reason of joy for all Romanian. Joining NATO and the EU are the most important steps of the past 20 years. Unfortunately, subsequently, the governments have not been able to intelligently and efficiently utilize the benefits of this membership. The simplest and perhaps the most general result of accession to the EU is the free movement of persons. With all the consequences from here: labour mobility, more opportunities, and the chance to invest in EU countries. Of course, the economic crisis has diminished these opportunities, but Romania will still gain as Romanian state cannot provide working and living conditions at the level of many EU countries.
TWR: – Do you think that Euro has done any better in Romania? Is it promising in terms of Romania’s economic future?
G. Ionita: – Romania’s accession to the Euro currency area was scheduled to 2015. Nowadays, already there is a discussion of a postponement until 2020. Eurozone has problems in itself, Greece and Cyprus being only the most visible. Presence of Euro currency in Romanian market, of course brought benefits and some drawbacks too, but the transition to the single currency is already another discussion with deeper implications. Now the question here is: Is the Romanian economy strong enough for such a change? The most likely answer is No. In fact we also have examples of countries with a strong economy which regressed after joining to the Eurozone. Any automatic increase in prices would be supported by an increase in income of population, which in the current issue of the economic crisis is useless to consider.

Europe, wake up !? Where are your principles of democracy?

Romanian President Traian Basescu appears to have survived a referendum on his impeachment. The country’s election bureau estimated turnout at 45.9%, which is below the 50% + 1 required to make the result valid. Now we speak only estimates, not reliable results. I know that this percent says nothing 🙂 To be more specifically: over 9 millions Romanian were to vote. Among them, 86% voted to dismiss President Basescu. That is approx. 8 million people.

Mr Basescu had initially urged Romanians to vote “no” to what he called “a coup”, but later asked his supporters to boycott the vote altogether, a stance also adopted by the opposition Liberal Democrats. Suspended President Basescu is a champion of change decisions depending on how windy (own interests!)

What means for Europe Union the will and decision of 8 million people ? Nothing ! At least it statements Traian Basescu, who has praised his supporters for not having voted and said that “European leaders in coming days will appreciate that the Romanians were boycotted coup d′etat given to the 256 Members of Romania′s Parliament”. So, Old Lady Europe, he is right? Is that right that citizens of European countries are urged to give away their constitutional right to vote ?

So…, it’s time to clear things up (I stood away from political controversies during the referendum campaign, even if political leaders from President suspended supporters were delivered to external audiences a series of distortions and manipulations). I’m sure that my loyal readers from Parliament and European Commission will be interested in these issues. At least I hope! 🙂

1. Despite recommendations by the Venice Commission, to the referendum in Romania the European Commission has imposed a threshold for participation. It is democratic, right ?

2. Although voting is the supreme expression of a democratic society, Romanian President Basescu urged the public to not go to the polls. In fact, he himself not voted. Traian Basescu is an exponent of European democracy, right ? Therefore he also was supported by the weight of European leaders, right ? (even if he himself admitted public that he lied by omission to Chancellor Angela Merkel !!!)

3. Parliament expresses a country’s democratic elections of citizens of that country. In which country in the world, a coup d′etat is given by a democratically elected and functional parliament ?

4. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, asked the Hungarian population in Romania, in public way not to attend to vote and to sustain Traian Basescu. I suppose this suggests the association of two perfect leaders democrats, right?

Europe, wake up ! Perhaps before can endorse the statements of suspended President – denied the 8,000,000 of its own citizens (census of 2011, Romania has only 15 million people able to vote, but the vote was held on the electoral lists in 2004 that were not reviewed) leaders of democratic Europe give their own the answers to the questions like the above.

Update: 30 july 2012, 9,30 am (Bucharest time)Partial results

Voter turnout: 46, 13 %

Votes for dismissal of the President: 87,55
Votes against dismissal: 11,12
Invalid votes: 1,31

Update: 1 august 2012Final result

Voter turnout: 46, 24%

Votes for dismissal of the President: 87,52% – 7.403.836 votes
Votes against dismissal11,15% –                              943.375 votes
Invalid votes1,32% –                                                    111.842 votes

Material preluat de către Observator European (Bruxelles) – proiect media al Radio România Actualități

European Agenda / 21-25 February 2011

  • Feb. 21: EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels to discuss engagement with Bosnia-Herzegovina and reforms as the Balkan country aspires to join the European Union.
  • Feb. 21: Lithuania’s Special Representative for Protracted Conflicts Giedrius Cekuolis will visit Azerbaijan and meet with officials to discuss ways to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  • Feb. 21: Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman will meet in Vienna with U.N. Office on Drug and Crime Executive Director Yuri Fedotov and International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano.
  • Feb. 21: An EU expert mission will visit Serbia to investigate reforms in Serbia’s judiciary and law enforcement, as well as the fight against corruption and organized crime.
  • Feb. 21-22: The anti-terrorism center heads from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states will meet in Moscow in accordance with the CIS Cooperation Program, which covers measures against terrorism and other violent acts of extremism for 2011-2013, and the Action Plan of the Anti-terrorist Center for 2011.
  • Feb. 22: The Bulgarian Consultative National Security Council, summoned by President Georgi Parvanov after the recent governmental wiretapping scandal, will meet to discuss internal security and meeting Schengen requirements.
  • Feb. 23: Greece’s largest labor union will hold a general strike over proposed austerity measures.
  • Feb. 23: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Uruguayan Foreign Minister in Kiev to discuss bilateral and regional cooperation.
  • Feb. 23-24: Uruguayan Foreign Minister Luis Almagro will visit Spain.
  • Feb. 24: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will meet with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels to discuss energy and trade foreign policy.
  • Feb. 24: Russia will launch the new-generation Glonass-K navigation satellite.
  • Feb. 24-25: King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain will visit Russia to meet with President Dmitri Medvedev and participate in the opening of the Prado in the Hermitage exhibition for the Year of Spain in Russia and Year of Russia in Spain events.
  • Feb. 24: NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will travel to Ukraine to meet with President Viktor Yanukovich, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov, and Foreign Minister Uruguayan Foreign Minister. He will also lecture students at a Kiev university.
  • Feb. 24-25: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Russian government will meet with the European Commission in Brussels to hold direct talks on energy trade, human rights, food import standards and conflicts in which Russia is suspected of being involved.
  • Feb. 25: Irish elections will be held.