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Discursul ministrul afacerilor externe Teodor Meleșcanu la Consiliul UE în Comisia pentru Afaceri Externe/AFET din Parlamentul European

Data: 
22.01.2019

Mister Chairman,

Honourable members of the committee,

 

It is a great pleasure and a privilege to be here, before this Committee which embodies the institutional partnership in which the Council and the Parliament, together, promote foreign policy goals.

I am speaking today on behalf of a country for which the European Union has represented the accomplishment of a promise for democracy, prosperity and security.

We are defined by our choices; and we chose to be united, under the same flag, values and purposes that we share with our closest friends.

As member state of the Union, Romania has always been expected to put its responsibility into the service of a better Europe. However, allow me to cherish this particular moment unfolding before our country as we take over the Presidency of the Council for the first time in history.

At the beginning of our Presidency, the EU is once more in a crucial phase: Brexit, European elections, the negotiations on landmark policies and strategies, such as the post-2019 strategic action framework, the economic and monetary union and the future Multiannual Financial Framework. The international environment, particularly the reality surrounding Europe, is not less challenging.

All these challenges when Europe is still in the midst of a fundamental debate on how the Union will further evolve in the years to come. This is the time of choices.

The profile we set for our Presidency reflects not only our ambitions related to this mandate, but also our constant vision for EU’s future both from an internal eye and an external one. From that very perspective, the Romanian Presidency will place COHESION at the forefront of its Programme. We consider cohesion to be the expression of the constructive drive towards more unity among the countries and regions of the European Union, be it in economic, social or political terms. For this reason, the motto of our Presidency is „Cohesion, a European Common Value”.

Our Presidency agenda for the next months will focus on four dimensions. It aims at more convergence, a safer Europe, a stronger global posture and last, but not least, more robust common values.

Needless to say that a 6-month mandate is just a road sign indicating the long ride ahead of us. The foundation and the guaranty of any achievement, at this level, as you yourselves know so well, is continuity, reflected in long standing efforts.

Therefore, the importance of institutional coordination. As the European Parliament embodies the very expression of EU’s legitimacy, I hope that we will be engaged in close dialogue, because we look in the same direction: our citizens. Complementing each other’s efforts is of utmost importance.

I am ready to work closely with the European Parliament, the AFET Committee, with each and every one of you, while taking into account the limitations due to the elections in May. However, it is precisely this electoral moment that requires us, politicians, to go before our constituencies and to inform our citizens on EU’s deliverables in CFSP and CSDP during the last 5 years.

Coming to our priorities on the external dimension of the European action, allow me at some point to unveil my French skills, by switching to French, to pay my tribute, to the extent of my abilities, to the precious diversity of our Union.

Together with the European External Action Service and our Trio partners, Finland and Croatia, we agreed on a Trio Programme which places a strong emphasis on further progress in implementing the EU Global Strategy. Inter alia, our common priorities include: commitment to enlargement, furthering political, economic, social and cultural ties between the Union and its neighbouring countries to the East and South, strengthening and sustaining the rules-based multilateral system, with the UN at its core, strengthening collaborative regional orders and the transatlantic relationship, carrying forward work on EU Security and Defence, and effective working methods.

As Romania opens the Trio of Presidencies, our national Work Programme sets the ground for giving concreteness to these priorities. With the boldness and enthusiasm of a first mandate as Presidency we are confident that we will be able to support effectively the High Representative and the EEAS in ensuring an efficient and coherent external action. We have already started a fruitful cooperation with the EEAS and we will continue to do so.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The global profile of the European Union will be fundamentally dependent on the pace at which the Global Strategy is implemented and on the efficiency of its various instruments. Recently, we have developed tools to formulate and to further project the “European way” when pursuing peace, security and development at the world scale.

Efficiency, one of our four main areas of priority, should be both a resource and a part of the EU identity.

Efficiency will be sought for the Common and Security Defence Policy, by strengthening both Europe's hard and soft power. Existing mechanisms such as the Coordinated Annual Review of national defence, the Permanent Structured Cooperation, the European Defence Fund should be strengthened, while ensuring their coherence with similar NATO instruments and processes. Romania will also support actions on research and development, including the defence industrial sector.

This kind of progress should not be done at the expense of civilian CSDP, but on the contrary: bolstering civilian-military cooperation is needed. Romania will actively support the implementation of the new action framework on the EU integrated approach during the entire conflict cycle and on ensuring a comprehensive and flexible response in the CSDP civil component.

A solid transatlantic partnership is as essential today as it has ever been. The value and the past of EU`s relationship with USA and Canada point to what should be a comforting future. We need to find inspiration and purposefully work together for bridging the gaps between us.

In the overall security context, the EU needs to continue its efforts to strengthen resilience, to fight hybrid threats and to enhance its strategic communication capacity, based on an integrated approach to these three domains as well. We will learn from the lessons of cooperation with our external partners, to draw relevant conclusions for European security concerns in terms of internal and external nexus, countering disinformation at vulnerable moments and strengthening societal resilience, from short-term measures to long-term policies.

Also, when pursuing efficiency when discussing the level of ambition of EU’s action, it is important to be aware of what different choices or aspirations would mean concretely, in terms of funding. In the context of the discussions on the future Multiannual Financial Framework, the Romanian Presidency will be responsible for leading the negotiation process on the external component of the MFF and on the future external action financing instruments, with a focus on efficiency. This will be a test for the European Union at 27. We are fully aware that a close engagement with the European Parliament is crucial.

Our second priority concerns EU’s action in the Western Balkans. Today we find ourselves around a milestone for the enlargement process in the Western Balkans. It is in this spirit that in June 2018, the Council of the EU adopted an ambitious Enlargement package and we strongly believe that EU has to deliver on this promise. We hope that our common support, coupled with the ownership of the process by our partners and concrete tangible results in reforms - which are the conditions for any progress of the enlargement agenda - will create the favourable context for the Council to decide on launching accession negotiations with FYROM and Albania in June 2019.

We will continue to support the advancement of the accession negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro. BiH also needs to benefit from EU’s attention, avoiding, therefore, an unbalanced European approach in the region.

Beyond the enlargement process, the regional reality calls upon open-minded thinking, extended cooperation and practical approaches. In this respect, we will grant special attention to youth in the Western Balkans, by stimulating active citizenship, a culture of mutual understanding and dialogue. We will also be encouraging a reflection on how to prioritize regional cooperation in South-East Europe, notably on how the EU engages with various regional initiatives and structures.

Turning now to Turkey, our overall objective is to keep all the communication channels open bearing in mind that it is a candidate country and a strategic partner of the EU in many areas. I trust that the European Parliament will understand this particular attention devoted by Romania, as country in the Black Sea region, therefore quite aware of Turkey’s strategic importance.

Chers membres du Comité,

La Roumanie envisage projeter le voisinage oriental comme un des domaines phares de sa Présidence du Conseil de l’UE. En mai 2019, on va célébrer dix ans depuis le lancement du Partenariat oriental en 2009. A cet égard, la Roumanie concentrera ses efforts pour que ce moment anniversaire soit marqué par des progrès substantiels dans l’évolution des relations avec nos partenaires et dans la réalisation de nos objectifs communs pour 2020. En même temps, nous chercherons à générer une réflexion sur le futur du Partenariat Orientale après 2020.

Cette politique décennaire a déjà octroyé un autre avenir pour un nombre de nos voisins orientaux et il sera essentiel non seulement de raffiner le Partenariat Oriental, mais aussi que ces pays poursuivent leur chemin vers l’Europe. À cet égard, les deux moments électoraux très proches, en République de Moldavie et Ukraine, présentent une importance particulière, de facture stratégique, il faut l’admettre.

Revêtant une importance stratégique pour la Roumanie, remettre la mer Noire à l’agenda de l’UE sera une priorité pour notre Présidence. Nous poursuivrons une attention renouvelée pour les projets de coopération sectorielle liés au développement des économies bleues autour de la mer Noire, à la recherche et à l’innovation, à la protection de l’environnement, ainsi qu’aux réseaux de la société civile.

En concertation avec la Commission européenne, on va se pencher davantage vers un agenda sectoriel multidimensionnel, mais toujours constructif, qui puisse revitaliser la Synergie de la mer Noire et l’orienter vers la prochaine décennie d’implémentation, d’une façon plus visible et durable.

Dans une perspective plus large, une autre région prioritaire sera la région d’Asie Centrale, qui est un point de jonction stratégique entre l’Europe et l’Asie. Dans le contexte récent de l’adoption de la Stratégie de l’UE pour la connectivité entre l’UE et l’Asie et dans l’attente de la future Stratégie de l’UE pour la région de l’Asie Centrale, notre Présidence va contribuer à ouvrir la voie à une redynamisation des relations entre l’UE et les pays de cette région.

Etendant notre sphère des intérêts, notre dernière priorité concerne l’engagement en faveur du multilatéralisme et d’un ordre mondial fondé sur des règles. Au delà des vieilles et nouvelles certitudes, cet engagement est notre conviction. Les Nations Unies et l’Union européenne doivent travailler ensemble comme des forces positives du changement au niveau global. La mise en œuvre de l`Agenda pour le Développement durable, la coopération dans le domaine de maintien de la paix et la résilience aux désastres seront des thèmes promus par notre future Présidence.

Mesdames et messieurs,

Comme je l'ai dit au début de mon intervention, le Programme de travail de la Présidence s’articule autour de quatre piliers: l`Europe de la convergence, l`Europe de la sécurité, l’Europe, acteur global et l’Europe des valeurs communes. Quand même, le sommet extraordinaire de Sibiu, par son rôle dans la définition de la future Agenda Stratégique, permet l’évocation d`une cinquième Europe - l`Europe qui veut choisir par et pour soi même. La Roumanie est prête à apporter sa contribution dans cette direction.

Je reste à votre disposition pour poursuivre cette importante discussion.