September 11, 2018

UPDATE Iohannis: Brexit will reduce EU budget; slightly increased national allocations, right solution
Sep 11, 2018

UPDATE Iohannis: Brexit will reduce EU budget; slightly increased national allocations, right solution.
President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that UK's withdrawing from the European Union will bring about a diminution in the EU budget, showing that the right solution would be "slightly increased" national allocations. The head of state welcomed visiting Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini on Tuesday. "We discussed the need to strengthen the European project and we found together that we have a similar approach to all these issues. In the context, we highlighted the importance of the summit we will hold in Sibiu next year to the future of the EU, and I am convinced that we will find the best approaches for that summit. It is a difficult time for the EU: Euroscepticism is growing, Brexit is fast approaching and I think we need to restore the Europeans a sense of security and goodwill for the union. We obviously need to work on a lot of plans, and together with Mr prime minister I found here an interesting common path in that Romania will preside over the Council of the Union, and Slovakia will preside over several formats, for example the OECD [the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] will be presided over, and we appreciated the prime minister's support for Romania to become an OECD member. These formats will allow us to harmonise additional files in many cases in the course of next year. One of the more complicated files concern the future budget of the EU. On that, we agreed that many sectors need to be adequately funded, for example, cohesion and agriculture. On the other hand, there are new sectors that need to be funded, and we must also keep in mind that Brexit will produce a budget cut. We think that slightly increased allocations are a good solution to the issue. This is the position that Romania has taken in the negotiations so far, "Iohannis told a joint conference with Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini. He said that as far as the Brexit negotiation is concerned, he agreed with Pellegrini that it will be unfolded in a professional manner by the EU-27 negotiating team. "We will let the team negotiate further in hopes of a quick completion by the end of this year," added Iohannis. The talks between the two officials focused on the Romanian-Slovak bilateral relations, the future Romanian presidency of the EU Council, the future of Europe, UK's withdrawal and EU enlargement, European security, NATO and the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative. "The relations between Romania and Slovakia are excellent. We both emphasised that, and if I may, I voiced satisfaction with the current state of affairs: these relations are very good on the political level, they are very good in terms of economic growth, but I made a special remark: these relationships are due to a great extent to the communities, namely the Romanian community in Slovakia, which is very well received and very well integrated, and to the Slovak community in Romania, which itself is also very well integrated," Iohannis said. In his turn, Pellegrini showed that Slovakia agrees with increasing national allocations to the EU budget. "I agree with the president's opinion and Romania's attitude that if the European Union faces other priorities and other aspects of the budget or of the multi-annual financial framework are underlined, Slovakia agrees with the proposal to increase the contributions from 1 percent to 1 percent plus, which must be agreed by consensus. We are on the same page, and I am also very glad that Mr President informed us that the Romanian presidency wants to continue discussions on the budget with the ambition to mount a consensus, although elections to the European Parliament will be held next spring, We will closely follow and support Romania's presidency [of the Council of the European Union]. (...) It is very important to Slovakia and Romania alike - without considering what the Brexit turns out in the end and how the negotiations end - to secure a position worthy of our citizens, the Slovaks and the Romanians, who are living and work in the UK. There is an agreement, but we have to be very careful," said Pellegrini. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)
[Read the article in Agerpres]

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