January 10, 2019 I was pleading in 2014 that Romania must be part of Schengen; I remain faithful to this promise
Jan 10, 2019 I was pleading in 2014 that Romania must be part of Schengen; I remain faithful to this promise.
UPDATED 22:16 Bucharest, Jan 10 /Agerpres/ - President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said, on Thursday, at the Romanian Athenaeum, that he remains faithful to his belief that Romania should be part of the Schengen space. "Romania has its place at the center of the European Union. The European Union is not complete without Romania. The natural place of Romania is also in the Schengen Area. I was pleading in 2014 that Romania should be part of Schengen. I remain faithful to this promise. Romania must be part of the Schengen Area" said the European official. He spoke of the "difficult and often exigent journey" of Romania and he showed appreciation for the fact that Romania kept its culture in the communist period. "I admire your cultural and intellectual life. It is strong. It was the same during the long decades in which Romanians, like other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, paid a heavy toll until their liberation from communism. (...) I feel like this day is a cornerstone. We are inaugurating the first Romanian Presidency at the Council of the EU. We recall that in 2007 Romania joined the European family. (...) In April 2005, when I was President of the European Council, in the name of the EU I signed the Accession Treaty of Romania. I want to tell you that I remain proud of this act that I signed. I recall that the road towards the accession of Romania was always difficult and often exigent. The performances managed by Romania led to the Romanians having in their hands a European compass. The proof of their appurtenance to the EU and the defense of our common values must always be respected, without doubts and without weakness," said Juncker. Juncker also spoke of the challenges regarding the rule of law. "The European Union is formed of compromise, but when we speak of the rule of law and the anticorruption battle, there is no possible compromise," he said. Furthermore, the President of the European Commission confessed that he is relying on the "energy and unity of the Romanian nation" in what regards the Presidency of the EU Council. "Romania is now taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU. It is a crucial moment in our common history. Under your presidency, dear friends, we will open a new chapter in our common history that will be written at the Summit in Sibiu, where we will give true future perspective to all our citizens," concluded the European official, recalling that this year also plays host to elections for the European Parliament. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: George Onea; EN - author: Razvan-Adrian Pandea, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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