Statement by President Klaus Iohannis ahead of European Council meeting in Brussels

President Klaus Iohannis has left Bucharest on Wednesday to attend the European Council meeting on October 15-16. The main subject of the talks is migration and our country will declare itself solidary with the other EU member states.

Klaus Iohannis: Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I am going to attend the European Council meeting in Brussels. There are several subjects on the agenda and I will briefly review them.

The most importat subject and obviously the most topical is migration. This phenomenon has clearly led to complicated situations within the EU but we have to admit we are now on the right track of finding solutions. The Council meeting will approach those aspects of migration regarding security of external borders of the EU, countries of origin and ways to help them in this matter but also transit states and ways to find common ground with them.

Since we talk about migration, I think Romania’s position is well-known by now, but I want to reiterate one very important thing. Romania is and wishes to be part of the solution. Romania is solidary with the other EU members. Our approaches always rely on solidarity and responsibility in this context. We will go on supporting the other member states and help finding solutions.

Romania gives a good account of itself when it comes to security of EU’s external borders. Despite being a non-Schengen state, Romania has made a strong commitment to securing these borders with significant results. Romania is acting de facto as a Schengen state.

In terms of migration crisis, it is important that we identify the source of this wave or these waves of migrants. Syria is clearly by now a very hot spot on the map and probably the main source of migration. The conflict in Syria has produced a huge number of refugees both in the Middle East and, more recently, in Europe. The solution is obvious: peace in Syria. All parties involved should co-operate to make this happen. Russia’s recent military intervention in Syria is not helping the cause, in our opinion, it only makes things more complicated. The only way out of this crisis is negotiation. All parties involved should be brought to the negotiating table and solutions will emerge.

This is Romania’s official position and we will put it on the map. This is not just a theory. Romania is among few remaining states with operational diplomatic staff in Damascus. We are not among important actors, but being there we can mediate talks that can lead to peace in the region. As I said before, a very important part is also played by transit countries. Turkey, for example, is one of them, with millions of migrants seeking refuge in its camps. Talks bewteen Turkey and the EU are present on the Council’s working agenda.

Another subject of the meeting is the Economic and Monetary Union and we are going to discuss the report of the five presidents. Talks are not expected to be difficult as all involved member states agree with the proposals.

Another theme for discussion that concerns everybody is European Union’s relation with the United Kingdom or UK’s position within the EU. Romania has a very straightforward point of view regarding this subject: the UK belongs to the EU.

I will have several other meetings during this trip to Brussels. Tomorrow morning I will meet the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz for talks on topical subjects like migration, security, the role of the EP.

Before the Council meeting, I have invited all Romanian eurodeputies for talks which are necessary in my opinion and I intend this meeting to be just the first one of a longer series. The President needs to have a permanent exchange of ideas with the European MPs as he represents Romania in the European Council and has to know their points of view in order to find the best common ground to represent Romania’s interests.We all represent Romania in Brussels and the better we represent it, the better the results.

This evening I will meet Romanians acting in the European bodies, high officials, dignitaries, employees of different European institutions, people who work in Brussels and know Romania’s problems as well as Europe’s specific issues; I think this contact is not only beneficial but also important.

Bianca Ioniţă