Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE, junior coalition partner) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu told a televised talk show on Tuesday evening that Romania is not in the situation to leave the European Union at either the request of European politicians or of serious influencers in the country."Timmermans said it, I think Juncker did too, but Tiemmermans definitely said it two or three times, that there can be no comparison between Romania and, for instance, countries considered to have run into excess or violated the principles of the rule of law. Romania is not in this situation: it is not in the situation of leaving the European Union following either requests by European politicians - and I have anyway not seen such demands - or from serious and influential people in Romania. There might be some in Romania to go spilling nonsense, but I don't know how to term such statements," Tariceanu told television channel Digi24.
He underscored that Romania is a EU member not because of the CVM, "but for having fulfilled the accession criteria".
"At the time of accession - and I am speaking in the know, because I was Prime Minister at that time - I had a direct talk with then European Commission President [Jose Manuel] Barroso. And he told me: 'There are certain reservations about some conditionalities not having been met. We suggest to you setting this mechanism in place. You are full-fledged members, but let us do that.' (...) And I - but it wasn't just me, but everyone in the Cabinet at that time - started from the idea that there was a good intention at the core of the CVM, and we set off on this way," the ALDE Chairman said, explaining that the CVM had been instated as a tool for the Commission to assess and quantify Romania's further progress, but that it had not been the decisive factor in Romania's acquiring EU membership.
Popescu-Tariceanu emphasized that the CVM had not been a condition to join the EU, as the "Accession Treaty had already been signed. And Romania was to join the EU anyway on January 1. It has been a sort of gentlemen's agreement to show Romania's openness and willingness to have the Commission accompany its steps with its experience. Why not? Yet what happened further on was excessive."
Tariceanu mentioned that, according to surveys, "Romania is among the countries with the highest support for the European project and EU membership."