Chairman of the the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, who attended on Sunday the meeting of the Social Democratic Party's (PSD) National Council (CN), voiced his belief that the main objective for the PD-ALDE coalition in view of exercising the Presidency of the EU Council, should be the promotion of one single-speed Union and a truly solidary one."In respect to the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, it will be carried out in a moment when the EU goes through a major crisis. We will be confronted with challenges such as Brexit, the effects of massive migration, the rise of the nationalist and extremist parties and economic risks. All these are challenges that Romania, together with partners of the EU must respond to. Unfortunately, the only saving idea of some so-called European leaders seems to be the construction of a two-speed Europe, meaning a Europe that is divided between the first rank countries and second rank countries, Europe's wealthiest and the poor people. Their desire is for countries like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic or Slovakia to remain a source of cheap labor and a market for manufactured products," Tariceanu said.
In his view, 2019 might be the most important year after the Revolution for Romania, in the context in which our country will exercise the Presidency of the EU Council and then presidential elections are to be held. The ALDE leader mentioned that one of the greatest dangers for our country is promoting a nationalist speech with anti-European accents, but he added that telling the truth and endorsing Romania's legitimate interests in the EU "doesn't mean an anti-European speech."
"From my point of view, we need to tell it like it is, if we want for the EU to have a future. Romania's future is in the European Union, but in a solidary union and with only one speed, where all the citizens are treated fairly and have the same opportunities. The main objective for the PSD-ALDE coalition in view of exercising the Presidency of the EU Council is to promote one single-speed Union, truly solidary. A European Union without a double measure and second-class citizens. I have the belief that this is the only agenda that can ensure the future of the EU, the only strategy through which Romania can boost its development and provide more prosperity to Romanians," he stated.
According to Tariceanu, the ambitions of a country such as Romania, "whether they are legitimate, political or economic are "combated with the 'You are a corrupt country' mantra." The ALDE Chairman argued that our country "is continuously kept in check, through unfair practices," giving the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) as an example.
"Certain European leaders are using the ax with a lot of cynicism, MEPs and Romanian politicians who are willing to talk bad about their country in exchange of a warm place in Brussels. The double standard and the duplicitous behavior are implemented. As you have seen, the violent protests of this summer were used to stigmatise and label Romania as a non-democratic country, but in France, the violent protest going on for weeks are treated with kid gloves. Not to bring to mind the protests that broke out in other countries like Belgium, Germany. Therefore, we see that much tougher actions by European authorities are considered legitimate, as in the case of France, while in Romania legitimate actions have been labeled as evidence of a corrupt and authoritarian state. In this context, I am not surprised that the recent surveys show that most Romanians believe that Romania is treated unfairly and Romanians are considered second-class citizens. It is enough to talk to people and one will see that we are talking not only about a conception and a perception built on the media, but about the reality of their lives," he pointed out.
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu stated that in Romania many banks have "the rate of interest twice as high" than in other European countries, and in our country, as in other East European countries, low-quality products are sold to citizens who are considered to be second-class in the EU.
"The same companies sell first-rate products to Western European countries, but second-hand products for countries that are also considered second-hand. Many Romanians working in the EU are being abusively treated and I have seen in these past days the tragic cases of many Romanian women working as caretakers or nurses in Italy," he also argued.