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Iohannis, on Europe Day: Challenges we go through together do not diminish, but reconfirm relevance of European project

President Klaus Iohannis says in a message sent on Europe Day that this year's May 9 holiday has come in a context still marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a strain on the European Union and its member states but "the challenges we face together do not diminish, but, on the contrary, reconfirm the relevance of the European project".

"We are celebrating Europe Day today, May 9, in a context still marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put the European Union and its member states to the test. It is a good opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from last year's experience but also an opportune moment in which, against the background of recovery efforts and renewed hopes, we can make a projection on the future of the Union. It is therefore an occasion to analyze but also to reaffirm the basic principles and objectives of the Union. Unity and solidarity are the cornerstones of the Declaration made by Robert Schuman more than 70 years ago, and these two common values are equally relevant today to the construction of Europe, to the adaptation, development and progress of the European Union. The challenges we go through together do not diminish, but, on the contrary, reaffirm the relevance of the European project and of a united response of the member States and the European institutions", says the head of state in the message sent on Sunday by the Presidential Administration.

He adds that the principles of the Schuman Declaration continuously inspire European action, including in this context of the pandemic, confirms.

"The vision of that time, with a pronounced universal character, was the one able to ensure the overcoming of many difficult moments, through common, coordinated solutions, for the benefit of European citizens. The test that the European Union passes in the context of the pandemic is unprecedented. However, the European response to this crisis has given us the exact measure of the undeniable added value that the Union brings to all of us: unity, cohesion and solidarity are undoubtedly the strength and essence of our response. In this context, our joint effort has shown the need for a resilient Europe, in all respects: politically - by defending our democracies and the rule of law, economically - by strengthening our chains. supply and protection of free, digital or healthcare trade. Without cooperation at Union level, access to treatment and medical equipment, vaccines and financial assistance to support economic and social measures would have been much more difficult," said President Klaus Iohannis.

At the same time, he emphasizes the importance of respecting the fundamental values of the European Union.

"At the same time, the European response to the trials of the last period has been and must continue to be based on respect for the fundamental values of the Union, the force of effective multilateralism, respect for international law. All these values, together with well-founded measures of pragmatic action, including the strengthening of alliances with those states and organizations that share our democratic values and attachment to international law, contribute to strengthening our strategic resilience," Iohannis said.

He also points out that "it is not at all coincidental that the support shown by Romanians for the European Union is high and has remained constant over time."

"This unequivocally demonstrates our deep attachment to the European family, to European values and way of life, with all that it represents: respect for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, the prospect of prosperity and security. As part of its pro-European profile, Romania continues to support a Union of cohesion, with more solidarity and more united in times of crisis and not only. These are the indispensable pillars on which we build the future of Europe. Romania has managed the effects of the pandemic more effectively through close cooperation at EU level, so we set the green corridors for the free movement of people and goods, we bought vaccines in centralized manner, we adopted the Economic Recovery Plan. The reality showed us what we already knew: we are stronger when we work together. Guided by the fundamental value of European solidarity, we have provided assistance to both the member states and those in the EU's neighbourhood, such as the Republic of Moldova. We are proud of the fact that, in this crisis, Romania was part of this solidarity effort, given that our country not only benefited from support, but assumed, through concrete action, its share of responsibility", President Iohannis says.

In conclusion, he hopes that Romanians will have a strong voice in the debate on the future of the European Union.

"We want the widest possible participation in the Conference on the Future of Europe and we hope that Romanians will have a strong voice in the debate on what Europe will look like in which they and the generations to come want to live. It is time to remember the past, reflect on the current challenges, but also to commit ourselves to building the future. Happy birthday, Europe! Happy birthday, Romania!", President Klaus Iohannis concluded the message.


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