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Iohannis: Sofia Summit Declaration reflects EU commitment to Western Balkans region


The declaration adopted at the European Union - Western Balkans Summit reflects the EU's commitment to the Western Balkans region, President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday at an informal meeting in the Bulgarian capital.

"President Klaus Iohannis appreciated that the Summit Declaration reflects the Union's commitment to the Western Balkans region, as well as the attachment to the principle of own merits, in the sense that each partner is individually assessed on the basis of the results achieved." The President of Romania stated that the idea of connectivity must firstly be understood in terms of common values, whose assumption is the central foundation of the European construction and constitutes the essential premises of a solid, more stable and prosperous Europe: democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

President Klaus Iohannis conveyed Romania's active support for these objectives, highlighting the importance of the projects in connectivity, infrastructure, energy and digital networks, in increasing convergence between the European Union and the Western Balkans region, including by giving impetus to macro-regional strategies, such as the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, but also for ensuring the energy security objectives," the Presidential Administration informs in a press release.

The head of state has emphasized the need to synchronize existing and future transport projects initiated under the cooperation framework that includes the Black Sea.

He reminded that Romania would host on May 9, 2019, the Sibiu Summit on the future of Europe, pointing out that a strong and united Union could also be a solid anchor for the Western Balkans in the direction of reforms and development.

On Wednesday evening in Sofia, the President attended the informal meeting of the European Council, where discussions focused on digital literacy, research and innovation. Also discussed were the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the US decision on the introduction of customs duties on steel and aluminum imports.

"The President of Romania has highlighted the major potential of the European Union in the field of research and innovation, which must be further exploited by using and promoting all existing capacities. Klaus Iohannis expressed his support for the future framework program for research, technological development and innovation, Horizon Europe, which will help strengthen the EU's capacity to produce and use knowledge, reduce gaps in terms of innovation and technological development and support disruptive innovation, taking into account that, in the context of global competition, dedicated support is needed for this type of innovation," says the Presidential Administration.

"With regard to both legislative and non-legislative packages, namely the Digital Data Package and the Digital Agenda, recently launched by the European Commission, President Klaus Iohannis has shown that they will contribute to ensuring cyber security in the new digital era, and in the same time will allow EU citizens to have better control over their personal data and companies will reduce bureaucracy so that consumer confidence is strengthened," the statement said.

"The President of Romania has expressed his support for the continuation of a constructive dialogue between the EU and the US on common trade issues in order to achieve the European Union's objective of permanent relief from the US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Klaus Iohannis advocated maintaining a strong and coherent transatlantic relationship for the benefit of the security and prosperity of both parties," says the Presidential Administration.

President Iohannis reiterated the support for the continued implementation of the JCPOA, as well as the major importance of the dialogue with the US, with a view to finding a durable solution to the Iranian file on all the components that concern the international community, the release said.





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