European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker on Friday voiced his conviction that there are high chances that Romania holds a successful first Presidency at the EU Council, but he underscored at the same time that internal conflicts mustn't be exported to Europe.
"I believe the Romanian Presidency will be able to have a very significant contribution to prove that all those who pretend that there are two blocs in Europe, those from the west and those from the east, that there is an internal fragmentation, to show them they are wrong, that Europe breaths with two lungs and that Europe, during the Romanian Presidency and afterwards, can act orderly and of an organised manner. It would be good to have inside your country an atmosphere and spirit of consensus allowing Europe to progress. We mustn't export internal conflicts to Europe and we cannot engage in a pointless conflict, because it will lead to many internal and external problems. Romania wants to be useful for Europe and that is why it must establish on an internal level the preliminary requirements allowing it to have a successful presidency. Therefore, I believe that the first Romanian Presidency has all the chances to be a great presidency," Juncker told a joint press conference with President Klaus Iohannis at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
Juncker mentioned that he has always endorsed Romania's path to the European Union and that in December 1997 he was the President of the European Council that launched the accession process for other states. He added he doesn't regret the decision made then, as he believes that "without Romania, the European Union is not complete."
"I believe we owe a lot to Romania, but Romania, in its turn, owes a lot to the European Union. On behalf of the European Council, in Luxembourg, in April 2005, I signed the treaty on Romania's accession to the EU and I have never had the slightest regret on this act," he also said.
Juncker pointed out that together with President Iohannis he agreed on a very good preparation of the meeting of the European Council in Sibiu, on 9 may. He added that this will be a meeting devoted to stability, taking into account that the UK would have left the EU by that date.
"We must prove to everyone, to those watching us from the outside, too, that the EU is relaunching now, it has a new beginning, it is a new stage in its long history, that has never had a very easy course. The Romanian Presidency will be a presidency that will provide new results. We, the Commission, have tabled the colleagues of the European Parliament and Council, a whole series of legislative proposals and we expect most to be concluded before the elections to the European Parliament. This means a lot of work for the Romanian Presidency and I apologize to the Romanian President that the EC has worked so fast and has managed to bring to the attention of the European co-legislator so many legislative initiatives," he mentioned.
In this respect, Juncker added that the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council will also have to deal with the multiannual financial framework, after the Austrian Presidency has already covered the technical part of this process, adding that this process mustn't be paused before the European elections.
In regards to Brexit, Juncker said that the EC representatives are in constant contact with the British PM and that the Parliament in London will draw conclusions on the texts proposed next week.
"I hope to have an agreement, I do not wish for the UK to leave without an agreement, because it would be a catastrophe both for the British citizens and for the entire European continent, that is why we must make all efforts, from now till Tuesday, until the vote in the British Parliament, for this important project not to fail," he said.