President Klaus Iohannis and the chairmen of the opposition's National Liberal Party (PNL) - Ludovic Orban, Save Romania Union (USR) - Dan Barna, PRO Romania - Victor Ponta and the People's Movement Party (PMP) - Eugen Tomac signed on Thursday the National Political Agreement on consolidating Romania's European course, at a ceremony organized at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
PNL Chairman Ludovic Orban, the first to sign the agreement, said that PNL advocates the goals of the pact and emphasized that all the politicians who want the best for Romania should commit to this document.
"I am glad to have the opportunity to put my signature on an extremely important document that can lay the foundations for the achievement of authentic democracy in Romania, based on the European values, principles and norms, on the strict observance of the citizens' individual rights and freedoms, of the rule of law, justice independence, the citizens' free access to justice, that relies on an honest competition among the citizens of Romania, and allowing each Romanian citizen to find justice in the Romanian democratic society," Orban said.
USR Chairman Dan Barna pointed out that this pact is the "first piece of a construction" that should also contain the initiative "No convicts in public office".
"The USR signed this national agreement because it contains what USR has been advocating for three years in the Parliament of Romania, in all of Romania's counties and the diaspora - that Romania must be a state governed by the rule of law, where justice operates independently and is a power that is complied with. This national agreement - the first piece of a construction that must also contain the 'No convicts in public office' initiative - is the simplest instrument we as a society, can introduce in the Constitution - and one million Romanians have confirmed this - for Romanian politics to become better. (...) I am convinced that Romania will be able to mend and get back on track on the European course," Barna said.
PRO Romania Chairman Victor Ponta said that he sealed the pact because the principles it lays out are fair.
"Today I signed this pact together with my PRO Romania colleagues for a very simple reason: the principles of this pact are fair and serve our best interests, as a society. (...) Today I have learned from my own experience that politicians squabble about anything and cannot work together on anything, but statesmen must shake hands when it comes to truly national interests," Ponta said.
PMP Chairman Eugen Tomac also explained why he signed the document.
"On behalf of our PMP fellows, we also put our signature on the political agreement you, Mr President, have initiated, for the following reasons: our attachment to values such as democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law that are the foundation of the EU, are non-negotiable values, therefore we have expressed our solidarity and put our signature on it out of conviction. I hope that all the politicians will correctly understand the message the Romanians conveyed on May 26. Our nation is deeply attached to European values, we want to be part of the big EU decisions and we will respond with the same openness when, in the coming months or years, you will invite us for an agreement on education, health, or diaspora because we, the political class, need consensus on the major priority themes, even for an agreement on the Republic of Moldova," Tomac said.
At the end of the ceremony President Iohannis also signed the agreement, congratulated the signatories and then invited them to take a photo where they were to arrange themselves according to their political doctrine.