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President Iohannis says Romania fares better than expected holding EU Council Presidency


President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union concluded 90 legislative files, showing that most people expected Romania to be in between somewhere.

"I don't know if it is good to speak about a legacy, you cannot create a legacy in six months, that's an illusion. But you can do a decent work in six months. So, let me conclude in a way which is probably a bit unexpected for some. Few people had high expectations when we started our Presidency, most people expected us to be in between somewhere. Well, surprise, I took the laudatio from Donald and Jean-Claude very serious and the fact that Romanian Presidency concluded more than 90 legislative files, you know how much have been concluded in other presidencies is an indication not only of the intensity and the quantity of the work, but also of the quality. Because we have partners, negotiators and institutions with high standards and so, our team, the Romanian team, managed something unexpected and this is why I said that the Romanian Presidency was surprising because it performed way better that expected. So, if we may define this as a legacy that Romania is actually way better than its image, then this is a good legacy," Iohannis replied to a question in Brussels on Friday at a joint news conference with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker.

He also mentioned the results during the six-month Romanian Presidency of the EU Council.

"The Strategic Agenda that we have adopted reflects entirely the 10 commitments we agreed upon at the Sibiu Summit, the spirit of Sibiu as I call it. The key aim now is to remain united, determined and effective in our efforts to implement this Agenda and achieve results for all. Romania is strongly committed in this respect. I particularly welcome that the main priorities and lines of action identified in the Strategic Agenda reflect our common vision for the future of the Union. This is a clear sign of unity and cohesion," Iohannis said.

He underscored that protecting the EU citizens, freedoms and values should be central in future common actions, as there is an increasing number of challenges that emerge both within, as well as beyond the EU borders.

"Recently, the Council formally adopted a number of significant legislative files concluded under the Romanian Presidency, in relation to the Banking Union, the improvement of labour and social rights, the deepening of the Single Market, the decarbonisation of transport and the further enhancing of the Digital Europe. This is Europe at its best and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Member States, and the European institutions for their support and for their constructive approach that allowed the Romanian Presidency to conclude a significant number of important legislative initiatives," Iohannis said.

He added that also discussed was the future Multiannual Financial Framework, mentioning that in 2018 the European Council asked Romania to develop a revised document for the next stage of the negotiations.

"The Presidency has worked intensively and I am pleased that this hard work and progress are acknowledged in the conclusions of the European Council," Iohannis pointed out.

He regretted that at this point, a consensus for ensuring a transition to a climate-neutral European Union by 2050 was not reached.

"I would like to conclude by saying that I welcome the fact that upon my request, the leaders agreed to have a reference to the Republic of Moldova in the conclusions. In my opinion, the agreement of the leaders to strengthen the EU support for the Republic of Moldova by concrete measures is very important," Iohannis said.

He thanked Tusk and Juncker for their commendation of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"For us it is very important as it was the first Presidency," Iohannis added.


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