Romanian President Klaus Iohannis underlined to Parliament on Wednesday the importance of EU action founded on unity, solidarity, cohesion and the rule of law.
Continuing support for Ukraine must be among the EU’s key priorities, according to the Romanian President. “We must stand by Ukraine and its people,” he stressed, adding that defending democracy, territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the rules-based international order, cannot be subject to any “solidarity fatigue”.
During his address, part of Parliament’s ‘This is Europe’ series of debates, President Iohannis said his country is one of the best examples of the EU’s transformative power, one which brought indisputable and concrete benefits to Romanian citizens, and is a strong advocate of coordinated action.
“Enlarging our European family by accepting new members will only strengthen the Union,” he stated, referring to the historic decisions taken by the European Council in December 2023 on the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia. Enlargement is an essential part of EU’s strategic answer to the geopolitical developments, he added, and a key investment in lasting peace, stability and democracy.
President Iohannis also reiterated the EU must remain an area of free movement and called for the full accession of Romania to the Schengen area as soon as possible, allowing the country to contribute concretely to consolidating EU’s security.
Reactions from MEPs
A majority of MEPs restated their call for the full accession of Romania to the Schengen free movement area and recognised the support and solidarity shown by Romanians towards Ukrainian refugees. MEPs also stressed the importance of this year’s European elections, the need to continue the fight against corruption and foreign interference, and the defence of EU values.
This was the thirteenth “This is Europe” plenary debate and the first in 2024.