vineri, 26 iulie 2013

Romania in the EU: Getting Ready for 2019!

This article is dedicated to Romania’s position in the European Union, its evolution and its ambitions, both necessary to prepare for the Romanian Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2019. Basically, we have another 6 years to show our partners, and to prove to ourselves, that we will be very good at the helm with ideas, projects, and community club management.

Romania celebrated its 6 year membership of the EU. Since joining the EU we had "six beautiful years", you experiment and you take your first steps - more or less committed towards Europe. We managed to promote specific popular topics on the EU Agenda: Danube and Black Sea. We went from Commissioners with less important portfolio’s (multilingualism) to more important ones in one step (agriculture). There is still much to do, but what has been done should not be easily pushed aside and criticized for the sake of criticism. It's good to be ambitious: comparing ourselves with countries which entered the EU in 2004, like Poland - more mature in its understanding, being three years ahead in the European game, managing a successful EU Presidency.

The European game is not just copying the best models among the partners, but also to innovate. This develops from a combination of internal and external vision. Paradoxically, the internal takes a bigger portion, although often we are accustomed to think in terms of "foreign and new", but policies such as trade, energy and others already aspire to let this be an "internal" game - the Union is seen as a single entity, and the member states as the organs of a single body.

Whether the euro has its own problems at the moment or not, we cannot declare defeat, for this would mean certain death for the accelerated European project. Therefore, it is important to continue the road the EU started to take with the euro area, obviously, dictating the steps according to the pace of our economy. However, it's important to also think in terms of any partners’ geopolitical ambition and not the periphery of the Union. Many times we are tempted to say what's better for foreigners and to provide training to minimize the ambition to go anyway because it’s "not worth it". We need to stop this myth. We can not only be good within the EU geographical boundary, we can be great - but we should not interfere in the middle game of the European project.

How we do play "in the center"? Strangely, the answer is simple: better aligning of form and substance. More specifically, we need to become even more professional, more responsible – especially with the high caliber proposals on the EU agenda. Negotiating strategically, it makes sense that Romania combines strategic policy for political tactics. That means that we know what we want and go in this direction without hesitation, building partnerships with countries with similar interests, or at least some shared affinities. That means connecting the system of Romania to the EU. It requires a continuous investment in human resources in the European institutions (contact Romanian institutions and their national project incentives, clearly defined) and national tasks which fall under the definition of the national interest in Europe and defining our position in European politics.

Also, we can strengthen the nurturing of, or even relieving, the poor and investing. That's a remix of stimulus for domestic capital, greater openness to foreign investment, and with EU interests in the forefront, increased absorption of EU funds. In this context, regionalization is a solution, albeit not the only one, which is worth a closer look as an investment in the future of Romania.

Finally, one last word about vision and politicians. We have a balanced team of MEPs, but we regularly need new life – new people connected both Brussels and the reality in Romania. This "double hat" and the necessary complementarity between political will and technical expertise makes Brussels influence are must, because we have people who speak Romanian and who are "Eurocrats". Investing in human resources should be reflected in politics, and should be the key objective for the next period until our Presidency of the EU, as well as for the modernization of Romania, anchoring it in a more prosperous and predictable environment. Do not forget that the predictability of the European plan pays off.

Dan LUCA / Brussels

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