Romanias Ambassador to EU: All our foreign policy priorities rule European agenda

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All the foreign policy priorities of Romania rule the current European agenda, says Romania’s Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Mihnea Motoc in an interview published by Adevarul daily on September 15.
 
„They are spectacular confirmations of some European policy and strategy statements Romania has made for three years in a very imperative way. If somebody sounded the alarm and made certain suggestions for solutions, it was Romania in the first place,” says Romania’s Ambassador to the EU.
 
Mihnea Motoc mentions the Georgian crisis, which, says he, „by its so far-reaching implications makes it compulsory for the European Union and the international community as a whole to carry out some necessary adjustments and redefinitions.” „And this is, in a way, an opportunity for Romania,” the Ambassador adds.
 
As for the criticism made by some Romanian commentators and analysts to the fact that Romania has not clearly worded its aims in the European Union and still works according to the logic of a candidate state and less of a member state, the Ambassador admits that „probably there is a certain efficiency in communicating all the aims we plan to attain” and this is why such a suspicion might appear.
 
But he says that, from his own direct experience, he can say that things are not like that and offers the logical argument that the preparation stage between signing the accession treaty and the finalization of the ratifications by the 25 national parliaments of the EU member states and of the European Parliament took longer than in the other enlargement situations.
 
„In our capacity as an active observer, a position of a quasi-member, we were able to understand better the mechanism of wording decisions and the possibilities to influence them. We were somewhat lax when getting the formal status of a member of the European Union on January 1, 2007.
Psychologically or symbolically we have no temptation to work in a different way from that of an equal partner,” says the Romanian diplomat.
 
Referring to Romania’s chances of getting out of the monitoring process on justice this year, Romania’s Ambassador to the EU says that Romania has assumed the exercise of cooperation and checking at the time of the accession and is carrying it out in good faith. But this does not mean it must go on forever, says Mihnea Motoc.
He adds that Romania must plan at a certain time the reforms of the legal system and of the struggle against corruption to be perceived by its partners as being irreversible. The Romanian diplomat thinks that the critical assessments made so far still draw Romania closer to this aim step by step. „Nobody expects that this mechanism should work without any break,” appreciates Motoc.
 
On the other hand the Romanian diplomat also says that the aim of putting an end to the monitoring in 2009 „is a mobilizing, stimulating factor” for Romania and thinks it is very good of us „to make it known.”According to the Ambassador to the EU, the statistical data made known late last year say that Romania ended its first year as an EU member state with an excess of almost 600 million euros. It contributed about 700 million euros and funds of over 1.2 billion euros entered Romania. The prognosis for this year is also positive, at a superior level.
 
„There are serious expectations that at least four of the six major infrastructure projects that were presented to the European Commission should be approved by the end of the year. It is the first time that we have benefited from structural and cohesion funds amounting to a total value of 20 billion euros over 2007-2013. Therefore, we are still at the programming stage. We are still on schedule,” says Motoc.
 
He says that in the field of agriculture and rural development Romania takes an interest in benefiting of as much as possible, as it happened in the process of change countries such as France went through some time ago. „We hope we shall have the same time in which this predictable farming policy should go on. Obviously, we are very interested in the way in which this debate will be reflected in the future budget projection of the European Union,” says the Ambassador.
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