ForMin Diaconescu: The European Council could notice uselessness of safeguarding clause

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Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu told the RFI radio station on Sunday that this month’s summit of the European Council could notice the uselessness of the safeguard clause, and that there is currently an ongoing dialogue to sketch up such a position.

For Romania, such a conclusion could mean to be still subjected to the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification but without further penalties. At the same time, Diaconescu said that Romania is on schedule as far as the procedures for acceding to the Schengen Area are concerned.

The minister also said that following consultations with Dutch officials, he chose the option of going to The Hague to have a direct conversation with the Dutch Parliament in an attempt to clarify the suggestion to penalise Romania, and his demarche was a successful one.

‘Besides the conclusions in the country report already expressed by the European states, blocking Romania’s access to European funds, to the funds for the Schengen Area as well as the possibility of cutting on certain financial programmes in the time ahead, when they are considered in the light of the European Union Budget, was suggested.

And yet, the conversation in the Dutch Parliament was an excellent one.

The demarche was successful, since the position of the Netherlands got in line with the position of the other European Union member states that the Mechanism for Verification and Control should continue, but no further penalties should be imposed on Romania,’ said Diaconescu.

Diaconescu on Thursday introduced to the Dutch Parliament in The Hague Romania’s progress in the judiciary. Inityially, he cancelled his visit in protest at the criticism of the Dutch state offcials over justice in Romania, but came back on his decision and finally attended a meeting of the Dutch Legislature following a phone conversation with his Dutch counterpart Maxime Verhagen.

On the other hand, the Romanian chief diplomat told RFI that the 2011 deadline for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area is an achievable objective and the schedule for the accession has so far been observed.

In relation to the office of European commissioner Romania wants to win, Diaconescu mentioned that for a substantive portfolio hard work is needed and diplomatic dialogue should be intensified at all levels.

‘We all want a substantive portfolio, but in order for this to happen we need to work hard and intensify diplomatic dialogue at all levels. From our explorations so far I can tell you that I am prudently optimistic over the outcome,’ said Diaconescu.

Romania would like to win the portfolio of the European Commissioner for Agriculture and appoint incumbent Agriculture Minister Dacian Ciolos to office.

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