President Basescu hails EPP’s openness to making EU’s Eastern Partnership and Black Sea Neighbourhood Policy operational

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Romania’s President-elect Traian Basescu on Thursday hailed in Bonn the openness of the European People’s Party (EPP) toward making the European Union’s Eastern Partnership and the Black Sea Neighborhood Policy operational.

Attending as a guest the works of the Statutory Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP), Basescu voiced conviction that the EPP leaders will continue to attach the deserved attention to the reform processes going on in the Black Sea zone and support the European Union’s involvement in the projects designed for the expansion of the area of democracy and prosperity.

‘I would like to point out your openness toward supporting an increased rapprochement of the Western Balkans to the EU by deciding to liberalise the visa regime for the Serb, Macedonian and Montenegrin nationals as from January 2010. I am convinced that the same path should be followed with the Republic of Moldova as well,’ Basescu said in his speech to the EPP Congress.

He said ‘2009 was a good year for the EPP family, a year of spectacular victory of the family in the European elections.’ ‘This outcome is proof to the fact that during economic crisis people return to traditional values and invest their trust in those who do not make empty promises, in those who have applied solutions to preserve a stable economic climate and recover economic growth,’ said Basescu, congratulating Wilfried Martens for being re-elected EPP’s chairman.

In his speech, Basescu also pointed to the symbolic meanings of the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall, mentioning that two decades ago in Timisoara ‘a revolution broke out that was to rekindle the Romanians’ hope for a long awaited change.’ ‘Let me reconfirm that Romanians know how to treasure their freedom, which they have won at the price of the life of many heroes of the December 1989 Revolution,’ said Basescu.

The Romanian President-elect also talked about the ongoing economic crisis, arguing that in Romania’s opinion an eco-efficient, innovative and competitive economy is achievable if increases in innovation and eco-innovation capabilities are considered and making easier the transfer of research outcome to the economy, for which improving access to financing for innovative companies, particularly SMEs, is a top priority, besides improving the human capital and providing high qualifications for the workforce, developing public-private partnerships to develop major infrastructure projects, clean energy sources and highly efficient energy technologies.

‘The economic crisis facing us all requires a prompt and coordinated answer to minimise the negative effects on the economy and the society and to allow the recovery of sustainable economic growth. At the same time, we cannot ignore that the ongoing crisis has brought to light those shortages of the international financial regulatory system, and these shortages have to be tackled immediately,’ said Basescu.

In his opinion, the public administration has to be reformed so that it may no longer be a burden on the citizens and the companies, but become an ally, particularly as ‘population ageing will put mounting pressure on social healthcare services and raise serious questions over the sustainability of the public pension and healthcare systems, as the ongoing crisis has already affected public finances.’

‘All these challenges are the responsibility of each national leader. The global economic crisis and the combat against climate change are two fixed points against which our development strategy will be drawn up for the next decade. This is the reason why our attention, the attention of all the member states is focused and will stay focused in the months to come, with significant support from the future European Commission, on defining the guidelines of the post-Lisbon Strategy known as the 2020 EU Strategy,’ said Basescu.

He pointed out that this imperative will also be the focus point of the agenda of the European Council meeting to be held today and tomorrow in Brussels. ‘We already have a clear objective at the level of the entire union, and that is achieving an eco-efficient economy and turning the ecological challenges in economic growth, jobs and business opportunities. The post-2010 Lisbon Agenda will be an important instrument in this process,’ said Basescu.

He added that a flexible education system conjugated with stable macroeconomic and monetary policies, a dynamic labour market, sustainable economy and consistent support to small and medium-sized enterprises are the pillars on which confidence in a market economy and generating prosperity for all can be rebuilt. Also attending the woks of the EPP Statutory Congress were the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Parliament as well as other heads of state or government.

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