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Thursday, 09 March

Press statements by Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu in Brussels

Sorin Grindeanu: Good afternoon. As you know, I participated for the first time as Prime Minister in the meeting of the Heads of state and government, members of the European Socialists Party. I took this opportunity to have direct meetings with them. We discussed about both bilateral agenda and the common European agenda. I reaffirmed during these meetings what President said in the morning, I said this in the past days too, namely our country’s willingness to strengthen the common European project, with all the 27 member states, in the same direction, as history shows us that together,we are stronger.

The debates which you know and which are hardly at the outset, will continue over the next period. Each of us expressed his views, I told you our view, we share it: Presidential Administration, Government, or Parliament. It is Romania’s joint stand.

Reporter: How do the European Socialists view this late discussion on multi-speed Europe, with two or several -speed Europe? What has been discussed on this topic?

Sorin Grindeanu: As I told you, debates have just started, they will continue. I cannot say there is a common view of European Socialists. What matters is that this debate will take place, that each country has arguments, on each of the scenarios but there is not a common point of view at this moment, as aforementioned, debates are at the start and they will continue.

Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, we, the Romanians are against the idea of a multi-speed Europe, but do we also have a concrete plan to submit to the attention of the European partners, as alternative to this multi-speed Europe?

Sorin Grindeanu: It is not only us who are against this idea – I do not think the issue should be discussed or debated in such terms, that we, the Romanians are against something. We support strengthening the European project in this form. We are interested and not only we, that the cohesion funds remain an important part of the European policy, alike the common agricultural policy –there are extremely important things and I repeat it is not only about Romania. This is the direction we must continue, develop and strengthen. As I told you, history showed that every time we were together, we were stronger. That is the direction that we not only propose but I undeline the debates are at the start and each of us will have arguments.

Reporter: What to do for those small clubs, as they are at present: Schengen Club, Euro Club to remain open for countries such as: Romania that will want to join these clubs in the future?

Sorin Grindeanu: I think that things do not change very much, if I understand well what you ask me, but I do not think that we can speak about future saying that things will run at different speed in the future. What we all want and what everybody said is that all the 27 states go in the same direction and with the same speed –to quote. We all want to develop, to get strengthened as much as possible, to be part of what means common European policies.

Reporter: The European Commission Vice –President, Timmermans stated some minutes ago that it is normal that European funds be halted in states with rule of law related problems. Have you discussed this topic with him?

Sorin Grindeanu: It was not a discussion. I had a discussion with the First Vice –President Timmermans, an extremely constructive one, like the one two weeks ago, what we committed two weeks ago to sending to the European Commission, our request for European funds to renovate prisons too– we did it, discussions have also started on that working group regarding clarifications on CVM recommendations.

Discussion with First Vice –President Timmermans was in fair parameters and two weeks ago, we both appreciated the way we cooperated, the Romanian Government with him and the European Commission in general.

Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, you had several bilateral meetings now, at PES. About which of it can you detail...? Let us say Moscovici ..economy.

Sorin Grindeanu: No, there were talks, and it is normal to be so, with the President Hollande, with Prime Minister of Italy, with the Czech Prime Minister, and with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg and the Swedish Prime Minister. As aforementioned, there were talks on the bilateral agenda of our countries, with the Austrian Chancellor, and our views linked to European Commission’s common policy. Over the next period, we will have bilateral meetings with each of these countries, with Italy, with Sweden, with all the others.

Reporter: Can you tell us what did you discuss with the President of France, Francois Hollande, on that brief meeting?

Sorin Grindeanu: There are issues related to discussions which perhaps are more informal many times but I can tell you that it was a discussion linked to the current state of affairs in Romania. I presented as I did each time, our situation. I appreciated the support given by France all these years and we want of course to strengthen our partnership with France.

Reporter: One more question. You met today with the Austrian Chancellor. Can you tell us whether, during this meeting, the Austrian Chancellor asked about the activity of the Holzindustrie Schweighofer from Romania, considering that the Ministry of Waters and Forests announced it will very carefully supervise the activity of this group? As you know, it has problems internationally and if this was one of the meeting points?

Sorin Grindeanu: No, we discussed in general. Austria is an important economic partner of our country and as you know, Austrian investment have an important share in the Romanian economy. Other thing matters: I have established together with the Austrian Chancellor that over the next period, we meet either in Vienna or Bucharest, and our diplomacies are about to established the agenda, and surely, then, we will approach the concrete points linked to the eventual situations that you mentioned.

Reporter: You were talking about a common stand, Government, Presidency and Parliament. When did you consult, Prime Minister, the Parliament, regarding this stand?

Sorin Grindeanu: I have seen statements in this respect. I apologize! Perhaps, I have said too much, but I have seen statements from the leadership of the Chamber of Deputies in the same line with the President’s, mine or of the Government.

Reporter: Will you intitiate as Government, alongside Presidency, a national consultation on a position to be adopted? You may therefore find the view of all parliamentary parties in this respect.

Sorin Grindeanu: We can be part of it. I do not think this is the Government’s role but we can be part of it. We had a meeting with Mr. President yesterday for a common position, and this dialogue is welcome, we have a common stand. Surely, if this debate is more clear, it is better. Government can be part of this debate.

Reporter: Following these bilateral contacts, will you telephone Mr. President given that on the margins of the Council, it is important to know what you discussed.

Sorin Grindeanu: I am sure we will have discussions in the following days too as conclusions we can draw following these meetings and especially as strategy we will need to pursue as country, in the line of what I have told you earlier. Thank you.



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