Statements by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting of December 8

08 December 2022

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Good afternoon.  Before discussing today’s agenda, I will refer to the hottest topic of today, the JHA Council taking place in Brussels, where Romania’s accession to Schengen Area is debated and negotiated. There is no change to yesterday’s statement.  We continue to express confidence that as all European countries, less Austria, understood and support Romania’s accession to Schengen Area on merit, we will have a final vote, a positive vote hopefully, and when the JHA Council meeting is completed, we will issue a communique in line with the decision that will be taken at the JHA Council meeting. Once again, it is very important to understand that Romania has made efforts to meet all the requirements and standards of Schengen Acquis. This was de facto confirmed by the verification committees in October and November and, of course, by the other activities that our country has carried out and which it will certainly continue to carry out because we firmly support everything that means European values and we will continue to support and fulfill the European values. The fact that, at the moment, we all recognize that there is a migration problem, and we must together find solutions to this matter, as well. Just presenting the problem does not solve the situation. As such, we also need Austria to understand that a solution is needed, not necessarily a technical solution, as it is very clear that there is availability for this, but also a political solution.

In today’s meeting, we will approve the package of budgetary legislation for next year. We are discussing the two draft budget laws for 2023, the fiscal–budgetary strategy for 2023-2025, the draft law for approval of ceilings, and surely, the emergency ordinance pursuing the fiscal–budgetary measures. Each time, at this moment too, I point out that we intended to draw up a realistic and balanced budget, taking into account the entire security context and the economic context. We considered this year’s achievements and of course, the forecast for 2023.

Therefore, we will continue the economic support programs, we will continue the programs to support private and public investments and we will continue to have on the list of priorities the maintenance of jobs and the protection of citizens from the effects of rising prices and the effects of rising inflation. We also come up with new measures to support vulnerable people. All these are included in the decisions we made when we drew up the budget at the level of each ministry.

It is for the first time that, for the budget for 2023, we achieve a construction to ensure the funding of priority programs from all areas of interest for the citizens. We are discussing 233 programs included in the funding. These programs are the follow–up to consultations of the Cabinet members and representatives of all ministries.

Almost all ministries have bigger budgets for next year. We must carry forward the policies and programs that we have undertaken for the field of education, the field of research and innovation, health, social assistance, economy, agriculture, and transport infrastructure, as well as security and defense.

The package of measures to cap and compensate energy and natural gas prices will continue, because, as we pointed out, we need to further protect citizens from rising prices and of course, from the effects of the energy crisis.

Once completed in the Cabinet meeting, the budget will go to Parliament for debate and approval, so that by December 15, it will be approved and forwarded to the President of Romania for promulgation.

We are continuing steps to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in accordance with the provisions of the accession roadmap, we will be in Paris next week to attend the OECD Economic Forum and on this occasion, we will also submit the initial memorandum for the process to gain momentum, as we undertook through the roadmap. Thank you.

 

 



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