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President Iohannis: Europe must become stronger, more vocal, more capable and better prepared

May 22, 2022

President Klaus Iohannis has sent a message on Europe Day, on Monday, stating that the Russian Federation's threat to Euro-Atlantic security could remain a reality for years to come, while underscoring that Europe must becomes stronger, more vocal, more capable, and better prepared."Europe Day finds us in a completely redefined context this year. After the major challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are living the reality of the war on the borders of the European Union, which generated the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. We are living in an unprecedented time in the history of the Union, when our very ability to defend our fundamental values, centered around the concept on which the European construction was built, peace, is being tested. Maintaining the peace has been the main point for Europe in the past decades, a guarantee of stability that has allowed us to achieve an unprecedented level of prosperity at the Union level," the head of state said in his statement.Iohannis reminds that 2022 marks 15 years since the historic moment of Romania's accession to the European Union, an option assumed and supported at the level of the entire society."The benefits of this choice are palpable today when we think about our nation's long-term progress, with EU membership providing an irreversible path to democratic progress, economic and social development, solidarity and active engagement in the construction of the European project. Unfortunately, the shockwave produced by the unprovoked and illegal war waged by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, in the immediate vicinity of Romania, forces us to look at a reality that is radically different from the one we have known until a couple of moments ago. Robert Schuman's words now sound more vivid than ever: "World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it." In order to be worthy of our mission, we need to adjust fast, to rethink the manner in which we use our resources to reach our objectives, and we also need to adjust our priorities for action to the great contemporary challenges we are facing," said the head of state.President Iohannis states that, in line with this vision, a decade and a half after accession, Romania is a member capable of actively contributing with solutions, while contributing with all that it has best to the wellbeing of the Union."The Russian Federation's threat to Euro-Atlantic security may remain a reality for many years to come. Europe needs to become stronger, more vocal, more capable and better prepared, by strengthening transatlantic cooperation, developing the interoperability of capabilities and mobilizing efforts in full complementarity with NATO. The Union must provide sustained support for strengthening the resilience of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, which face dramatic challenges to their security and stability. The support and backing of Western Balkan partners also remains a priority. At the same time, we need to invest more attention and adequate resources to strengthen our capacity when it comes to dealing with the complex challenges of the present and the future, which go beyond the conventional military sphere, and extend to cyberspace and hybrid threats," Iohannis said.At the same time, the head of state shows that the preparation for a secure future also involves significant investments in education and the development of digital skills, but also the mobilization of the joint effort at national level to have a healthy environment."The challenge of ensuring food security will require effective action to reduce dependency in the European Union, but also to support Ukraine and the most vulnerable countries," he said.President Iohannis also points out that the current crisis has highlighted the need to strengthen the European Union's energy security."The use of Black Sea resources, investments in new technologies in the field of nuclear energy and renewable energy production, as well as efforts to strengthen energy connectivity will allow Romania to actively contribute to European efforts in the field, assuming a role of regional security pole when it comes to energy," says Iohannis.The head of state also points out that the current war is also directed against all the European principles and values that constitute the essence and the binder of the European construction - democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights."The lessons learned from our history have shown us that, in the absence of democratic principles, a stable, prosperous and peaceful future cannot be assured. 15 years after accession, our nation is showing that it is dynamic, deeply pro-European, empathic, compassionate has a spirit of sacrifice and fully internalized solidarity, respect for human dignity and the protection of human rights. And the enthusiasm of young Romanians, the vibrant core of our society, will be the driving force of the next stage of development of the European Romania. Many happy returns of the day, Europe! Many happy returns, Romania!," he concluded. 

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