EP debate: Romanian Revolution, the moment of the country's return to Europe

The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 was the first step made by the Romanians and Romania in what concerns their return to Europe, European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean told the European Parliament plenary session on Monday, with MEP Traian Basescu added that in December 1989 the Romanians were determined to say "no" to communism, by even scarifying their lives, and they joined the European family again. "I am honoured to stand before you today to commemorate with you this important event for Romania and Europe at large," said Valean, who represents the European Commission in this debate. "On 16 December 1989, the Romanian Revolution started in Timisoara. This was the first step made by the Romanians and Romania in what concerns their return to Europe. The Romanian Revolution was the last act of the revolt movements in Eastern Europe and the most bloody. That winter Romanians fought for freedom, fundamental rights and democracy," Valean added. Traian Basescu, an MEP representing PMP (People's Movement Party), said on Monday, December 16, that there are 30 years since that moment "Timisoara couldn't stand it anymore." "That was the moment when the Romanians said a determined "no", with the sacrifice of their lives, to communism, and they joined the European family again. For EU is not just about peace in Europe, but also about banning dictatorships on the EU territory," underscored Traian Basescu in the plenary session of the EP. MEP PSD Cristian Terhes, who spoke on behalf of the S&D group, said the Revolution of 1989 ended "a totalitarian and horrible regime." "Unlike other countries, in Romania this switch from communism to democracy involved human sacrifices. Because it refused to serve the communist regime, the Roman-Catholic church was banned in 1948 and thousands of people were arrested," said the PSD (Social Democratic Party) MEP. "The revolution of 1989 represented the climax of the fight of 40 years for the restoration of freedom and democracy in Romania. We are glad that all the representatives of Romania in this Parliament are joining their hands to bring these values further," he said. Dacian Ciolos, the leader of the Renew Europe group, said on December 16 1989, the first spark of the Romanian Revolution was seen in Timisoara. "In EP we are paying homage today to these people, who had the courage to make possible the return to the values of freedom. During those days the normal people became heroes," said Ciolos. "We must fight so that people will never have to take to the streets again and die for their freedom, not now and not in the future," he said. Reinhard Butikofer, on behalf of the Greens, said that 'for those who sacrificed their lives in the Romanian Revolution, for their families, we can only have respect and bow our heads." He criticized, though, the practice of adopting resolutions to establish the truth about certain events. "This is not something that any parliament should do, that is to decide on the truth about historical facts with a majority," said Butikofer. PNL (National Liberal Party) MEP Siegfried Muresan said that 30 years ago thousands of Romanians took the streets and hundreds of thousands followed them in the next days. "Romania and the Romanian people won their place in Europe through their sacrifice during those days of the Revolution," Muresan, who is the Deputy President of the PPE (European People's Party) group in the EP, said. The same as Traian Basescu, he brought to mind the number of those who died at the Revolution, 1142, and said the word of the day must be "commemoration." "The young fought for democracy, freedom of speech, liberty and today we must remember them. We have the duty to make all the efforts to defend the values they won back then," he said. Following the debate on Monday evening, a resolution will be adopted which will be submitted to voting in the European Parliament, at 13:00 Romania's time. The debate and resolution on the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Romanian revolution of December 1989 were introduced on the agenda of the last EP session this year at the proposal of the European People's Party (EPP). AGERPRES (RO - editor: Mariana Ionescu; EN - editor: Cristina Zaharia)

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