EUROPE DAY/Adrian Cioroianu: Crisis generated by coronavirus pandemic, possible stage in EU strengthening

Adrian Cioroianu, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Romania to UNESCO, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, states that, "by virtue of our history of the last 70 years", the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic could be "a stage in the strengthening of the European Union" and expresses hope that there are "political figures to rise to the height of this moment" at European level. "History never stands still. History goes on, as they say. That generation of founders of the European Union is proof to us that people can learn from history. In fact, that generation with Robert Schuman, you were talking about, they were practically suffering the consequences of a disastrous world war at that time. And as states like France, Germany, but equally Italy, each of them had been empires or had the desire to become empires in recent times, they could not return after World War II to the status of, let us say, simple national states. And under these conditions, they realized that a form of aggregation is their only way to remain in what is called great history," Adrian Cioroianu declared for AGERPRES. "And it is a generation that today gives its name to the halls in our institutions, or in the European Parliament, or even in the square in Herastrau Park, where we have a Square of Europe - Robert Schuman, Jean Monet, Paul-Henri Spaak, Altiero Spinelli, all of these people from France, Germany and Italy realized that a form of aggregation is the best lesson after World War II," said the diplomat. "The conclusion that we must draw today and which, for me, is a source of optimism is that this European construction was born, practically, from a crisis. It was not born in moments of happiness. In 1949-1950, the beginning of the 1950s was a very turbulent period in Western Europe, and probably without American aid, things would have been much more complicated. Against this background, we can conclude today that such a crisis, such as the one on we are living with this coronavirus, with this pandemic that has hit even European Union countries, some of them very strongly, that by virtue of our history of the last 70 years it could be a stage in the strengthening of the European Union. Because, I repeat, the European Union was born out of a crisis, it was not the result of a party or a wedding banquet, it was the result of millions of graves on the European continent after World War II. So the European Union is practically permanently accompanied by crises, I would say that even today those who have to learn the lessons will have the opportunity to do so. And let's hope that we have political figures at European level that will rise to the height of this moment," he underlined. Adrian Cioroianu said he was optimistic about finding a solution commonly accepted by the Northern and Southern countries of the EU regarding the measures to overcome the current crisis. In his opinion, "Romania plays a bigger role than we are willing to accept" in the world market. "Some people already know this. And let me just give you some very recent examples. When, for one reason or another, the Romanian workforce has not been present in Europe in recent months, it has suddenly become obvious, including for us, its value. On the other hand, when Romania declared that wheat exports were stopped - I guarantee you, it is no secret - there were telephone calls that were received in Bucharest, from various parts of the world wheat market, from the European Union, but also outside the European Union, something that suggest that this is also an asset that we are not aware of in public discourse. Because at the level of ministries, I guarantee you that there are people who know these things, at least in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that I know a little better, but, obviously, that these are not people to appear on TV because this is not their job description," Cioroianu said. The diplomat lamented the fact that, "unfortunately, untrue things are sometimes said in our television shows and especially, our role is minimized in a way". AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Andreea Rotaru; EN - author: Bogdan Gabaroi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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