PM Citu - discussions with EC officials; expressed readiness to implement objectives of Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu - on a visit to Brussels - had a meeting on Thursday with Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, expressing in context Romania's readiness to actively participates in the implementation of long-term objectives agreed through the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024. He also met with other senior officials of the College of Commissioners - Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, and Adina Valean, European Commissioner for Transport. According to a Government press release, the discussions with the senior European Commission officials focused on both the overall priorities at EU level and Romania's vision in relation to them, as well as elements of specific interest from the perspective of the European dignitaries' portfolio. "During these meetings, Prime Minister Florin Citu presented the priorities of the Romanian Government in relation to European files. He also conveyed a message of substantial commitment from Romania to continue to act as a reliable partner and deeply dedicated to the European project. He also expressed Romania's readiness to actively participate in the joint effort to restore the Union's post-crisis economy and to advance the implementation of the long-term objectives agreed by the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024. At the same time he raised the issue of Romania's accession to the the Schengen area, which remains a priority objective for Romania," reads the release. The cited source mentions that the discussions with Frans Timmermans focused on the objectives laid out by the European Green Deal, context in which Prime Minister Citu reiterated Romania's support for achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and for stepping up emission cuts by 2030. "The Romanian dignitary underlined the importance of establishing a flexible implementation framework, with adequate support mechanisms for the Member States that take into account the economic and social realities they are facing and that do not impose an additional burden on European citizens, especially those in more precarious situations, in terms of welfare. The Prime Minister of Romania also reiterated the importance that Romania attaches to gas usage in this transition process, a possibility confirmed by the European Commissioner, as regards the development of natural gas distribution networks, included," the release further mentions At the same time, the meeting with Margrethe Vestager provided an opportunity to exchange views on the consequences of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on European companies, including those in Romania, and on the mechanisms to support their recovery efforts. Prime Minister Florin Citu praised the Commission's work in this context and the rapid measures to adapt the existing legislative framework. "Moreover, considering the growing relevance of the digital sector at European level, Prime Minister Florin Citu showed the interest that the Romanian Government attaches to this field and underlined the expectation of achieving a real digital convergence within the European Union, through investments in infrastructure and the development of digital skills in all Member States. In this context, he presented the digitalisation projects envisaged by Romania, with a focus on digitising the administration, including the tax administration, the education system and others," the cited source states. The European Commissioner also congratulated Romania on winning the European competition for hosting the EU Cyber Center, reiterating readiness to support its operationalization as soon as possible. According to the release, the meeting with Adina Valean addressed current issues on the European agenda, taking into account the relevance of transport for the proper functioning of the EU internal market and the economies of the Member States, further highlighted in the context of the pandemic. "In this context, the two officials underlined the importance of continuing to maintain Green Lanes to facilitate mobility during the crisis. The difficult situation created by the Mobility Package 1 was also discussed, and the actions taken by Romania and other affected Member States before the Court of Justice of the European Union were brought to mind," according to the same release. In this context, the Romanian Prime Minister mentioned the priority given at national level to infrastructure projects, considering their contribution to Romania's economic development. "He emphasized the importance of a balanced approach in the process of adapting this area to the new climate and digital objectives, taking into account the development and modernization imperative specific to each Member State. He welcomed the initiative of the European Commissioner to set up a Task Force of European Commission experts to help Member States, including Romania, to prepare a transport infrastructure project eligible for funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility," the release also says. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Florea, editor: Marius Fratila; EN - author: Simona Iacob, editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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