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President Klaus Iohannis maintained, in Brussels, on the occasion of the meeting of the European Council, the necessity of adopting without delay the decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia, mentioning that a positive decision in this sense would have a strategic significance for the region.

The head of state participated, Thursday and Friday, in Brussels, in the autumn meeting of the European Council, the discussions of the European leaders focusing on the Brexit process, the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework, the implementation of the Strategic Agenda of the European Union (EU) for the 2019-2024 period, climate change, the Union's foreign relations, including the enlargement process, a release of the Presidential Administration sent on Friday mentions.

In the realm of foreign relations, in what regards the enlargement process, the heads of state or government approached the matter of adopting the decision to open accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania, according to the calendar assumed through the Conclusions of the Council of June 2019, adopted during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

"The President of Romania expressed regret that, despite the active support from a majority of member states, including Romania, a consensus could not be achieved regarding the opening of the accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia, emphasizing the close bond between the credibility of the enlargement process and the capacity of the Union to assume the role of powerful global actor. President Klaus Iohannis supported the necessity to adopt without delay the decision to open accession negotiations with the two countries and emphasized the importance of the Union transmitting, by this decision, a clear political signal regarding the continuation of the enlargement policy, as a viable and credible instrument of stability and prosperity in the region. The President of Romania pointed out the fact that a positive decision in this sense would have strategic significance for the region," the quoted source mentions.

According to the Presidential Administration, in what regards developments in the Brexit context, the European leaders, in the EU 27 format, approved the agreement regarding the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and the political statement regarding the future of relations between the EU and the UK.

President Iohannis stated that the withdrawal agreement reflects Romania's objectives regarding the protection of rights of Romanian citizens in the United Kingdom, as well as honoring the financial commitments assumed by the United Kingdom as a member state and safeguarding the integrity of the internal market of the EU. The head of state reiterated, in what regards the protection of the rights of Romanian citizens living in the United Kingdom, the importance of guaranteeing their rights and respecting the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination in all circumstances, including the future relations between the EU and the UK, the quoted source also mentions.

In what regards the discussion referring to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the 2021-2027 period, President Klaus Iohannis emphasized that, from Romania's perspective, the proposals advanced by the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU regarding the diminishment of the total volume of the budget and implicitly the allotments for policies that interest Romania - the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy - are not acceptable.

"Therefore, the proposals advanced by the Finnish Presidency cannot represent a serious basis for discussions, the risk being that of departing from the objective related to the adoption of a budget that would allow the accomplishment of the Union's political priorities," the release shows.

The European leaders also had an exchange of opinions with the President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, with regards to the priorities of the future Commission, the President of Romania emphasizing the importance of unity at the level of the EU for the implementation of the future Strategic Agenda, document that reflects important priorities from Romania's perspective, such as the promotion of a Europe of growth and convergence, the consolidation of the Single Market, the consolidation of the EU's internal security and ensuring an efficient external action.

The European Council also approached the international aspects of the fight against climate change, especially the results of the UN Summit for Climate Change 2019 and the expectation for the future Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention regarding climate change in Santiago de Chile in December 2019 (COP25). The European Council appreciated as necessary the consolidation of climate action both on the part of the EU, as well as the international partners and deemed necessary, in context, that the EU promote a correct and fair transition from a social point of view in implementing the Paris Agreement, in agreement with its conclusions of June 2019.

In context, President Klaus Iohannis reiterated the necessity to continue an active involvement of the European Union and the member states in reaching the objectives assumed at the European level, with the purpose of consolidating, in a sustainable manner from an economic and social point of view, the leadership role of the European Union in fighting climate change, the quoted source also shows. AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor; Florin Marin; EN - author: Razvan-Adrian Pandea, editor: Simona Iacob)

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