David Cameron in Bucharest: “Freedom of movement brought in too many people”

David Cameron in Bucharest: “Freedom of movement brought in too many people”

Bucharest, December 10, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Irina Stoica

The United Kingdom is a full supporter of the freedom of movement within the EU, but the pressure that it puts upon its public services must be addressed. It’s one of the key points in the speech that British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered in Bucharest today, after his meeting with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis. It’s actually one of the points on the agenda that Cameron is trying to sell to European leaders during a series of visits meant to get him backing for his plans to reform the EU.

David Cameron’s blitzkrieg stop in the Romanian capital started with a visit to the Government’s headquarters and discussions with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos. Then Cameron paid his respects to the victims of the nightclub fire that claimed the lives of 60 people on October the 30th. He went to “Colectiv” club accompanied by Romanian Health Minister Patriciu Achimas-Cadariu and United Kingdom’s ambassador to Romania Paul Brummell. Cameron laid a wreath and lit a candle at the premises of the Colectiv club, then took a few moments’ silence and scanned the photos of the ones who perished in fire.

Meeting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was next. After the meeting, both leaders held a joint press statement at Cotroceni Palace, the presidential residence. “Romanians, like any other Europeans, have a valuable contribution in Great Britain in many fields, yet I have never thought that this freedom of circulation would bring in so many people and all this pressure upon our public services should be solved”, David Cameron said.

The Prime Minister explained that the British public is deeply concerned by the potential abuses that the social services might face from immigrants and that it’s his duty to make sure these concerns are addressed. “Great Britain is an important member, net contributor to the EU. I want Great Britain to remain in a reformed European Union, that is why I want important reforms to solve the worries of the British people”, he added.

Official statistics quoted by Cameron show that the net migration to the UK counts for 300,000 persons per year, which is not sustainable. And for this, he added, “we should find ways to solve this situation. To the next week’s European Council, we shall discuss about the reforms we have tabled and I hope we will find solutions for each domain. The EU has also shown before that it has the flexibility to answer to the member states’ worries and it has to do the same now”.

In his turn, President Iohannis emphasized that most of the Romanian nationals are well integrated and contribute through their taxes and dues to Great Britain’s economy. As for the renegotiation process of the relationships between the EU and Great Britain, he indicated that Romania believes that the place of Great Britain is clearly in the European family.

David Cameron is the first British Premier visiting Romania this century. He underlined that hopefully it’s not going to be another 16 years until another British Prime Minister comes to this country.

Before coming to Bucharest, Cameron was in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and is now heading to Warsaw in Poland. These visits are important in order to push for the EU reform agenda ahead of the EU Council that’s scheduled for the 17th and 18 of December. Reshaping Britain’s relationship with the EU is a key factor ahead of a referendum that’s due to take place in the UK. During his latest election campaign, Cameron promised that the British voters will have the chance to say whether or not they want the country to remain part of the EU.