Germany and Romania don’t see eye to eye on the refugee crisis, but work together

Germany and Romania don’t see eye to eye on the refugee crisis, but work together

Bucharest, February 5, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Irina Stoica

Germany needs friends and allies with a strong European commitment, like Romania, and its interest lies in Romania being stable and able to play an increasingly bigger part in the European process. It was the message that Germany’s Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth passed to the authorities in Bucharest during a short visit.

Roth spoke at a conference on joint Romanian-German solutions to European challenges in 2016, organized by the Romanian-German Forum. He said close ties between Romania in Germany need constant efforts and close dialogue and congratulated the current Government in Bucharest for taking the country’s modernization project and the implementation of reforms seriously.

“The Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report released some days ago underscored significant progress as well as areas where there is still work to do. I have closely followed the reform implementation efforts. The German Government is ready to provide support if so asked and if possible. We have a big interest in Romania being stable, a country strengthened by modernization and able to play an increasingly more important part in the European process. At a time when the concept of Europe is increasingly more often called into question, we need Romania to be a pro-European force,” Roth said.

Referring to the refugee crisis, the German official said that there was a clear lack of solidarity in Europe over the past few months. He underlined that Germany and Romania did not see eye to eye on all topics related to the crisis, yet the two countries managed to work together.

“Like other EU friends and partners, Romania disagrees with Germany over the establishment of a permanent distribution mechanism. I am here to listen, to exchange opinions and I hope our arguments will convince other EU friends and partners, but some decisions take time to make. Our big problem is that time passes and we have to act now. We need friends and allies with a strong European commitment, like Romania, which does not mean us having to agree on everything. Contradictory talks and visions help us understand the perspective of our partners and develop as a team. When we talk about team, we have to behave like team mates. Solidarity is not a theoretic concept”, the German minister concluded.