Romaniaâs president Traian Basescu and PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu received devastating messages regarding Romaniaâs chances to accede on January 1, 2007, when they visited Brussels, at the European Council of 23/24 March.
However, judging by the messages these officials and the minister of foreign affairs Mihai Ungureanu kept sending Romanians, one can assess that either they have no understanding of what the EU is about, or that they resort to blatant lies to anesthetize the citizens.
Furthermore, their political discourse is endangering the political relations Romania built with Europe over hundreds of years.
A few samples of the mind-boggling statements these officials made over time look like this:
When France was about to reject the European Constitution, Ungureanu had this to say, as recorded in a press-release of 30 May 2005: "the date of Romaniaâs accession was not to be influenced by the vote on the European Constitution." But he changed his mind on 8 June 2005 when he told the public radio that "there were no voices opposing Romaniaâs integration per-se, but the enlargement as a whole might be halted."
Well, how about that! Was not he stating eight days before that our accession schedule would not be upset by the vote on the EU Constitution?
On 2 September 2005, after the informal meeting of the foreign affairs ministers in Newport, the same Ungureanu appeased our worries regarding the chances for Romania to have its accession treaty ratified or not with these words quoted by the Mediafax news wire:
"I count on an avalanche of ratifications to follow in the next five or six months in EU member states in the Mediterranean zone, in central Europe, and in Western Europe."
We are now seven months later from Ungureanuâs statement and only 13 of the 25 member states ratified the EU-Romania accession treaty, with the main two European engines, that is France and Germany, still not completing the process.
Ungureanu looks disappointed now, according to the EU Observer of 21 March 2006: "I would be happier with a more speedy process of ratification, in France, for instance," he said. Well, was not France among those countries bound to embark on an avalanche of ratifications?
According to Franceâs minister of foreign affairs Michel Barnier statement of 21 April 2005, Romania did more than rise one or two eye-brows in Paris with its new-found unilateralism towards the United States, which embarrasses even the US when Basescu voices it. Barnier said: "I really have a hard time understanding these words, which I found pretty aggressive towards France!" Barnier said.
Susanne Kastner, vice-president of the German Bundestag and a great friend of Romania, almost implored our authorities to send a "clear, pro-European message," adding "this was particularly valid for president Basescu!" according to a Deutsche Welle Radio report of 1 December 2005.
Romania lacks the political support of both France and Germany for its EU accession on schedule, on 1 January 2007. And rightly so!
Both countries now make a positive conclusion of the EU Commission Romania country-report to be issued on 16 May 2006 a precondition for their ratification procedures.
According to the wording in the treaty Romaniaâs non-compliance with the accession requirements may postpone the accession date with one year. There is no sentence there stating that Romaniaâs non-compliance may lead to a non-ratification of the treaty by a member state, true.
But there was no need for that as that was one of the prerogatives the EU member states still hold.
So, no matter the wording of the treaty, France, Germany and any other state will not ratify the EU-Romania accession treaty if they so wish. That will automatically postpone Romaniaâs accession.
But this logical conclusion eludes president Basescu, who told French channel TV 5, on 18 November 2005, that: "1 January 2007 is one dead-line neither the Romanian government nor the people are ready to accept!"
How about that?!
After Tariceanuâs meeting with the enlargement EU Commissioner Oli Rehn in Brussels, on 23 March 2006, the official press-release stated that: "(...) the decision to extend the EU to include Romania and Bulgaria was already taken. The only thing to settle is the accession date." Well, how about that?! Was not the accession date set on 1 January 2007?
And the press-release further states that: "The country report may recommend a postponement of the accession date but having no such statement made explicitly would mean that all the requirements in view of the accession had been met."
Now, really! This would mean that Romania may infer from the fact that no recommendation to the contrary is made in the May country-report that has fulfilled its obligations? So, Romania infers about its compliance, has no other inside knowledge of its own doings in the matter...
Wow! The sheer stupidity of the politically illiterate...
The European Council in June needs a recommendation from the EU Commission regarding Romaniaâs accession on 1 January 2007, in order to decide on the matter, as it did in the case
of all new member states to the EU.
Does Tariceanu not know this?
Apparently not, since in another official statement originating from his office on 23 March 2006, we read that "if the report states no accession date, then this means the 1 January 2007 dead-line will be enforced."
How does Tariceanu know this? This may very well not happen if France and Germany do not ratify the treaty.
Tariceanuâs communiquÃ© also stated that "The PM showed the red-flagged issues concerning the agriculture and the veterinary sector may be solved by year-end, and that some safe-guard measures may be enforced for certain sectors of the economy, which is not the same with raising a safe-guard clause against Romaniaâs accession as a whole."
How many times should I stay in amazement at this kind of candid statements?!
Does Tariceanu not know that red-flags are a de-facto postponement decision for our accession?
As Franceâs foreign affairs minister Philippe Douste-Blazy stated on 11 March 2006:
"Romania will join the EU only if the Commission will draft a positive report; or else it will wait," Douste-Blazy said.
So, if France needs a positive May country report in order to ratify the treaty, and the country report will raise some red-flags, when could possibly ratify France the accession treaty for Romania to make the 1 January 2007 dead-line? On the night between 31 December and 1 January?
Basescu has his own candid remarks on 24 March 2006: "Romaniaâs problems are not bound to prompt the red-flags warnings to be issued; at least in the case of fighting corruption there are strong signals the red-flag might turn into a yellow one!"
This is what the president knows? That EU accession is made possible by yellow flags and no political support from France and Germany? Then why is he planning a visit to Paris, right after the EU Commission report in May will be issued, as a press-release of 24 March said?
What else might I add? God and Douste-Blazy willing Romania will join to the EU on schedule that is on January 1, 2007!
Let us see only yellow flags waved towards us, and that only to sanction the stupidity of our leadership!
Translated by Anca Paduraru