Citizens need to feel the benefits of the EU in their everyday lives, says Premier of Romania

Citizens across the EU need to feel the benefits of the Union in their everyday lives and this is why it is important to strengthen the cooperation between the local administrations and the EU institutions, Prime Minister of Romania, Vasilica Viorica Dancila has said. Dancila delivered a speech on Thursday, during the opening session of the 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities held in Bucharest.

The Prime Minister said that we need to focus on cohesion that will allow us to have safety, prosperity, stability and generally better lives. The EU’s agenda on development is facing challenges, she said, adding that we must stick together and show solidarity. It is hard to gain trust and we can lose it in a moment, she added, thus unity is needed.

She said that the Romanian Presidency wishes to have an open and constructive dialogue with the Committee of Regions (CoR) because it is the body that represents citizens and their needs.

She added that millions of people benefit from the EU policies and among them is cohesion adding that we must enhance participation in the decision making process and make sure that these benefits are felt by the people.

The Prime Minister said that we need to be more active and offer solutions, adding that the more we are, the more our power grows. She also said that as Europe goes through fundamental changes, we must be able to protect our citizens and their rights and avoid fragmentation. We need an EU where regions and cities are strong, she said.

The President of the CoR Karl-Heinz Lambertz in his speech said that the Committee, ahead of the EU Summit in Sibiu in May, wants to send a message to the EU leaders and let them know that we want to contribute to the EU integration. He also said that cities and regions are also indispensable actors of the world stage when it comes to facing global challenges.

During the opening session the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe in the UN, Olga Algayerova, spoke of the 17 sustainable goals of the UN pointing out that in order to achieve them, we need to work together. When people are engaged, she said, they make cities a better place to live.

Gabriela Firea, the Mayor of Bucharest said that Romania leads the EU at a time when important decisions will shape the future of Europe, and in particular the UK’s expected exit. She spoke of the motto of the Presidency which is cohesion, adding that this has been in the centre of the priorities of CoR.

Source: Cyprus News Agency