Former RO president Ion Iliescu: EU cannot be a scapegoat for our failures
The European Union cannot be a scapegoat “for our failures, for the selfishness and the irresponsibility of some or other political leaders in Bucharest or Brussels,” former president Ion Iliescu said in a post on his blog.
The comments came as Romania took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council on January 1st. A ceremony attended by top EU officials was held in Bucharest last week to mark the moment. Iliescu did not attend the event.
The former president explained that he likes to view the ceremony that took place at the Romanian Athenaeum as a tribute to the simple people, who made the national project of joining the EU possible.
Iliescu argued that Romania should start contributing fully, with ideas and solutions, to the reform of the EU and its progress.
“We should have already defined our profile, as a country, in the European concert. The rotating presidency of the European Council tests our administrative capacity, political vision and solidarity as a nation. We will see what are our strengths and which are our weaknesses. I hope we will finally understand that it is not confrontation but consensus that make things progress in the direction we all want,” Iliescu wrote on his blog.
He rejected the idea that Romania is euro-skeptical and called the country “mature, politically and socially, with a critical approach on reality.” He argued that the country will continue to support the European project “as long as it generates good government, prosperity, and will reduce the development disparities.”
Iliescu said it was impossible to not see local echoes of the crisis that the EU is currently undergoing and urged local politicians to “show responsibility and commitment in serving the public interest and the common good.” “The European Union cannot be a scapegoat for our helplessness, for our failures, for the selfishness and irresponsibility of some or other political leaders, in Bucharest or Brussels,” Iliescu said.
Iliescu also called for solidarity and argued that “populism cannot be defeated with populism, even if it is one of an opposite nature.” “Reforms like the Europe of concentric circles one cannot increase the citizens’ support for Europe. I think that time has come to go back to politics, to cure ourselves of the ‘technocrat’ illusion. Because politics can be controlled democratically by the people, the technocrats cannot; they do not admit their errors and wrong decisions, they do not answer to anyone,” Iliescu wrote.
More recently, Romania had a technocrat PM in 2016, when Dacian Cioloș, a former EU Commissioner for Agriculture, took over after the resignation of Victor Ponta, then a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
The former president also said that the MEP dignity cannot be “a reward for some politicians or their clients but the fulfillment of exemplary political careers, in the service of citizens of the European nations.”
(Photo: Agência Brasil/Wikipedia)