Louisa Slavkova, director executiv al think tank-ului Sofia Platform din Bulgaria, Valerio Novembre, Senior Policy Expert la European Securities and Markets Authority (Franța), Olivia Toderean, directorul Direcției Analiză şi Planificare Politică din Ministerul Afacerilor Externe din România, Zoran Nechev, Head of European Integration Programme la Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” din Macedonia de Nord, și Oana Popescu-Zamfir, director și fondator al think tank-ului Centrului GlobalFocus, România, au purtat o pasionantă discuție despre viitorul Uniunii Europene în debutul zilei de miercuri. Printre cei 120 de spectatori, s-a numărat și dl Andrew Noble, ambasadorul Marii Britanii în România.
Olivia Toderean, about EU Summit in Sibiu
„Around Sibiu it was a bit of magic. It was a nice celebration. At the same time, it was, of course, the 5 years Europe Strategic Agenda and Declaration, the Decalogue with Ten Commitments from Sibiu.
Only the time will tell us the Romanian EU presidency left a mark or not. In a way, we kind of overcame our own expectations. As our president, Mr. Johannis, put it, we had a surprising presidency.
I guess all the EU members which were present in Sibiu hoped for more, but I think they were pleased with what was obtained. The same happened 2 years before, at the Rome meeting. Expectations need to be managed. A little step forward is still a step forward.”
Valerio Novembre, about a potential crisis in Europe
„There will always be a next crisis. We should be able to response to it. A lot has been done in Europe in the last 10 years, since the last crisis. Many mechanisms were set-up to enable better response to a potential crisis. They regard the banking system, the financial market and other areas.
We have to be able to respond with one one voice rather than with 28 voices. When you compare Europe with US or China, you ask yourself who is going to react quickly from the European side when the need emerges. I don’t know the answer.”
Louisa Slavkova, on the legitimacy of EU
„People need to see the legitimacy of any project. Otherwise, they won’t support it.
More and more citizens, especially young citizens, see the EU collapsing and war coming in Europe in the next 10 years.
EU is not delivering on its policies. This regards the economic crisis 10 years ago, the emigration crisis and so on.”
Olivia Toderean, on the legitimacy
„The legitimacy crisis might be the paramount crisis of EU. Not the migration crisis, not any financial crisis, but the legitimacy crisis. We should also have projects and policies on legitimacy.”
Louisa Slavkova, on the reasons for migrating from Eastern Europe
„From literature and polling carried out in the last 30 years, we can find out that the quality of governance, the rule of law is a very important cause of the emigration of people from countries like Bulgaria. The other important cause is the fight against corruption.”
„Big round of applause for the people going on the streets in Romania no matter if it was snowing or if there was a heat wave. We, in Bulgaria, envy you. We say <<The Romanians have done it again!>>”
Zoran Nachev, on the North Macedonia perspective on EU:
„In North Macedonia, the expectations are still high. We started the EU integration process few months before Croatia. But, because of the issues with Greece, Croatia is now an EU member, while we haven’t yet started the admission negotiations.
Our agreement with Greece is a model for the whole south-eastern Europe. It was negotiated between Greek and Macedonian country leaders, without any foreign involvement, apart from a discussion with Mrs Merkel. This is a very positive fact for this region of Europe.
There is a general fear within EU that if you talk about enlargement only populists will win.”
Valerio Novembre, on the Euro zone and the single job market
„The governance of the Euro zone is pretty informal. This creates problem.
In a common currency area, certain criteria needs to be fulfilled to create an optimal currency area. This creates, among other, a single job market. However, we are far away from both an optimal currency area and from a single job market.
We need to create shock absorbers to react to a crisis. The question is what are these absorbers and how do we get to an optimal currency area, despite the shock absorbers?
At the same time, we have some concepts deeply rooted in our hearts that prevents us thinking and saying: „Well, I am living in Europe, now I am moving to some other part of Europe, then move to another part of Europe, and then come back to that part of Europe I was born”.
Foto: Daniel Secărescu