Romanian President Traian Basescu joined the other 26 heads of state and government of the EU at a series of ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the European Union in Berlin this weekend. The EU leaders used the occasion to adopt a “Berlin Declaration” setting a 2009 deadline for a new European treaty, following the failure of the first draft Constitution.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering signed the Declaration in a ceremony joined by all EU leaders at the Museum of History in Berlin on Sunday.

On his return to Bucharest, Basescu said on Sunday evening that he supported the Berlin Declaration as a most important document built with the contribution of European states and focused on citizens, not on countries.

He also used the occasion to announced that the next round of EU-wide European elections would be held in May 2009, a date “that cannot be postponed not even through emergency ordinances of national governments”.

He thus referred to Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu’s decision recently to unilaterally postpone Romania’s first EU elections from May 2007 to the second half of the year due to the ongoing political crisis in Bucharest.

The Berlin Declaration focuses on the need of Europe to stay united in its values. It avoids any reference to further waves of enlargement but insists on a common energy policy and on the protection of environment.

Romania’s presence at the Berlin events was based on several exhibitions promoting Sibiu as the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2007 and on several concerts at various spots across the city.