The Maastricht criteria are currently not met by any member of the EU, while the Lisbon Agenda was well developed up to a point, but without providing an answer to the economic crisis, Romanian President Traian Basescu said during a conference on "Romania and the Europe 2020 strategy", organized by the office of the European Commission in Romania and the Group of Applied Economics on Friday. The conference was attended by President Basescu, European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos, EC office to Romania head Nicolae Idu, ministers, other top officials and business representatives.

What Traian Basescu said:

  • It is pleasant we started to have EU commissioners and former commissioners, we're starting to earn a history within the Union
  • It would not be bad for Romania to have the courage to ask itself: how competitive can we be in the future if we remain within the parameters of social Europe. I look to tough competition between major global actors and I ask myself - are we capable in a social Europe to remain competitive against economies such as the US or China?
  • I hope the EU 2020 agenda is one of the answers to that questions and provide a better ending than the Lisbon Agenda
  • The crisis situation eroded most of the Lisbon Agenda objectives especially in the area of employment
  • The Maastricht criteria - we find that all states are not meeting them. The Lisbon Agenda was well developed up to a point but without an answer to the economic crisis. Its conclusion is what we see today: the level of unemployment has reached that of when the Agenda was launched, the fall of industrial production, lower GDP.
  • Up until now, many politicians were blaming the European Commission. Now it's hard for them to find excuses for failing to reach Agenda objectives
  • the Europe 2020 strategy is a useful instrument to accomplish necessary reforms. the Strategy may provide better prospects for the EU economy
  • We need a new framework to strengthen European competitiveness
  • Romania supports political options on consolidation of economic integration. Romania gives special importance to free movement of labor
  • Cohesion Policy is the most important EU tool to implement the Strategy
  • Without domestic cohesion one cannot be competitive - this is a Romanian appeal to accelerate the process to recover differences between old and new EU member states
  • On the funding of the strategy implementation, this would be done through common instruments but mainly from national funds. The strategy targets cannot necessarily become the pillars of the future financial perspective. This post-2013 financial strategy cannot be prejudiced by the 2020 strategy
  • We do not agree with a redistribution of cohesion funds to achieve the EU 2020 strategy
  • The stability pact must be strengthened. The case of Greece shows us we must strengthen coordination policy
  • Romania has already started to apply key objectives at national level
  • Romania decided to create a high level working group
  • The values of the national targets for the Strategy will be adopted on April 29 so that on May 3 Romania's delegation hold talks with the EC to establish the national objectives
  • We cannot meet the target to provide 3% of the GDP for research and development and would have to establish what is the most accomplishable target at national level

EC Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos:

  • From Romania's perspectives talks have been focusing for several years on the reform of institutions and certain sectors, which falls well within the EU 2020 strategy. A better emphasis may be put on how Romania, by applying reforms, is in fact contributing to the European build.
  • Romania would have to further consider the resources of Romanian agriculture that can be used for value. How agriculture is reformed would have an important impact at a social level