Juncker set for showdown with harsh EU critic
The President of the Romanian Senate served up burning criticism of the EU over the weekend, claiming European Commissioner Dacian Cioloş was just a toady of Brussels.
His claims of sucking up came after former Romanian Prime Minister Mr Cioloş suggested his country could have done more to meet the requirements for its failed attempt to join the Schengen visa-free travel zone.
Mr Popescu-Tăriceanu said: “Perhaps some of these politicians act in the belief that it is better to be a slave to a generous master than to stand on their own feet.”
He added Mr Cioloş should “defend Romania’s interests, not the Lords of Brussels”.
Perhaps some of these politicians act in the belief that it is better to be a slave to a generous master than to stand on their own feet.
The Senate President went on to argue EU decisions are taken after “hard negotiations”, during which each member state should act “vigorously” to protect their own interests.
During his outburst, he added politicians are attempting to “sell an illusion” to Romanians that they should “behave” in a certain way to “get what we deserve, even if that means we keep our mouths shut when rights are freedoms are violated”.
Romania became an official member of the EU in 2007, almost 50 years after the creating of the European Economic Community.
The country’s hurdle-filled road to integration lasted 14 years, after signing the Association Agreement in 1993.
Despite being the first former Communist nation to sign the agreement, negotiations between the Romanian government and the European Commission were only initiated in February 2000, marking the end of a decade of lost opportunities for the nation.
Thousands turned out for an anti-corruption march in Bucharest
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The EU’s promises of accelerated convergence after integration fell short of expectations, and within two years, the country was hit with major tax rises along with salary cuts, and the government was left to cope with huge budget deficit.
However the first decade of Romania’s EU membership has seen faster modernisation and socio-economic development in the country, and a stark improvement in citizens’ quality of life.