Analyst Radu Magdin: Different speeds in Europe not merely theory

Analyst Radu Magdin: Different speeds in Europe not merely theory

Political analyst Radu Magdin considers that accepting a Europe with different speeds is not merely “a purely theoretical matter”, and Romania should be aware of its interest and take position on the subject, even if it seems “harmless”.

“Why is this Europe with two speeds relevant? Because, even though theoretically it seems like a harmless subject, (…) in fact the philosophy of the European Union is fundamentally changed. Romania mustn’t necessarily think selfishly, but it should be aware of its interest and take position accordingly. Our interest is to maintain some basic rules in the European Union and certain principles which, regardless of the ‘stress’ put on the European Union, should not be shaken. There are two, from our point of view — the principle of solidarity and the principle cohesion. The basic concept of the EU was to develop harmoniously together, whereas when you take as a given the idea of two speeds (…) at that moment, you are breaking, de facto, with the basic principles,” said Magdin on the occasion of the launching of a report by think-tank Strategikon.

He showed that, in 2019, when Romania will hold the presidency of the EU Council, the debates for the next budgetary exercise will take place. Magdin explained that at the last budgetary exercise of note was the reduction in allotment for certain domains, such as agriculture, fact that disadvantages Romania.

“More and more there is a break with the area considered of the past — funds for agriculture — or the area considered to regard solidarity — cohesion funds — and the trend is, more and more, for the area considered to be of the future — technology, energy infrastructure and not only that. Whereas our interest lie more in our areas of need, such as agricultural funds, regional and cohesion funds. So accepting a Europe with different speeds is not a purely theoretical matter in which Romania should do as it usually does in European affairs — support consensus, align with consensus,” the analyst showed.

In that context, Magdin claimed that the stakeholders in Bucharest should be clearly aware of what a two-speed Europe means and then take a decision regarding future actions.

“Any trendy European matter in which a member-state has no clear position or does not issue an opinion, even indirectly, is a missed opportunity because in essence you are aligning yourself with the arguments of others. We could really do good in the coming period by cultivating some personal friendships at the level of Romanian leaders abroad. These personal friendships counted a lot for other states in Eastern Europe. (…) We have had along the line certain relations that developed in this sense. At the moment we can do it, but the level of political class should be aware that it should take certain steps, more ambitious than our relatively limited internal agenda,” Radu Magdin also said. More…