Europe will be stronger when Romania joins Schengen 


Opening a This is Europe debate with the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola thanked Romania for its support to Ukraine, and encouraged the people of Romania to vote in June's European elections.

Dear colleagues,

We have the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis with us today.

Dear President, dear Klaus, welcome to the European Parliament. Thank you for accepting our invitation to address this House as part of our “This is Europe” series of debates. 

Seventeen years of European Union membership have been transformative for Romania and for Europe. It has given new impetus for businesses, industry, science and academia. It has brought reforms and social benefits.  It has brought opportunities for people and leveled up communities. 

EU membership has meant protection for people’s rights, for social justice and the rule of law.  And in times of geo-political change, these European values must be defended. 

Dear President, I would like to particularly thank you for your country’s unwavering support for Ukraine and for the Republic of Moldova - particularly now that EU accession negotiations have begun. Thank you to Romania, for always being the champion the people of those nations needed. 

Romania has a special place in my heart.  It is a country that has embraced what it means to be European. At the height of the pandemic, Romanian doctors flew to hospitals in other Member States to help. When we faced devastating natural disasters, Romanian firefighters left their country to run into the flames. In the first days of the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, Romanian families rushed to the border to comfort those fleeing. Mulțumesc pentru tot România!

Mr President, yours is a country that has shown how to overcome challenges, and how to lead. 

Europe is stronger thanks to Romania, thanks to your reinforcement of the EU’s eastern flank. We will be stronger still when you finally take your rightful place in the Schengen area, and join the Eurozone in the future. And you will find this House on your side on that journey.
On 9th June, over 19 million Romanians will be called upon, to choose the 33 Members of the European Parliament elected to represent them. We must work together to make sure people understand why they must vote. Why it is important. Their voice matters for the European Union and Romania’s future and we must keep listening and keep delivering. 

Dear President, Dear Klaus, the floor is yours. 

You can read the President's speech in Romanian here.