2017 was marked by an event of major economic and political importance, which shaped the sphere of international relations: 10 years since Romania joined the European Union. The official representation of the European Commission in Romania organized together with the National Bank of Romania the event “10 years Since Romania’s Accession in the European Union, From Cohesion to Convergence” held at the Romanian National Bank headquarters, in Bucharest on 26 October 2017. I was invited by Ms Andreea Paul (president of the INACO think-thank and former Romanian MP) at the event that brought together outstanding representatives of the national and international political environment. It has been a pleasure and an honor to discuss the future of Romania in the European Union with the intellectual and political elites of the country!
The event debuted with speeches held by the President of Romania, Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis, the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Mr Günther Oettinger, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, Mr Mugur Isărescu and Ms Angela Cristea, head of the official representation of the European Commission in Romania. Moreover, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, the Vice-President of the European Commission, closed the event by addressing the role of currencies in European Union’s future.
Romania perambulated a period of fast-paced modernization and socio-economic development, improving the quality of life of Romanian citizens while capitalizing the integration in the European Single Market. The integration experience reveals the prerequisites for a more efficient capitalization of the benefits of the EU membership while preparing a strong convergence to the euro currency.
President Iohannis declared that “the objective of joining the euro area as quickly as possible is an essential step, an anchor for the so much needed stability and predictability of Romania’s economy”. On the other hand, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania optimistically said that Romania would adopt a serious and healthy euro changeover program that would be a catalyst for positive reforms. Mr Traian Basescu, the former president of Romania, said that “Romania has the obligation, when it meets the criteria, to launch the transition towards the euro currency.”
Romania’s accession to the European Union has presented both negative and positive sides. Although the risk of social exclusion has diminished and access to European finance has considerably increased, there are still imbalances and inconsistencies in both the economic and political fields. Romania has great potential not only from a territorial point of view but also because of its creative and innovative population. Romania has a unique chance to advance and reinvent itself within the European Union.