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The rule of law does not trade. Tusk and Juncker admonish Bucharest

(B2) During the inauguration ceremony of the Romanian presidency in Bucharest, the main European officials, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, made a point of making a very firm reminder of values ​​and the rule of law. A warning aimed at Bucharest, but beyond that, at certain governments tempted to ignore certain rules

From left to right, during the opening ceremony: Viorica Dăncilă (Romanian Prime Minister), Donald Tusk (European Council), Klaus Iohannis (President of the Romanian Republic), Jean-Claude Juncker (European Commission), Patriarch Daniel ( Romanian Orthodox Church) (credit: Romanian Presidency)

La Rhapsody romanian

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, first used all the images to celebrate the assumption of office of the Romanian presidency. “ I am sure you will play your own 'Romanian Rhapsody' with energy and wisdom said Donald Tusk, referring to the piece by the Romanian composer George Enescu (1). " I will help you as much as possible."

Playing outside the rules is an admission of weakness

But above all, he issued a very clear appeal to those who would be tempted to cross the red lines, as a warning: “ To those in the European Union who might think that playing outside the agreed rules or [cutting back on values] means strength, I say: you are wrong. It means weakness. To those who work hard to defend European values, our freedoms and our rights, I say: keep fighting. » (2) A message that can be addressed to the Romanian government, but also to its Hungarian, Italian or Polish counterparts.

No compromise on the rule of law and the fight against corruption

Donald Tusk launched more precisely an “appeal to all Romanians” to “ defend at home and in Europe the foundations of our political civilization — freedom, integrity, truth in public life, the rule of law and the Constitution (3). The President of the European Commission was equally firm “ The European Union is made of compromises, but when it comes to human rights, when it comes to the rule of law, when it comes to the fight against corruption, it there is no compromise possible added the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde, in Bucharest)


We are ready, wise and responsible, no doubt...

We can note the notable absence of one person in the speeches given: Liviu Dragnea, current president of the Chamber of Deputies, preferred to call in sick. It was the vice-president of the House, former Minister of Justice, forced to resign who stuck to it.

« My country deserves to be respected as a reliable partner » said Florian Iordache, in an address where the word 'sovereignty' came up multiple times. “ [Our] political majority will demonstrate balance, wisdom and responsibility, so that the natural political conflicts that take place during an election year do not affect the mandate of the Romanian Presidency in the Council of the European Union. […] I hope that the same approach will be adopted by other political forces.»

A form of very clear response to the somewhat harsh sentence of Jean-Claude Juncker who in the German daily Die Welt at the end of the year let his doubts filter through: “ I think the government in Bucharest has not yet fully understood what it means to preside over EU countries. Prudent action requires a willingness to listen to others and a strong desire to leave one's own concerns behind. I have doubts. »


Download the discourse by Donald Tusk – the discourse by Jean-Claude Juncker – the discourse by Florian Iordache

  1. And no to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody… 🙂
  2. To those in the European Union who might think that playing outside the agreed rules and cutting corners means strength, I say: you are wrong. It means weakness. To those working hard to defend European values, our freedoms and rights, I say: keep fighting.
  3. I would like to appeal to all Romanians, to defend, at home and in Europe, the foundations of our political civilization – freedom, integrity, the truth in public life, the rule of law and the constitution.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).