Calin Popescu Tariceanu is a former Prime Minister who served in office from 2004 to 2008. During his mandate, Romania joined the European Union on January 1st, 2007. He was also the leader of the Romanian National Liberal Party – PNL.
The Romanians remember his mandate, and some even recollect those years when Romania started to grow economically by an unprecedented annual rate of +8%.
His political expertise is recognized, so his opinion still counts in politics and society. His last post on Facebook, 15 years after Romania joined the EU, was the subject of a vivid debate.
After acknowledging the benefits for Romania of joining the European Union, among which he mentions the freedom of traveling and the improvement of the living conditions, Tariceanu expresses his regrets.
Romania’s current leaders don’t understand that the European Union is a community of equal states. Each one contributes to the common good but doesn’t forget to defend and promote its interests. Through their deplorable behavior, they make Romania treated as a second-rate country. I strongly urge them to represent and protect Romania’s interests.Former Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu on Facebook
Is Romania a second-rate country?
Opinion polls show that Romanians are not happy with the way things go in the country. Also, Romanians witnessed their country being humiliated by the European institutions, including the European Commission. Romania is seen mainly as a corrupt state, with corrupted politicians and lazy people, but the current leaders do little to defend the country. Not all politicians are corrupt, not all people are lazy, and exceptions shouldn’t define the European people, may it be the Romanians.
Most of the time, the European institutions’ orders are obeyed to the letter by the Romanian Government. On top of that, whoever dares to criticize the European Union is seen as pro-Russian. It’s enough for many to lower their voice. It’s enough for many to be discouraged from expressing their freedom of speech.
This has become even stronger during the last two years. Those who opposed compulsory vaccination, as the EU ordered, were labeled as anti-vaxxers and, of course, pro-Russian. Mass-media entities fighting the idea that people would lose their freedoms were censored, fined with tens of thousands of Euros, and ridiculed with the help of the pro-European press.
Behind the carefully written political speeches of the country’s leaders, there is a fracture in Romanian society. Romanians label each other, and everyone’s guilty in the country: you are guilty if you utter anti-vaccination opinions. You are also culpable if you speak against the European Union. The people lived this situation 32 years ago when the communist regime censored any views against the then leaders. Those times are back once again.
Many Romanians think the same – the current leaders are too obedient, and all they do is execute the orders from Bruxelles. Nationalism is rising in Romania, with the nationalist party AUR reaching an unbelievable 17% in the last opinion polls. This is why we believe the country is heading in a very different direction from what it was running on January 1st, 2007, 15 years ago.
Romanians want their leaders to defend the country’s interests in Brussels, and the current situation is far off this goal. Romania seems like a country begging for its rights instead of diplomatically acting like an equal state in the Union. The other solution is for the European Union to change the very definition of the word ‘ Union’. This will solve everything.