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President Iohannis: In these difficult times, it is particularly important that Europe remains united

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President Klaus Iohannis affirms in a message sent on Tuesday to „The Bucharest Forum – Towards a Common European Platform for Refugee Inclusion” the need for Europe to remain united in the difficult context created by the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, according to Agerpres.

„I strongly believe that, in these difficult times, it is particularly important that Europe remains united while facing such complex challenges. I welcome the initiative of the Romanian Government to organize the Forum in Bucharest, which not only reaffirms, but also reinforces our commitment to support Ukraine. The European Union wants Ukraine to be independent, democratic and European. However, while we continue to support Ukraine on its path to restoring peace, we must admit that we cannot know when this war will end unprovoked will end. Thus, a change of perspective on the support mechanisms for refugees is required, from a temporary approach to a medium and long-term one,” says Iohannis, in the message presented by the state adviser Catalina Galer.

The Romania president emphasizes that, from the first day of this „unfair and illegal” war, Europe has offered an example to the whole world through the humanity and solidarity shown, and Romania was no exception, currently hosting almost 90,000 Ukrainians.

The head if state recalls that Romania launched, at the end of July, the National Plan of Measures for the Protection and Inclusion of Displaced Persons from Ukraine, which addresses multiple specific areas of intervention.

In his opinion, guaranteeing access to public goods and services in a non-discriminatory way is an essential prerequisite, along with the inclusion of refugees in the public health systems, in the education systems and on the labor market, as well as offering housing opportunities.

„All these require legislative changes and huge financial commitments, which must be assumed, together, by the European community,” he says.

The head of state adds that access to a quality and inclusive education for children and young people is a prerequisite for protecting their development.

President Iohannis says that, through the ongoing programs, refugees must be given the chance to develop further and become financially independent, without relying on the support provided by the host countries’ authorities.

The head of state also mentions that the mechanisms to combat undeclared or illegal work must be strengthened, as a preventive measure against the risk of exploitation or human trafficking, considering that many of the displaced persons from Ukraine are vulnerable categories, such as women, children and the elderly.

He emphasizes that all processes and decisions regarding refugees must be transparent and effectively communicated, so that they gain confidence in the authorities of the countries where they take refuge during the war, feeling at the same time protected and safe.

Agerpres

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