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Juncker: I want European Council in Sibiu, because I want to show EU is not just Brussels


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday he wanted a summit of EU leaders in central Sibiu because he wanted to show leaders that the Union is not just Brussels.

Ever since September 2007, I wanted to have the European Council in Sibiu, because I wanted to show that the European Union is not just Brussels (...). I'm not alone in Brussels, if I were alone in Brussels, things would be better, but I'm not alone in Brussels, Juncker said.

He added that all the countries and national parliaments are part of Brussels. At the same time, the head of the European Commission also mentioned a personal detail about Sibiu.

I wanted to show the rest of the Europeans that not only Brussels, Bucharest, Berlin exist. The European reality is here in towns and villages, but the real reason is that I have never been to Sibiu, but I always wanted to visit Sibiu, ever since I have been a premier, he confessed.

He spoke with President Klaus Iohannis at a debate about the future of Europe, dedicated to young people.

Asked by one of the participants why they were not invited to the informal summit on Thursday, Juncker replied: It is difficult to invite you all because there are already too many members coming to the Summit - 28 Member States ... tomorrow, 27 because the British will not be there.

Juncker made a subtle reference to Brexit, confessing, during an address, that everybody understands English, but no one understands England.

The head of the European Commission also spoke about the European Parliament election and urged people to vote. In this respect, he said that in order to vote properly, every citizen must ask himself the question: If everyone votes as I do, what kind of European Union will we have?

The informal EU Summit in Sibiu will remain a remarkable moment in the history of the European project, President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday, at a debate where the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, was also present. The debate ends the works of a forum dedicated to the young in the EU - "Let's Shape the Future of Europe Together!," organised in Sibiu by the European Commission. Participating in the event were approximately 300 young Europeans.

"I strongly believe that the Sibiu Summit will go down as a remarkable moment in the history of the European project, as a symbolic moment of unity and commitment in the name of Europe," said the head of the state, in the beginning of the event.

He underscored that the Summit Romania is hosting in Sibiu on Thursday will have to offer "a clear vision" for the future "unity" of the European Union.

"It is essential we confirm on this occasion that we still have a common vision," said the President.

The Summit in Sibiu shows that Romanians can count on Europe, it shows that their vote matters and this event must be seen not as a one time event, but it must be seen in a larger context, including that of the election to the European Parliament, President Klaus Iohannis also stated on Wednesday.

The summit is important for it will prove Romanians that Romania does matter in Europe, that Romanians’ vote does count not only in Romania, but also in Europe,” Klaus Iohannis added.

He further pointed out that the campaign for the EP elections, for the referendum does matter as well, contradicting “certain politicians that claim that the European elections and the referendum don’t count too much”.

On the contrary, they do matter. Romanians have the chance to express their option, we are in a complicated period for Europe and for Romania, too, we are after two years and a half of failed PSD ruling. The Social Democrats have talked about highways, hospitals, kindergartens, they achieved nothing, they have just attacked the rule of law, the independence of justice, they managed to show Romania’s ugly face to Europe, it’s a pity for Romanians have worked hard,” the head of state added.
The conference took place on the sidelines of the informal summit of the European Union heads of state and government. Among the attendees of the event there were Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas and mayor of Sibiu Astrid Fodor.