On the occasion of the National Day of the Italian Republic I wish to extend my deepest congratulations and warmest wishes to the Italian people, on my behalf and of the Government of Romania.
Romania and Italy share an excellent bilateral relation, reflected in the Consolidated Strategic Partnership and in the frequency of the high level contacts.
2014 is a special year for our bilateral cooperation – we celebrate 135 years of diplomatic relations and partnership with the Italian Republic. We have a long and rich tradition of cooperation in a variety of issues, both bilaterally and on the EU agenda. In the future, we intend to further maintain the intense pace of our dialogue in the political, economical, cultural and social areas.
We value of the key role played by the Romanian community living in Italy, as well as of the importance of the Italian companies investing in Romania. We believe that communities are bridges between cultures and countries, and therefore, we intend to capitalize on this high potential, in the following period, through an even closer bilateral cooperation.
At the same time, we share a dynamic relation in the economic field. The positive economic evolution benefiting both our countries creates strong preconditions for enhancing the current upward trend of direct investments. Italy continued to be, in 2013 one of the major economic partners of Romania, ranking second in terms of bilateral trade. In this regard, the bilateral economic exchanges have registered once again a growth in 2013, totaling more than 11 billion euro.
Furthermore, in less than one month, the Italian Republic will take over the Presidency of the EU Council. For Romania, it will represent a great opportunity to further enhance cooperation at bilateral level, as well as at European level. In this regard, the excellent relations between our two countries will be fully capitalized upon, in order to advance the European agenda. We welcome the Italian Presidency’s priorities concerning the economic growth and job creation. These two issues, along with regional stability and R. Moldova’s European path, are topics of priority interest for Romania in the following period, and therefore, during the forthcoming Italian Presidency of the EU Council.
Nowadays, the European project is facing numerous challenges, both internally and externally, and it goes through a crucial period, in which our fundamental values that have been hardly acquired should be protected and strengthened. In this context, we have to do our best to keep the cohesion of the European construction and to show ourselves united, in order to regain the confidence of our citizens and to be able to act as one.
Given the instability in the EU Eastern Neighborhood, the North Atlantic Alliance holds an important role in the whole international context. From this perspective, we have to work together and to consolidate our partnership in order to ensure a lasting peace and to provide security of the region, but also of the entire Black Sea area.
As partners and allies within the EU and NATO, we strongly believe that our bilateral partnership can become a pillar of stability, and therefore, play a major role on the European and international level.