Interview with H.E. DIEGO BRASIOLI, the Italian Ambassador in Romania.
You have recently started your mandate here. Which are your first impressions and which are the main objectives of your Ambassadorship?
Right from the beginning of my mandate, Romania has proved itself to be the interesting and culturally rich Country that I expected, and even more so. Italy and Romania have built up in time a deep friendship and extremely tight ties. It is my intention to preserve and push forward this very special relationship and, moving from our common history and the present partnership in the UE, to work for keeping it authentic and strategic, in all relevant sectors. In fact, the Strategic Enhanced Partnership signed in 2008 has already identified the economic, cultural and political sectors as the three pillars of our bilateral relations. These are all fields to which we will continue granting our support and that will be the leitmotiv during my posting as Ambassador of Italy to Romania.
How do you appreciate the present level of the bilateral relations?
As I have already mentioned, Italy and Romania can proudly look at their relations as being excellent under the commercial, cultural, political and social points of view. But if we look at the strong presence of Italian companies in Romania and that of Romanian citizens in Italy, we can understand what makes the bounds between our two Countries so special. I think that this rare, almost unique, feature – together with the already recalled shared history – marks the added value of our bilateral relations.
Which are the main areas in which these relations can further develop?
The level and the strength of the Italian-Romanian relations are satisfying. Nonetheless, our efforts will be addressed to enhancing our ties in all fields of activity.
Under the economic point of view, Romania is a very attractive destination for Italian investors. And I am referring not only to the entrepreneurs arrived in this county in the past years, who still believe that this is the right place to invest into, despite the economic crisis that affected Europe. I am also referring to the new wave of entrepreneurs that have recently chosen Romania, because of its competitive climate, to start new businesses. I can point out two elements that I consider crucial to keep this trend alive and, hopefully, to boost it. The first one is the fact that the added value of this market not only lies on its production-oriented competitiveness, but also on its privileged geographic position. Thanks to it Romania can become a “springboard” especially towards the East. Secondly, it will be important to maintain the economic environment favourable, making sure that the companies can refer to a stable and enduring legislative framework.
Under the cultural point of view, the challenge will be to raise the knowledge of our heritages amongst the general public. For this reason, while still supporting the traditional cultural activities (such as archaeological research, interuniversity exchanges and teaching Italian as a foreign language), we will focus more and more on activities addressed to the younger public, generally more receptive towards foreign cultures. Starting from the recently launched fifth edition of the Italian Festival, we have envisaged a cultural offer aimed at praising and nurturing the young talents. Looking closer to the programme of the Italian Festival 2013, I would like to recall, for example, that the Italian Embassy will offer a price to one of the young opera singers to be awarded in the framework of the Grand Prix de l’Opera, organised by the National Opera of Bucharest in mid-June. Moreover, we have given our patronage to Alexandru Tomescu’s concert in Bucharest, a talented violinist who is widely appreciated also by the younger generations. The Italian excellent culinary tradition – which remains one of the top exporting sectors of our economy – will be also presented to the public in different occasions. In particular, this year we will celebrate the special tastes of the Chianti area around Florence. Finally, we have conceived a more “user-friendly” communication strategy, by launching a website updated with all the events, that I invite you to consult at: www.festivalitalian.ro.
What message do you want to send to the Italian community in Romania, on the occasion of the National Day of Italy?
The Italian National Day is the celebration of our democracy. June 2nd celebration is first of all the remembrance of how Italians have chosen for themselves rules and rights and have laid the foundations of our society. Those rules and rights make Italian population a true collective body, able to overcome times of difficulties as well as to take advantage of prosperous times. This year this anniversary is even more important because Italy is facing a long-lasting economic crisis. Therefore, I wish June the 2nd to be also a time when Italian citizens will have a chance to think back to the past and catch the deep meaning of this celebration, finding in it the pride and hope we need to look at future with confidence.