Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean said on Monday he took steps during a meeting with visiting Belgian Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders for Belgium to keep backing Romania’s Schengen Area entry bid. He added at a joint news conference with Didier that he had ‘thanked for the constant stand taken by the Belgian government on this matter’.
‘I voiced Romania’s interest for an increasingly substantial presence of the Belgian companies in the Romanian market, also aimed to capitalise on a favourable economic context existing in Romania, amid consolidated growth in the last years, which is also confirmed this year’, the minister said, quoted by Agerpres.
The Romanian top diplomat added he and his Belgian counterpart discussed several important European files. ‘I actively and positively lobbied for Belgium to continue the procedure for the ratification of these agreements in our region, that has been started by Romania and we count on the Belgian government’s support for Brussels to ratify these association agreements’, Corlatean said in referring to the EU Association Agreements of the Republic of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.
The Belgian minister stressed the relations between his country and Romania are very strong and span over nearly two centuries and he spoke of the economic cooperation of the two states. ‘Our presence is visible on a commercial level in particular, but we are present here in other sectors as well and we plan to step up such presence’, he said. Reynders underscored that amid the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, it should be pondered over the EU capability to act when certain developments emerge in its immediate neighbourhood, but also over the wish to integrate new members and strengthen the partnership.
‘In our capacity as Europeans we must be solid allies for our American allies. And as for the integration of new members and partnerships, Belgium has always expressed in favour of steps made in this direction, but on the basis of the own merit of these future partners, on the basis of the reforms they make. We are very open to new members,’ the Belgian official stressed.
Speaker Zgonea welcomes Belgium’s Deputy PM Reynders
Speaker of Romania’s Chamber of Deputies Valeriu Zgonea on Tuesday welcomed Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders to review the latest developments in the bilateral relationship between Romania and Belgium and its prospects. In a press release issued by the Chamber of Deputies, Zgonea is quoted as saying the high quality and consistency of bilateral cooperation have to be found in higher dynamics of investment and commercial exchanges between the two countries. ‘Parliamentary diplomacy is an instrument that we can use to make the market opportunities of Romania known to Belgian investors. Over the last year, Romania has become an important player in South-Eastern Europe and it can represent a bridgehead for Belgian companies involved in exportations to the markets in this part of Europe,’ said Zgonea. He also underscored the need for future capitalisation on privileged ties in cultural, educational, agricultural, tourist and banking cooperation. Zgonea also said democratic Europe should get mobilised for united action to halt the proliferation of populist movements promoted by Euro-sceptical parties. ‘We must do our best to keep the European design cohesive and defend aloud the values and principles making up the essence of the European Union, such as free movement,’ said Zgonea.