Italian Foreign Minister in Bucharest: Romania will support Italy’s priorities for the EU Presidency
After a meeting with Federica Mogherini, the Italian Foreign Affairs Minister, held yesterday in Bucharest, Romanian diplomatic leader Titus Corlatean announced that Romania would “offer the Italian Presidency considerable political support in pursuing its priorities, especially considering there are issues in which both countries have a vested interest – economic growth and job creation in the EU, particularly where youths are concerned.”
Furthermore, Corlatean took the opportunity to thank his Italian counterpart for agreeing that a Romanian diplomat be part of the EU Italian Presidency team in the latter half of 2014. “I wish to thank Mrs. Minister for her open-mindedness and agreeing that a diplomat from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs be deployed to work for the Italian Presidency. We believe this will benefit both parties,” the Romanian official stated, according to Mediafax.
Discussions with Mrs. Mogherini were “extremely substantial and amicable,” Corlatean added, while reinforcing the privileged nature of Romanian – Italian relations and bringing up Italy’s position as the second largest trading partner of Romania in 2013, when economic exchanges touched EUR 11.8 billion.
The Romanian diplomat expressed gratitude “for Italy’s constant support of Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen accession process and its fair CVM assessment of Romania’s constant progress in recent years.”
In turn, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini acknowledged the “substantial contribution to the country’s social and economic life” of the Romanian community in Italy. Mogherini also said she hopes Romania will soon be accepted in the Schengen Area.
At the end of a meeting on Wednesday in Bucharest with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, Chairman of Romania’s Senate Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said he wants Romania to win Italy’s support for its accession to the Schengen Area in 2014.
“I took the liberty of discussing a sensitive issue, namely accession to the Schengen Area. Romania has met all the technical criteria entailed by the accession, but, unfortunately, some countries have followed the approach of blaming the EU for all their economic and social difficulties, turning the EU in a scapegoat, allowing Schengen area accession to be tied to a false problem, such as migration. That led to a slowdown in the accession to the Schengen Area and we now want to win Italy’s support for Romania’s accession to occur this year,” Tariceanu said at Parliament Palace, according to Agerpres. He mentioned that Italy will hold the second half-year rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In turn, Mogherini underscored the excellent Romanian-Italian bilateral relations, adding that Romanians make up an important community to Italy.
“As far as accession to the Schengen Area is concerned, I reaffirmed Italy’s support for Romania to this end. We have to give thought to migration coming from outside the Schengen Area. Most of the persons that are currently coming to Italy do not come from Europe, but rather from Africa. We are sharing the same European vision, knowing that we now have to focus on economic growth and securing new jobs,” she said.
Mogherini added that Italy is open to the EU’s enlargement to include the Western Balkans. “We are also sharing in the satisfaction over Moldova having managed to sign a visa agreement with the EU. We are also satisfied that in one month’s time, Moldova will conclude an association agreement with the EU,” she said, adding that Italy sees in Romania a fundamental partner and friend inside the EU.