President Iohannis to “Smart Diaspora 2020+” conference: I hope parties will introduce postal voting bill by session-end, I am closely following the issue

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President Klaus Iohannis is expecting the political parties to introduce postal voting by the end of the current session, saying that he is closely following the issue.

“Ever since the beginning of the year, after consultations here at Cotroceni Palace, the political parties pledged to introduce postal voting. I hope that by the end of the current parliamentary session they will honour their promise, and I can assure you that I am following the issue very closely,” Iohannis told a conference called “Smart Diaspora 2020+: How to capitalise on the strategic potential of the Romanian Diaspora,” organised at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He pointed out that securing conditions for the exercise of the right to vote of the Romanian Diaspora is essential given that many Romanians choose to stay abroad.

“The second question is what we are doing for the Romanians who choose to stay abroad; how to represent them and secure their right; how to keep them connected, involved and interested in the country; how to support them to preserve their identity. Given the context, securing the conditions for the exercise of the right to vote of the Romanian Diaspora is essential,” said Iohannis.

He also said that arguments have to be found for overseas Romanians to return home.

“This is a larger debate about the power of the citizens in a democracy and the Diaspora as a strong and respected interlocutor of the Romanian state and the political class. Strengthening democratic mechanisms, encouraging political participation and competition will be added arguments for their coming home,” said Iohannis.


Recognition of school diplomas, a solution for Romanians overseas to return home

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday said that recognition of school diplomas and qualifications is a solution that would make overseas Romanians want to return to Romania.

“Given that yesterday I came up with the idea of wide consultations over education, I believe one of the problems that can be quickly solved, if there is a will, regards the recognition of diplomas and equivalence of qualifications, namely optimising the mechanisms involved in the process. Some thousands of young people leave to study abroad each year, and the experience they could bring back home after graduation and sometimes after working abroad is valuable,” Iohannis told a conference called “Smart Diaspora 2020+: How to capitalise on the strategic potential of the Romanian Diaspora,” organised at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He added that the young Romanians studying abroad are an example for professionalism and seriousness.

The head of state said the Smart Diaspora project is designed to capitalise on the strategic potentials of the highly qualified overseas Romanian young people and attracting them back to Romania.

He added that the state organisations have to cooperate and step in to help children and old people left behind in the country.

He voiced optimism over Romania’s responsibility and capability of finding solutions in the long run so that each citizen may have a successful professional carer in Romania or have an opportunity to stay connected to Romania and being able to return home anytime.

Iohannis underscored that the necessary conditions and climate have to be secured for the reintegration of those who want to return home.

Another question, he said, regards the Romanians who decide to settle abroad, namely how to represent them, how to secure their rights, how to keep them involved and interested in the country, how to support them to preserve their identity. President Iohannis added that postal voting is essential, saying that he is following the issue closely, given that the parties have pledged to introduce a bill on the matter by the end of the ongoing session.

He said a third question regards support and encouragement to the Romanian Diaspora to turn it into a stronger voice of Romania in the world.