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By H.E. François Saint-PaulAmbassador of France in Romania
The French national Day in Romania has always been more than the celebration of the French principles and values. It is a celebration of the trusting and substantive relations between our two countries, deeply rooted in our history and cultural closeness and oriented towards our common European future. Together, our two countries are tackling many challenges in the European Union: balanced, sustainable and inclusive development, competitiveness, battle against poverty and social exclusion – all this while entering in the new era: with the renewed European institutions, within the new financial frame, with the great opportunities offered by the new generation of structural founds.
Together, we are endeavouring to strengthen the European idea in a constantly shifting and doubting world, when the euroscepticism is progressing. It was for me a great moment, only a few weeks after my arrival in Romania, to witness the trust that Romanians have in Europe that all the studies and figures showed during the European elections. This confidence in Europe, in its democratic values, will be celebrated on the 14 of July, on the Bastille Day, along with our Romanian friends and the dynamic and growing French community. Indeed, French companies keep on investing in Romania. The stock of the French direct investments amounts to 8.5% of the total foreign direct investments. And the flow has grown by 1.5% in 2013 and has never stopped to grow even since the tough economic times of the crisis. Our trade exchanges have increased by 31% last year, impressing figure. The pace of our cultural, scientific, military cooperation has also significantly quickened. After the participation of the French army in the parade on the occasion of the Romanian national Day last December, a squad of the Romanian Army will parade under the Arch of Triumph in Paris at the traditional parade held on the Champs-Elysees Avenue on July 14. We shall remain ambitious and exigent for this rich Franco-Romanian relationship. Long live France! Long live Romania! Long live the friendship between France and Romania!