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March 27, 2023

FM discusses EU monitoring with Dutch counterpart, MPs

Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu was on a working visit to The Netherlands on Thursday, at the invitation of his Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen. Talks focused on Romania’s progress under the European Commission’s Mechanism of Cooperation and Verification, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry. Diaconescu’s visit came a day later than scheduled, as the minister was initially intended to travel to The Hague on Wednesday but decided to cancel his visit in the wake of a critical document made public by the Dutch Foreign Ministry. The document criticised both Romania and Bulgaria for not doing enough to combat corruption.

After discussing the matter on the phone with his counterpart, Diaconescu decided to go to The Netherlands on Thursday, when the Dutch Parliament’s foreign affairs committee was set to decide the country’s stance on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Romania. In the context, Diaconescu had meetings with both Verhagen and the minister for European affairs, Frans Timmermans, as well as members of the European affairs committee, the press release from the Foreign Ministry said.

On the occasion, the minister presented the progress made by Romania in the fields under EU monitoring, the release added, underlining that The Netherlands has always offered a very consistent bilateral assistance to Romania for justice reform and the fight against corruption.

During talks on governmental and parliamentary level, officials agreed that Romanian-Dutch cooperation will continue so as to strengthen the Union’s eastern border in the prospect of Romania’s joining the Schengen area. Both sides agreed to continue cooperation on legal matters as regards the National Magistracy Institute, the release said.

Other issues discussed by Diaconescu and Verhagen included cooperation in Afghanistan and the development of a European project to support the Roma, according to the same document.

From The Hague, Diaconescu traveled to Stockholm, where he attended an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers on Friday and Saturday. The meeting was headed by the Swedish minister of foreign affairs, Carl Bildt and was attended by EU secretary Javier Solana, European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. The session focused on the EU’s enlargement process, the Mideast peace process, EU involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan and other issues, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The foreign minister will today leave for China, on an official visit at the invitation of his counterpart Yang Jiechi, to discuss bilateral cooperation on several levels. The visit ends on Thursday.

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