Senate Speaker eyes economical, strategic partnerships in US visit

On July 20-30, Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana was on a working visit in the United States of America, holding a series of meetings with leaders of the US Congress, of the US administration and of world financial institutions, but also with members of American academia. Geoana met outstanding members of the US Congress, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Richard Lugar and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services John McCain.

The agenda of the talks held at US Senate level included issues such as strengthening the Parliamentary dimension of the Romanian-American strategic partnership and forming a more comprehensive partnership by expanding it to several key sectors such as science, technology, commerce and IT, the liberalisation of the visa regime for Romanian citizens and Romania’s inclusion in the Visa Waiver system, cooperation on defence issues and on the missile shield system, the global economic and financial crisis and possible solutions to it, Europe’s energy security and the attainment of a better interoperability at transatlantic level. These meetings as well as those held with representatives of the American academia (German Marshall Fund, Center for Strategic and International Studies) touched upon the importance of a new approach in what concerns the stabilisation and development of the Eurasian region from the Black Sea to Central Asia, on the EU’s engagement in the region with US support and on the Nabucco project’s importance energy-wise.

“The Senate Speaker stressed the fact that there is a need for a new joint strategic project between the US and Europe, NATO and EU, for stability and prosperity in Eurasia, a region of great challenges and opportunities where today’s great powers and emergent powers meet and where the Euro-Atlantic community has common interests and values to defend,” a press release carried by Agerpres news agency reads.

Geoana also held a series of meetings with the representatives of international financial institutions – Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the IMF, and Philippe Le Houerou, World Bank Vice President for Central Europe and Asia. The talks tackled issues concerning good governance, transparency and efficiency in public spending, the Romanian economy’s recovery by tapping into European funds and by making public investments in infrastructure projects that have a swift multiplying effect in the economy and the resumption of crediting against a backdrop of fiscal and budgetary discipline.

Moreover, according to the release, Geoana talked with the two officials about the need to find an optimal balance between deficit reduction measures and economic recovery and job creation by adopting more efficient measures to draw European funds, by earmarking significant state budget funds for infrastructure projects and by simplifying administrative procedures in order to create an attractive business environment for foreign investors.

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