Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
“The year 2011 is not just any year in the history of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Kingdom of Spain. This year, we celebrate together 130 years of diplomatic ties, years marked by concrete achievements and results, especially after 1990.
A brief journey in history shows that Hispanic-Romanian interferences and connections date back to the 15th century, when the first direct contacts between the two peoples were established, and have undergone constant development over the centuries.
Even if they are far from each other geographically, the two countries cultivate wide and structured political dialogue. Spain is Romania’s de facto strategic partner with which our country is closely collaborating within the European Union and NATO. Once Romania joined the EU, the privileged relationship between Romania and Spain gained new dimensions, to the benefit of both countries, through joint actions to promote a strong and prosperous Europe. Spain has offered constant and consistent support to Romania in its European Union accession and accession preparation process. Spain’s experience is a valuable source of inspiration for Romania in several fields of activity, including in drawing in and managing European funds.
Economic cooperation between our states is also intensive. Romanian-Spanish trade reached EUR 2.1 bln at the end of 2010, the second consecutive year when the commercial balance favored Romania. In 2010, Spanish investments amounted to EUR 1.1 billion, the ninth position in the chart of foreign investors, with over 4,000 companies with Spanish capital. The value of Spanish investments in Romania increased eight times in the last six years.
We can say that there is an important presence of Spanish companies in the Romanian economy, which, we are confident, will grow and diversify in the future. It serves both countries’ interests to explore the possibilities of diversifying bilateral economic cooperation, given the projects that we are about to conduct in fields such as energy, infrastructure, transport.
Contacts between our countries’ economies were also helped by the hundreds of thousands of Romanians who are working in Spain. Romanians in Spain are one of the most numerous communities of foreign citizens in the Kingdom, they work and live alongside the people of Spain, thus tying their destiny to this country’s future.
Being aware of the importance of immigrants’ integration and their beneficial contribution to national economy, Spain showed openness, capacity to adjust in order to solve the problems out citizens are facing on the Iberian territory. Also, in order to support Romanians living on Spanish territory, the Romanian government opened new Romanian Consulates in Spain, so that the career consular network doubled in 2009, getting to a total of eight such offices.
Undoubtedly the lifting of restrictions on Romanian workers’ free movement, as of January 1, 2009, had positive effects. The openness shown by Spanish authorities to our co-nationals’ wish to be in permanent contact with their country’s values and traditions allowed the implementation of a pilot project of Romanian language, culture and civilization in various schools in Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Guadalajara, the inauguration of Romanian language classes at the Alicante University and helping our nationals have access to their own religion in churches made available by the Spanish authorities.
The Romanian community in Spain is extremely active and has a very important role in the development of bilateral relations because it is well integrated in the Spanish environment, at the same time working to maintain national identity, Romanian traditions, culture and language.”