“Ties between Romania and Italy are strongly embedded in the past, present and future. The past of the Roman civilisation that expanded to the mouths of the Danube; the present of the multitude of workers, entrepreneurs, students and families who move towards our borders, fuelling our economy, enriching the cultural and artistic life of our cities; the future of two countries strongly committed to the European construction and to the development of the Atlantic community. European integration has seen Italy and other Founding Members lay the foundation of what is nowadays the European Union of 27 member states, and sees Romania today bringing along the freshness of new energy and strong dynamism. In order to face the challenges of the 21st century, Europe needs the continuity of founding states and the creativity of newer members. Always deeply rooted in the European civilisation, Romania has regained its place in our great continental family. Today, we share a commitment to walk this path together.
I was very pleased to receive an invitation for a state visit from President Basescu. His warm-hearted participation at June 2 celebrations on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian Unity stood as testimony of the close feelings connecting our two nations. Feelings that were also proven by the numerous Romanians who have enthusiastically attended the celebrations organised by our Embassy in Bucharest. The presence of an industrious community of Romanian workers in Italy and the extraordinary activity of our entrepreneurs in Romania are two sides of the same coin.
Hundreds of thousands of Italians and Romanians share between the two countries the dimension of labour and family ties: feeling at home in Turin just like in Bucharest, in Rome like in Timisoara.
The tradition of Latin roots, vigorously alive in both our languages, was reborn in our countries’ national unification processes in 1859 and 1861, respectively. Our European and Atlantic affiliation infuses us with the new life of common values and interests. Italian governments have constantly supported Romania’s European course and we have backed NATO and EU accession aspirations, even when the Euro-Atlantic finishing line seemed difficult and remote. Italy is happy with Bucharest’s subsequent success in the few years since accession, despite all obstacles. And now, we encourage Bucharest on the path to other strategic objectives, such as accession to the Schengen Area, adoption of the Euro and the settlement of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism in justice and internal affairs. We are confident that these objectives can be easily reached by Romania; of course, they require strong and constant commitment from Romanian institutions and civil society that, I am sure, will not be absent.
Even at these difficult moments of the economic crisis, the Romanians are fond of their European Union membership. As early as last month, a debate at the highest level was resumed in Bucharest, a debate on the need to re-launch the European federative process so as to efficiently face the challenges of globalisation. EU membership is characterised by the will to integrate in common institutions and by the vision of a shared sovereignty aimed at achieving goals that no single state could achieve by itself. A more integrated Union will furthermore strengthen the bond of profound solidarity and fraternity that has already been uniting our peoples for ages. Italian-Romanian cooperation within the European and Atlantic space can actively contribute not only to mutual prosperity and security, but also to governing the complex, contradictory and compelling contemporary international realities.”