Foreign Ministry’s priority – to consolidate Romania’s European profile

FM Andrei Marga said yesterday solitary action in foreign policy is counterproductive. PM Victor Ponta cannot miss from European Council, Marga believes.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Marga, yesterday held a press conference to speak on Foreign Ministry (MAE)’s foreign policy objectives: consolidate Romania’s European profile, consolidate economic partnerships, to support Romanian citizens abroad, to promote a new image and Romania’s prestige. “We can say an old aspiration of Romanians’ has been fulfilled: Romania is a member of the EU and NATO and enjoys the best consolidated security. It is in this context that a few more issues need to be dealt with: No matter the circumstances, we must persevere in attracting foreign investment and we need to consolidate cooperation with our neighbors and states in the region where we live” Marga said. He emphasized the fact that our foreign policy should be based on a political consensus, parliamentary endorsement and support of the public. “Solitary action is counterproductive,” the FM further noted. In the same context, Marga criticised the old organisational chart that “was adopted without considering the new necessities” and which “provides insufficient coverage of themes of maximum currency such as energy security or strategic areas”. “Following the drastic and often unthought through cutbacks on positions in 2009 and the years that followed, the embassies and consulates’ operating capacity was diminished down to the limit of the appearance of malfunctions in some places. I have to say there are missions where the ambassador is doorman, secretary and driver,” Marga further said. At the conference, the FM reiterated the fact that Romania’s primordial interest was to be a respected member of New Europe. “At the yearly ambassadors’ meeting we will present a report of Romania’s EU membership and a strategy for the period to come.” The foreign affairs minister also turned the situation of Romanian workers in the EU into an objective, stating that they should have free access to all labour markets in Europe and that he would act in order for it to happen. Speaking on minorities, Marga assured that the change of government was not going to affect Romanian policy in the area of national minorities. Another objective is the development of cooperation with Hungary. “Excessive language and attitudes in the bilateral relations belong in the past,” Marga said in connection with the Kover situation unfolding over the previous few days, adding that the Hungarian parliament Speaker has ‘abusively’ exceeded the tight of an EU citizen to carry on electoral campaign on another country’s territory. At the same time, the FM pointed out he wanted a close cooperation with Germany and France. “We are working on a new platform of cooperation with Germany, along al coordinates. (…) We are working on relaunching francophonie in Romania on a big scale. We will engage in cooperation with the new French administration to continue and enhance French investment in Romania,” Marga concluded. Referring to Romanian foreign policy, presidential adviser Cristian Diaconescu said, yesterday, that President Traian Basescu had not accepted the recalling of the Romanian ambassador from Syria proposed by the foreign minister, adding that the presence of 14,000 Romanian in that country had prevailed.

MAE: Romania does not grant citizenship en masse or based on ethnic criteria to Ukrainian nationals

Romania is not pursuing a policy of awarding citizenship en mass or based on ethnic criteria either in respect of the citizens of Ukraine or the citizens of other countries, MAE notes following statements made by a Kiev diplomat. The Ukrainian official had said relations between Ukraine and Romania had improved over the previous few years, but there were still a few pending disputes such as the one regarding the delivery of Romanian passports to Ukrainian nationals, which, in his view, was an ‘unfriendly gesture’. On another hand, FM Marga stressed Romania does not accept the idea of a Moldavian language, different from the Romanian language.

Marga: It’s very clear that PM Victor Ponta cannot miss from European Council Foreign Affairs Minister Andrei Marga yesterday said it was ‘very clear’ that Prime Minister Victor Ponta ‘could not miss’ from the meetings of the European Council, adding that it was both ‘constitutional and legal’ for him to participate in discussions on budget, jobs or economic growth. He stressed that, under the Constitution, the responsibility for the country’s foreign policy belonged to the three actors – Parliament, Government and President – and, in the previous few years, Romania had not actually had prime ministers, therefore ‘the Presidency expended its intervention over a bigger area’. On the other hand, also yesterday, president adviser Cristian Diaconescu said on TVR Info that Traian Basescu wanted to participate to the European Council, but his lack of reaction was due to the fact that he had not believed it to be either opportune or necessary to engage the local political community in such a debate.


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