French and Romanian prime ministers participated on Thursday at the inauguration of the Anna de Noailles French High School in Bucharest, on Friday testing the electric car at Titu Technical Centre. They also celebrated France National Day at reception hosted by the Embassy of France in Bucharest.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, in a joint interview with PM Victor Ponta on the national television channel TVR1 that his country would try and convince its partners concerning the issue of Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, at the same time, speaking of the freedom of movement at the air borders, in a first stage.
“We have already discussed this matter with Prime Minister Victor Ponta during his visit in April, Romania’s aim. We proposed a several stage procedure for Romania. We plan the granting of the freedom of movement at the air borders. We shall try and convince our partners, but unanimity is needed, I hope we manage to convince them. When President Basescu spoke of the fight against crime – I believe the people in Romania are very aware of it – it concerns the security at the Union borders. There are requirements that each state must observe and I know that the Romanian Government works to protect these borders and provides the means needed for this purpose, including partnerships, with us, also. We, Europeans, must protect ourselves from crime, trafficking. Schengen is made to protect the European citizens,” the French Prime Minister pointed out on Thursday evening on the national television channel TVR1.
During the same interview, he also pointed out that Romania, one of Europe’s biggest countries, is about to get a formidable boost, adding that the bilateral relation between France and Romania has been insufficiently cultivated over the past years.
“We have here a language that has the same origins, the same culture and they are sharing the same values. I believe there is a period in which France did not cultivate enough its relationship with Romania, but things are now about to change. My Government is determined. This is the reason why I am seeing Prime Minister Victor Ponta again officially very shortly, in just some months’ time. In the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe, Romania is the recipient of half of France’s external trade. So France is present in Romania more so than in other countries. There are very many projects in Romania. The country is about to get a formidable boost. Romania is one of Europe’s biggest countries and we have to acknowledge all that it is building,” Ayrault added.
He said that during talks at the European Council meetings, the two countries have mutually supported their position on various matters of agricultural policy, the freedom of movement for persons, security and justice. As far as the expectations from Romania of French investors are concerned, Ayrault mentioned that the investors generally request stable taxation and regulations, mentioning that France itself is concerned with simplifying administrative procedures.
In his turn, PM Ponta stated at TVR 1 that Romania and France will have an identical stance on the eastern partnership, especially the Republic of Moldova, adding that Paris and Bucharest had an excellent partnership in foreign policy.
PM Ponta: I’ve always thought of France as of an older brother
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a ceremony devoted to the National Day of France on Friday that Romania had learned very much from France’s experience and that he was thinking of France ‘as of an older brother’.
“It is a great honour to me to be here, today, by the side of the French Premier to celebrate the National Day of France, because I have always thought of France as of an older brother, as the closest country to Romania. Now, after a visit of only two days (paid by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Romania – editor’s note), we may speak not only of a strategic partnership, but we may speak of friendship, fraternity, common projects and a common future for France and Romania,” Ponta told a reception hosted by the French Embassy.
He underscored Romania had assimilated from France’s experience very much and voiced hope that the differences between the two states were narrowing.
In his turn, Ayrault said Romania and France are equal partners inside the European Union and conveyed to Bucharest a message of trust and friendship, pleading for strengthened economic and cultural relations.
The French Prime Minister also said that Romania and France are indeed facing a Roma issue, as they migrate in high numbers to the Hexagon, but the relations between the two countries cannot be confined to this.
The previous evening, at the inauguration ceremony at the Anna de Noailles French High School in Bucharest, Ayrault said that Romania is the most Francophone country in Europe.
PMs Ponta, Ayrault tested electric car at Titu Technical Centre
Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault on Friday tested a Renault ZOE electric car at the Titu-based Renault Technical Centre (photo).
Behind the wheel was Ayrault, with Ponta stating later that he felt comfortably as a co-pilot because he trusted the pilot. “I have enjoyed it enormously and I am glad the French prime minister is testing the new Renault electric car her in Romania, at Titu. To me and the staff here this is big pride,” said Ponta
The two officials toured the centre, in charge with testing the automobiles designed by the Renault design offices in Bucharest and elsewhere in the world.