Romanian President Klaus Iohannis welcomed Norwegian Parliament President Olemic Thommessen at the presidential Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday, with the Norwegian official saying he appreciates the manner in which Romania manages the minorities’ issue and also underscoring such experience “can be useful to Europe”, the Presidential Administration said in a release.
Iohannis and Thommessen voiced satisfaction at the evolution of the Romanian-Norwegian relations and the “very good” cooperation both at a bilateral level and in NATO, the source added.
“The president of Romania thanked for the substantial support offered by Norway by means of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The Norwegian official, in turn, praised the way that the Romanian side is using these funds”, the President’s Office said.
The Romanian leader and the Norwegian Parliament head swapped views of the topical issues on the European Union agenda, the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood in particular.
Storting President Olemic Thommessen says Norway fully supports Romania’s efforts to develop and consolidate its democracy.
In a speech in the plenum of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament on Monday, Thommessen declared: “Just like Norway, Romania has a rich history of constitutional development, where the Parliament played a crucial role in forming the nation. Since the 1831 Organic Regulation and the union of the [Romanian] principalities in 1859 and the 1866 Constitution, the Parliament has been the key player in collecting the will and wish of the Romanian people to be united and live within the same political body. Since then, the pendulum of democratic development oscillated back and forth, since the dark days of dictatorship until today, in present-day Romania, which is a key player in the European Union. What you achieved in just two decades took a much longer time in other countries. I am aware you did not yet overcome all the challenges facing a society that undergoes such transformation; but, just like the whole European community, I applaud your progress. Norway wholeheartedly supports your efforts to further develop and consolidate your democracy.”
“In too many former Soviet republics, and even in several other countries in Eastern Europe, the democratic development that began 25 years ago apparently stopped, or more worryingly – regressed under the pressure of internal or external threats. Romania has to play a crucial role here – not only your democratic and economic progress serves as an inspiration, but your direct knowledge and experience can be instrumental in promoting the democracy in the region and beyond,” the Storting President said.
After his speech, Thommessen has been awarded by Speaker Valeriu Zgonea the Collar of the Chamber of Deputies, the highest distinction of this body of the Romanian Parliament, Agerpres informs.