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April 17, 2021

Romania-Spain, a special relationship: King Felipe VI and Premier Mariano Rajoy extend warm welcome to President Iohannis

Scorching heat in Madrid: when President Iohannis arrived in the capital of Spain for his first official visit, on Sunday evening at 7.30 p.m. local time, temperatures were above 40 degrees Celsius.

But the heat that continued on Monday too was also felt in the warm welcome that His Highness King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy extended to the Romanian Head of State at the Zarzuela Palace and Moncloa Palace respectively.

The welcome extended by the King of Spain, the talks with Premier Rajoy and the joint press conference were followed by the official lunch offered by the Spanish Head of State to the Romanian President and his wife. On this occasion, the two Heads of State gave official speeches that were broadcast live by Spanish television. This was the first official contact between Romania’s President and the Spanish Sovereign, who has been proclaimed King on June 19, 2014.

The common conclusion of all statements made was that Romanian-Spanish relations are very good and on an upward trend, the recent period being marked by the two heads of government upgrading the bilateral relationship to strategic partnership level in July 2013.

This time too, the conclusion, as clear as possible, has been that there are no disagreements between the two countries and that the political-diplomatic dialogue has intensified in recent years, featuring visits at the level of foreign ministers and heads of government, culminating with the Romanian President’s current visit to Madrid.

From an economic standpoint, Spain represents one of Romania’s important partners, being the 8th-biggest investor.

Bilateral trade totalled EUR 2.991 bln at the end of last year. Last year Romanian exports grew 15.45 per cent year-on-year, while imports from Spain grew by 16.23 per cent year-on-year.

Both the King and the Prime Minister outlined the special role played by the Romanian community in Spain, which is closing in on the 1 million persons mark, and which has brought significant contribution to the Spanish economy’s dynamism, a fact worthy of recognition, as the King stated in his speech.


PM Rajoy hails the significant contribution to the Spanish economy’s dynamism brought by the Romanian community


Referring to the role played by the Romanian community in Spain in the development of the Spanish and Romanian economies and of the two societies, Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy stated: “We are talking about an example of integration in Europe, as clear and as successful as possible, which shows the Spanish society’s diversity, tolerance and openness of views.”

“There is a very big dynamism in our trade too, which reached over EUR 2,740,000 in 2014. (…) Our companies, in their turn, are taking part in different infrastructure modernization projects in Romania, taking advantage of the fact that Romania is currently the main recipient of European aid. Another example of this good relationship is the interest shown in Romania for the Spanish language: it is a constant fact that is reflected in the interest shown for the Cervantes Institute in Bucharest, which this year celebrates 20 years since its establishment. 13,000 Romanian students are currently studying Spanish as their second language, which shows, emphasizes the considerable interest generated by the Spanish language abroad,” Premier Rajoy added during a joint press statement with Romania’s President at the end of the official talks.

At the same time, the Spanish Head of Government emphasized another absolutely important link between the two countries, their common European status. “Spain and Romania are two active members committed to the European project, to the defence of the Union’s substantial values and principles, solidarity, social and regional economic cohesion, the free movement of people but also of responsibility and fulfilment of commitments in order to project an image of confidence, of seriousness, both within and without the European Union,” he pointed out.


Iohannis: Particularly friendly and fruitful talks with His Majesty King Felipe VI and with Premier Rajoy


In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis emphasized that the talks he had with His Majesty King Felipe VI and with Premier Rajoy were particularly friendly and fruitful. “We tackled many issues: our bilateral relations, collaboration within the European Union, within the North Atlantic Alliance and several current foreign policy issues. We obviously talked about the presence of an important Romanian community in Spain. I also want to use this opportunity in order to reiterate our thanks for the openness with which our citizens are welcomed and integrated in Spanish society,” Iohannis pointed out.

“Along with the Head of Government, we noted with satisfaction the remarkable development that bilateral relations registered in recent years, from a political and economic standpoint. As is known, relations between Romania and Spain entered a new stage in 2013, that of Strategic Partnership. During today’s meetings we discussed concrete ways in which we could fully use the opportunities offered by this Partnership. I want to emphasize that economic and commercial relations occupy a continuously rising place in our bilateral relationship as a whole. It is noteworthy that bilateral trade doubled in the last 10 years, 6 of which were crisis years. At the end of 2014 bilateral trade reached a record level and Spanish investments in Romania surpassed EUR 1.3 bln. There is however room for even more. That is why in our talks we outlined that we want the presence of Spanish investors in Romania to be as wider, diversified and long-term as possible. We encourage Spanish companies to make direct investments in sectors such as energy, industry and agriculture. Of course, they are welcomed in all sectors,” President Iohannis stated. He concluded by saying that all premises exist for the two countries to move on to another level in their bilateral relationship.

The first day of the official visit to Madrid ended with the Romanian President meeting the representatives of the Romanian community, a meeting that was ongoing at the time this edition went to print.


President Klaus Iohannis optimistic about finding a reasonable solution to the issue concerning the Romanian-Spanish dual citizenship


He addressed the topic at his meeting with Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy that took place in Madrid on the occasion of his ongoing visit to the Kingdom of Spain.

“This is something that is important for many Romanians and you must know that we did tackle this subject at our meeting. There is no simple solution. As you know, the Spanish law is very clear in respect to the dual citizenship matter: when it can be granted and when not. And even if things are not that simple for us, we are still open and optimistic about finding a reasonable solution to this problem,” said Iohannis, after his meeting with the Spanish head of the Executive, Mariano Rajoy.

In his turn, the head of the Spanish Government specified that Spain is open in respect to this matter and he underscored that dual citizenship “is a European citizenship, which includes us all.”


” There cannot be a Europe divided between euro and non-euro countries”


President Klaus Iohannis on Monday said that there cannot be a Europe divided between the euro and non-euro countries, pointing out that Romania counts on Spain’s support for accession to the Schengen Area.

“Our states share the same option for a united and solidary Europe, a Europe for the citizens. There cannot be a Europe divided between the north and the south, between the euro and the non-euro countries. Together we are more powerful. Romania counts on Spain’s support for completing its European integration by joining the Schengen Area and, when the context is favourable, the Eurozone,” Iohannis said, at the official lunch extended by King Felipe VI and his wife, Queen Letizia.

He underscored that Spain enjoys appreciation among Romanians.

“Beyond the geographic distance, the Romanians affinity to your country comes from the similarities of language, culture and civilisation, the historic evolutions and the shared common values. Right after the Revolution of 1989, Spain supported, starting from its own experience on the path of democracy, Romania’s accession to NATO and the EU, and the Romanian people gratefully received this support. I want to hail the contributions of His Majesty King Juan Carlos I to the development of the bilateral relation and the closeness between us,” Iohannis said.

He thanked for the openness with which Romanians are welcome to this country. “Today, the relation between us has strengthened foundations. I am referring to the Romanian community in Spain. The approximately one million Romanian citizens who live, study and work here contribute to the development of Spain,” the head of state also said, according to Agerpres.








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