Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos paid an official visit to Germany on Thursday. He met Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bundesrat President Stanislav Tillich as well as representatives of the local Romanian Diaspora.
The PM was welcomed at the headquarters of the German Federal Chancellery in Berlin by his counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel. Due to adverse weather, the scheduled military ceremony was cancelled.
“Germany is Romania’s top economic partner, with 20 percent of Romania’s trade, over 20 billion Euros per year. (…) We have discussed the priorities of my cabinet for this year, which focus firstly on reforming the administration and making it more efficient, on a vision of long-term economic development and on the maximum possible predictability in terms of legislation, taxes and finances,” the prime minister declared at the joint press conference.
He added that he is going to return to Germany this spring “for a more practical visit in some Laenders” in order to stimulate bilateral economic cooperation.
“I will visit Germany again. There are almost 600,000 Romanians integrated in Germany, creating an extraordinary link between the two countries. Romania’s Government wants to transform the country into an active EU member state – a dialogue as good as possible, better cooperation between the two countries. It is a part of the process of transforming Romania,” Ciolos said.
“We want an extraordinarily good partnership with the EU”
Dacian Ciolos pointed out that our country wants to join Schengen and meets all requirements to do so.
“I want Romania to be an active partner, alongside Germany, in all EU processes, as well as in creating the conditions for joining Schengen. At this moment Romania meets all requirements to join Schengen,” the Premier said at the conference.
“We also talked about migration – in order to even better secure EU borders – because each one will have to fulfil his role. In what concerns foreign policy, we want an extraordinarily good partnership with the EU. We talked about Romania’s still European path alongside the other EU member states. It was a courtesy visit to Germany, there will be others too,” the Premier concluded.
Chancellor Merkel: Enhanced economic relations require further improvement of Romanian judiciary system
Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is waiting for the next Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report of the European Commission on Romania, but she appreciates Romania’s efforts to secure its outer borders to join the Schengen Area.
“We must do everything we can to keep the Schengen system, and of course allow the countries who want to join the Schengen Area to do so, and it is important that Romania has taken many steps to secure its outer borders. There is a context of fight against corruption, and thus we expect to see the next [European] Commission report. We know the topic is on Romania’s agenda, thus I promise that the efforts made will be mirrored by progress on the admission into the Schengen system, which can be gradual,” Merkel asserted.
On the same occasion during his official visit to Berlin, Ciolos revealed that he discussed in detail the Schengen matters with the German chancellor, and he voiced his hope that the CVM report will include the positive evolution in Romania’s anti-corruption efforts over the past years.
“In fighting corruption, Romania has made significant efforts over these past years; they start to be visible in the society, beyond the technical process. The incumbent government is committed to carry on this positive trend in the fight against corruption, and we expect the next Cooperation and Verification Mechanism report of the European Commission to include these positive evolution. Then it would be, I think, the third positive report to confirm this positive trend, and we hope this will impact the decision the member states should make soon about Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area. We don’t just want to join Schengen, we want to join a sound and credible Schengen,” the prime minister stressed.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says German-Romanian economic relations should get a boost this spring, if Romania further improves its judiciary system and fights corruption.
“This spring we will have several activities to boost economic relations. There is a condition, however – and we discussed it [with Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos]: the legal system, the judiciary system must be further improved, and corruption must be fought. There were some considerable successes lately, and Mr. Dacian Ciolos’s government (…) is working vigorously on this task, which is a very important condition,” Chancellor Merkel asserted in a joint press conference with the Romanian prime minister, according to Agerpres.
Ciolos also met representatives of the German-Romanian parliamentary friendship group of the Bundestag, and met Bundesrat President Tillich.
The meeting with Diaspora representatives was scheduled in the evening, at the Romanian Embassy in Berlin.
The agenda of the visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations with Germany and setting common objectives on the European agenda.
The official delegation headed by PM Ciolos included Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu and Head of PM’s Chancellery Dragos Tudorache.
According to a statement released by the Government, the meetings tackled the strengthening of bilateral relations with Germany and looked to set common objectives on the European agenda and discuss topics included on the agenda of the December 2015 European Council meeting, such as migration and the foreign policy of the European Union.
According to data provided by the Government, Germany is Romania’s most important trade partner; one fifth of Romania’s foreign trade being conducted with Germany.
Bilateral trade increased by 8-10 per cent on average during the past 6 years and in 2014 reached the record high of 21.3 billion Euros (Romanian exports amounting to 10.1 billion Euros, while German exports to 11.2 billion Euros, respectively). According to data provided by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) on September 30, 2015, Germany is one of the main investors in the Romanian economy, with approximately 7 billion Euros invested, the source states.