The Romanian-German relationship is very good, starting at the top-most political level and going to economic relations which are getting better and better, said President Klaus Iohannis, on Monday, at the Cotroceni Palace.
“For us it’s a great joy that you’ve visited, after, Mr. Federal President, I had a visit that I classified as very good some months ago when I was in Berlin. I believe that today we have the occasion to discuss about more things that join us, about things we have in common and about the opportunities that we have in the Romanian-German relationship, a relationship that is very good, starting at the top-most political level and going to the economic relations that are getting better and better, and I am very glad that, in this sense, we will address businessmen jointly,” said Klaus Iohannis at the beginning of talks with German counterpart Joachim Gauck, who is on a two-day state visit to Romania.
Relationship with Germany is privileged and of strategic importance
President Klaus Iohannis has stated that for Romania the relationship with Germany is a privileged one and one of strategic importance.
“For Romania, the relationship with Germany is a privileged one and one of strategic importance. It is based on a long history, both states being partners and allies within the European Union and within NATO. (…) The discussions with President Gauck have given opportunity to the reaffirming of the excellent state of Romanian-German bilateral relations from the perspective of political dialogue, economic and sectorial cooperation. (…) I have emphasized the importance that we grant to this cooperation and this relationship,” said President iohannis in a press conference held jointly with his German counterpart Joachim Gauck.
The Romanian head of state added that he assured President Gauck of the fact that Romania “remains committed to the European project and grants particular importance to bilateral cooperation for the promotion of common interests at the level of the European Union.”
“The current challenges that we are facing necessitate the identification of a responsible and solidary response,” added Iohannis.
The Romanian President underlined that for many years Germany has been Romania’s top commercial partner and the third largest investor in our country, while the potential for development is still high.
“I have shown in discussions that Romania’s position at the top of member-states in what regards the level of economic growth and the constant consolidation of the level of trust of the investment milieu, in regards to opportunities offered by the Romanian market, are elements that make Romania a very attractive objective for German investors. Furthermore, in order to stimulate investments in Romania, I will participate together with Mr. President on Wednesday in an economic event with representatives of relevant German companies,” Iohannis stated.
He showed that he has also approached the topic of a close Romanian-German collaboration for the promotion of the interests of persons belonging to the German minority in Romania, from a cultural and educational point of view.
“I am glad to note the particular appreciation of the President, of Germany, regarding the Romanian interethnic and intercultural model. We have convened to consolidate our cooperation in some concrete projects that would aim, for example, to restore the fortified churches in Transylvania which represent the patrimony of the Saxons, but, at the same time, our joint European patrimony,” said Iohannis.
The head of the Romanian state mentioned that he assured President Gauck of Romania’s solidary position in regards to the efforts of managing the effects of the migratory crisis, but also the efforts to combat the underlying causes. “We are in favor of a joint European response, and the solidarity of our country is manifested concretely by the fact that Romania is the second-largest contributor to Frontex, after Germany,” said Iohannis.
The Romanian President said that another topic approached related to the situation in the Republic of Moldova.
“Maintaining its stability and its European path, on the basis of consistent reforms, is our priority and we believe this objective should be of the entire Union,” said Iohannis.
Klaus Iohannis also pointed out the fact that during official talks, a topic discussed was that of the NATO summit in Warsaw, which must convey a strong message of solidarity, unity and cohesion in the current international context.
“I reiterated, in this context, the known position held by Romania regarding the balanced and proportional strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank, including its southern dimension, given the security developments in the Black Sea area,” Iohannis also stated.
German President Gauck: Germany is Romania’s number one commercial partner; we need viable legal framework
Germany is Romania’s number one commercial partner and German investors need framework conditions that are legal, viable, so that Romanians benefit from continuous development, said German President Joachim Gauck on Monday at the Cotroceni Palace. Gauck also stated that the judiciary is able to offer solutions to existing problems.
“Germany is the number one commercial partner of Romania. Over 8000 companies with German capital operate here in Romania and are trying to guarantee entrepreneurial success. In order to successfully benefit from existing potential and in order to offer Romanian citizens the developments that they need and the evolution that they need, beyond entrepreneurial spirit, (…) we need framework conditions that are legal, and viable. (…) Here I am at a subject which we will watch for developments closely. It is with great pleasure that I note you are supporting these reforms. That the Government does it, and that, especially in combating corruption, the judiciary has important achievements. The judiciary is able to offer solutions to existing problems. I would like to underline particularly the activity of the DNA [National Anticorruption Directorate] which shows signals not only to the economic area, to the business milieu, but also to the political area. It is one of the main pillars of the reform process. We are calculating that there is conflict in society and we wish to consolidate the activity, for example, of the DNA, as a third power in the state,” said the German President in a joint press conference with Romanian head of state Klaus Iohannis.
Joachim Gauck added that for Germany “it is a very important signal the one we are receiving from the Romanian state, as well as Romanian society, that of fidelity to Europe, especially in this difficult period.”
“Some Europeans wonder what is, in fact, the value of European unity and the EU? It is important for all of us to declare ourselves supporters of the EU,” said Gauck.
The German President showed that the two states have a joint experience, both in what regards dictatorship, as well as rebuilding democracy.
“In all these processed we were partners, the Federal Government allied itself with Romania when Romania wished to accede to the European Union,” said the German President.
President Iohannis: We will continue anticorruption fight unabated, it is vital for Romania
Romanian state authorities will continue anticorruption fight, as “this fight is vital for Romania”, said President Klaus Iohannis.
“The fight against corruption is extremely difficult and complicated for Romania. It is a fight that is going on not only in the judiciary, but I hope will go on in the plane of mentalities. It is only that the judiciary can work relatively faster than mentalities can change. It is very complicated for Romanian society to follow why some stages of the fight against corruption happen the way they do, but these matters are not reasons for hesitation. We will continue unabated the fight against corruption, because this fight is vital for Romania,” said Klaus Iohannis in a joint press conference with German President Joachim Gauck.
The Romanian head of state added that “only a political class that has reformed can be the guarantor for a healthy democratic development and a healthy economy in Romania.”
“I am convinced that there is wide support from Romanian voters for the anticorruption fight and in this sense, surely, we will see results in the electoral plane,” added Iohannis, mentioning the election of several people to local elected positions in the local elections of this year.
German President Gauck: Germany’s position is that we desire firm respect for Minsk Agreements
German President Joachim Gauck stated that, according to the positions already expressed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany “still firmly” desire that the Minsk Agreements be respected.
“Germany’s position, as I understood from the Chancellor and the Foreign Minister, is that we still firmly desire that the Minsk Agreements be respected. This is why there is no reason for major concern. If we read the texts of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs you will understand that it is not about distancing ourselves from those stipulated in previously concluded agreements. The German party is, in its turn, the one that, together with its partners, fought for the existence and conclusion of these Minsk Agreements. When at first we didn’t succeed, we picked up the effort and behold, we have managed to conclude this Agreement. It is about a conflict that seems hardly solved,” said the German President on Monday in a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, when asked about the maintaining of economic sanctions imposed on Russia.
Gauck added that “we need to make small, but visible steps”.
“We must think what these steps are. They are not, however, steps that deny in any measure those stipulated in Minsk. We have somehow fallen in this ingrate situation of explaining the positions of the German Government, yet I have done nothing but present what I, in turn, read in the press. So, I can only explain this matter as I see it, without divulging a state secret. Think of what I was saying earlier. Germany isn’t running away. Germany is on a path that would lead to participation in drawing up a solution. This is what is important to be known. We mustn’t wish necessarily to keep some things that were stipulated in one way or another,” said the German President.
The European Union should gradually eliminate sanctions imposed on Russia following the Ukrainian crisis if substantial progress is made in the peace process, said on Sunday the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Reuters reports.
He added that “an all-or-nothing approach, even though it sounds good, doesn’t work”.
President Iohannis: Warsaw Summit needs decisions that define NATO in the future
The NATO summit in Warsaw should transmit a powerful message of solidarity, unity and cohesion in the current international context, said President Klaus Iohannis, on Monday, at the Cotroceni Palace. The head of state stated that in the Warsaw Summit “NATO will have to make decisions that, on one hand, are very clear, and on the other, there is a need for decisions that will define NATO in the future.”
“Firstly, let me tell you we do not feel left alone, on the contrary, we feel very well supported by our NATO allies. I will not comment on those said by Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier, he will clarify this position and, surely, German diplomats will take the clarifying message forward. However, it is obvious that in the Warsaw Summit, NATO will have to make decisions that, on one hand, are very clear, and on the other, there is a need for decisions that will define NATO in the future. Surely, it is important, and I have emphasized this every time, that we, those in the eastern flank, expect from our allies to be considered equal allies, for the whole eastern flank to be considered important to NATO and a balanced approach and consolidation of the eastern flank exist. Obviously that we do not want this to the detriment of the southern flank, but we wish for two principles that NATO is using more and more lately in its explanations. One is the basic principle of NATO – 28 for 28 – and the other is the principle of 360-degree defence, meaning that the whole spectrum of possible threats is granted importance, said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in a press conference with his counterpart Joachim Gauck, when asked about the recent statements made by the German Foreign Minister regarding NATO’s eastern flank.
In his turn, the German President Joachim Gauck stated that he is anxiously waiting for the decisions of the NATO Warsaw Summit and that together with the partners in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe a joint decision will be made at the end of the reunion.
“The Summit will take place in Warsaw, I am anxiously awaiting the decisions. Sometimes German diplomacy, when it comes to Eastern Europe, is seen with critical eyes because it tries to open and maintain open the doors of dialogue with Russia. It is not about defeatism or escapism, meaning we do not want to run from our responsibility. We all know where the challenges come from. This is why I am firmly convinced that together with the partners in Eastern, Central and Southeastern Europe a joint decision will be made at the end of the reunion,”said Gauck.
The German President added that “nobody, not in the south, nor in the east, should have doubts regarding the capacity and functioning of the NATO alliance.”