DIPLOMACY

Consular section of Embassy in London second most called by Romanians

The consular section of Romania’s embassy in London is second in terms of calls by Romanians abroad, next only to the one in Chisinau, Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Consular Relations Directorate head Radu Florea told Agerpres.

Asked whether Romanians had more requests after the 23 June UK European Union membership referendum, Florea answered: “No. There was no influence noted in this context. There has been, over the past years, a permanent uptrend, but it was the due of the inflow of Romanian citizens to the United Kingdom, which has triggered the multiplication and diversification of consular services; but there is no direct influence of this context, which is still uncertain.”

There is usually a summer peak of requests for the consulates, during holidays, when people travel more. Data of the embassy in London show less than 900 applications for passports in January and February, and more than 2,000 in summer months.

In an interview to Agerpes on Friday, Romania’s ambassador to the UK Dan Mihalache had mentioned official statistics showing 170,000 Romanians working in Britain, and unofficial evaluations of more than 400,000 Romanians living there. Some of them came directly from Romania, and some from Spain and Italy, pushed by economic crises there, he said.

Radu Florea met representatives of the Romanian community of the United Kingdom on Friday night, at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, to introduce the www.econsulat.ro online platform. “The system is now operational in more than 50 diplomatic missions and consular offices; the number will soon increase to nearly 100. It will be implemented at the Romanian Embassy in London this autumn,” he announced.

The portal, one of the few of this kind in the EU, offers an integrated system of services. information on getting visas, and scheduling appointments, thus “curbing the bureaucracy and cutting waiting times for Romanians abroad who call our consulates,” said Florea. He admitted, however, that attending the offices is still necessary.

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