Addressing the 11th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit in Ulan Bator – Mongolia, Premier Dacian Ciolos spoke about Romania’s role in Europe – Asia interconnection projects, informs a government release on Saturday.
Debates at the Summit focused on the subject “20 Years of ASEM: A Partnership for the Future through Connectivity”, with the participants assessing the progress made since the last meeting and outlining the directions of cooperation in the next decade.
Premier Dacian Ciolos had an intervention on promoting partnership within ASEM for enhanced connectivity, presenting arguments in favor of Romania’s turning into a hub for Europe and Asia interconnection projects, beginning with cargo infrastructure, energy, communications, inter-human and cultural relationships. The Premier highlighted the advantages of Romania’s geographical position and the connection provided by the Danube.
Danube strategy, an example for micro-regional cooperation within EU
The Danube Strategy is an example for micro-regional cooperation inside the European Union, Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulan Bator.
“Romania’s offer for the hard connectivity related projects is based on two assets, with the first one being offered by the obvious advantage of Romania’s geographical position, at the border of the Black Sea, ensuring the connection with Asia, and having also the Danube River and Danube Delta connected with the Black Sea. The second one relates to the regional framework offered by the Danube Strategy, which is an example of macro-regional cooperation within the European Union. Romania and Austria initiated this strategy with the primary aim of transforming the Danube in a relevant instrument of cooperation that is enhancing the use of the largest European river as a means of transport, cultural exchange, tourism, spreading sustainable economic development and connectivity between people,” Ciolos said.
In his speech to the summit, Ciolos said connectivity is currently one of the priority areas of cooperation.
“Connectivity has become one of the priority areas of our cooperation. Never before in the history of humankind has connectivity been a more complex reality. It has an increasing impact on all our societies and on all possible fields of human activities. In our view, a clear, comprehensive definition of this reality should be a dynamic and flexible one,” said Ciolos.
He added that people are currently opting for full connectivity. “In all our endeavors, the ultimate players and beneficiaries are the people of our countries.’
Ciolos also mentioned the importance of facilitating access to education and traveling for young people. “I would also like to put emphasis on the importance to facilitate youth exchange, to facilitate access to study and to travel for the young people,” he said.
Equally important, said Ciolos, is virtual connectivity, which offers endless opportunities in various areas.
“Over 40 percent of the world population use the Internet, with our regions, Europe and Asia being among the most plugged in areas. We support further extension of using the actually endless opportunities the cyberspace offers to the learning process, e-governance, business and trade. At the same time, we strongly advocate the full observance of the basic principle of freedom of information,” said Ciolos.
In his speech, the Romanian prime minister also mentioned the need for “the proliferation of cooperation formats that are meant to bridge the well-known gaps of the physical infrastructure in and among many of our countries.”
Ciolos started his speech to the ASEM Summit in French, condemning the recent truck attack in the French city of Nice and conveying condolences to the French people, while voicing Romania’s full solidarity with France.
Ciolos promotes Romania’s initiative for the establishment of an international court against crimes of terrorism
At the retreat session of the delegation heads devoted to discussing the main topics on the international agenda, and mainly measures to combat terrorism, Premier Ciolos promoted Romania’s initiative for the establishment of an international court against crimes of terrorism, informs the government release.
At the same time, Prime Minister Ciolos argued the need for ASEM’s working methods to be updated so as to better respond to the current broader format, and the need to pursue tangible achievements.
On Saturday morning the Premier also attended an informal meeting for the European heads of state and government present at the summit to take a coordinated stance on the situation in Turkey. Following the meeting the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini issued on behalf of the EU member states present at the ASEM Summit a joint statement on the situation in Turkey.
Accompanying Premier Dacian Ciolos at the ASEM Summit were Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu, State advisor Calin Ungur, Secretary of State Florin Tacu (the Prime Minister’s Chancellery), Secretary of State with the Ministry of Economy Manuel Costescu and government spokesman Liviu Iolu.
ASEM was established in 1996 as an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the 28 European Union member states, 2 other European countries, and the European Union with 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. Every two years, ASEM heads of state and government, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet at a summit to set ASEM’s priorities. These summits are held alternatively in Asia and Europe. The previous summit was organised in Milan, Italy in 2014, and next one will take place in Brussels in 2018.
Ciolos-Massimov bilateral meeting on the margins of ASEM Summit
On the sidelines of the Summit, the head of the Romanian government had a series of bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Poland, with the President of the Swiss Confederation and the President of the European Commission.
Ciolos also had informal talks with the President of the European Council and the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Malta, Russia, the Vice-President of India, with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the ASEAN Secretary-General.
“The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Romania Dacian Ciolos on the margins of ASEM Summit in Mongolia. They discussed opportunities for growth and expansion of mutual trade and investment, as well as coordination of joint efforts in the framework of the UN, OSCE and other international organizations,” reads a Facebook post of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Romania.
According to sources that took part in the summit in Ulan Bator, quoted by Agerpres, the Rompetrol topic was mentioned by the Kazakh Premier, Premier Ciolos assuring him that the judiciary is independent and a rapid court ruling is in the interests of both sides.