The Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy started Monday in Bucharest with a moment of silence in memory of the Italy earthquake victims.
“Last week in Italy there was a devastating earthquake (…), with some of our fellow nationals among the victims,” stated Foreign Affairs Minister Lazar Comanescu.
He asked those who were present to hold a moment of silence for the victims of this tragedy.
Lazar Comanescu stated that the meeting takes place in an “international context that requires maximum attention and dynamism from the Romanian diplomacy”.
According to him, at this meeting the Romanian diplomatic service has to establish what needs to be done in order to be “more efficient, more action-oriented”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organizes between 29 August and 1 September, the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy, an event dedicated to the Romanian diplomatic and consular corps, that is held every year around 1 September – the Day of Romanian Diplomacy.
Also attending the opening of the event, alongside the heads of Romania’s diplomatic missions, are members of the Government and Parliament, representatives of the Presidential Administration, representatives of foreign diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest, directors of Romanian cultural institutes, representatives of the civil society, academic and business environment.
At this year’s edition of the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy will be present, as special guests of the Foreign Affairs Minister, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and the Foreign and European Affairs Minister of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajeak, representing the semester chairmanship-in-office of the EU Council.
The Romanian diplomacy representatives and the foreign guests will debate themes such as: the developments in the security environment in the integrated perspective of risks and challenges, the dynamic of internal processes in the EU and the best ways to address the problems to be managed in the next period – the future of the European construction, the negotiations regarding the Brexit, terrorism, migration, economic consolidation – , preparing Romania for the first time to take over the Presidency of the EU Council during the first half of 2019 and increasing the role the Romanian missions have to play in developing economic relations, trade exchanges and investment growth.
Also, during the meeting, a special attention will be given to strengthening the capacity for granting professional consular assistance in order to defend the interests and rights of Romanian citizens abroad, as well as logistic arrangements for organizing polling stations for Romanian citizens voting abroad in parliamentary elections at end of this year.
The last day of the meeting will be dedicated to Romanian themes all over the world and on this occasion the multiple dimensions associated with the Romanian presence abroad will be addressed.
PM Ciolos: For over 5 years, Romania has been denied access to Schengen for political reasons
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Monday at the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy said that Romania has been denied the access to Schengen for political reasons for more than five years.
“Even in crisis situations, our reactions on EU level remain slow. And I cannot help but bring to mind here the essential role which the transborder cooperation has, the continuous data exchange among our authorities and the fact that for more than five years Romania has been denied the access to Schengen for political reasons, which at present I find completely outdated by the realities which we are all facing,” Ciolos said.
He pointed out that Romania and the Government he is heading have seriously reflected on all these realities.
“Without any shade of a doubt, Romania bets on the resilience and the regeneration capacity of the European project and is determined to invest its diplomatic and political resources in this respect,” the PM said.
In his opinion, the crisis diplomacy has taken up the time and political energy this past year.
“I cannot help but bring to mind the multiple terrorist attacks in Europe, same as I have alive in my memory those in Turkey and the Middle East. Terrorism has become the most serious asymmetrical threat of our times, which, together with migration, can only be fought against with common ideas, solutions and actions. We are far too often found lacking the information and the instruments which we need to have pro-active policies. We needed more than one year since the first terrorist attack in Paris to adopt a decision on the Passenger name record on a European level,” Ciolos underscored.
Defence industry to be revitalized; to produce high-tech NATO-standard equipment
PM Ciolos also said on Monday that the Romanian government intends to revitalize the country’s defence industry and produce high-tech NATO-standard equipment and components.
“We intend to bring back to life our defence industry to be able to produce high-tech NATO standard equipment and components in several fields, such as avionics or communications. We’re also planning to modernize critical infrastructure and threat resilience capacity,” Ciolos said at the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomacy.
The PM also stated that Romania’s interest is to strengthen NATO’s collective defence role.
“As far as Romania’s NATO membership is concerned, our interest lies in strengthening the Alliance’s role in collective defence, focusing on the Eastern and South-eastern regions, implicitly the Black Sea, strengthening the defence capacity of all allied states,” Ciolos explained.
According to the PM, Romania wants to continue and deepen the Strategic Partnership with the United States – a vital aspect of Romania’s national security and foreign policy.
“Together with capitalizing on the high level of the Romanian-American political bilateral dialogue, political and military coordination and cooperation by supporting the US presence in Romania, we believe it’s necessary to develop other fields – and I’m thinking of economy, investments, research, innovation and education. It’s the reason why my visit to the US had a strong economy component. (…) We will continue to stimulate the involvement of American partners in Romanian authorities’ initiatives in order to make Romania’s business environment more attractive and to be able to harness the economic potential of our partnership, which needs to be given a new dimension and a new consistency in the coming years,” Ciolos added.