On 3rd of October 1990 I was a diplomat in Brussels and Romania was beginning its path on the way to the European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The events in Berlin were outstanding and paved the way not only for a prosperous and stable united country, but also cemented for the European continent the values and standards which form EU’s foundation.
The Day of the German Unity naturally reminds us of the new chapter opened 26 years ago in Europe’s history.
The reunification of Germany started the process of breaking down barriers between East and West, opening a new era of cooperation and European unity. Today, Germany is not only one of the major European players, but also a pillar of the European project, one of the promoters of stability in Europe and around the world.
Our countries share today a privileged relationship with a long history, as partners and allies in the EU and NATO. For Romania, the relationship with Germany is of strategic importance. Since 1992, when the “Treaty on Friendly Cooperation and Partnership in Europe was concluded between Romania and Germany, our ties have enjoyed a steady development in all areas of mutual interest – political, economic, social and cultural.
So far this year the high-level political dialogue has had a particular positive dynamic. In June we had the pleasure to host Federal President Joachim Gauck, Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș visited Germany in September, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis was in Berlin for talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg. All of these meetings reconfirm the remarkable cooperation on topics of common interest with our German counterparts, both on the bilateral agenda, as well as on major EU topics.
Our cooperation is based, beyond the political dialogue, on the long lasting relationships between our people. The Romanians and Germans are bound by a deep friendship, which is mainly owed to the centuries of cohabitation of Romanians, Saxons and Swabians in Transylvania, Banat and Bucovina. These communities, together with the approximately half a million Romanians living and working in Germany, represent a solid bridge between our countries.
Another area of excellent Romanian-German cooperation is the economy. Germany remains Romania’s main trading partner, the German companies’ presence on the Romanian market is highly appreciated; they contribute substantially to the development of our economy.
Romania will stand alongside Germany as staunch supporter of the European project. We believe that by working together we can make the European Union more powerful, more united, more efficient, closer to its citizens and based on its founding values and principles. Openness, dialogue and solidarity should be our avenues towards finding solutions to the current challenges.
We look ahead to 2017, a very special year for both Romanian–German relations and for our common EU project, as we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and 60 years from the signing of the Founding EU Treaties in Rome.
In the end I would like to come back to the fortunate moment we celebrate today and warmly congratulate the German people on its anniversary!