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March 25, 2023

Teodor Melescanu, Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: Romania, Greece: A truly privileged relation

The 196th anniversary of the National Day of the Hellenic Republic, on 25 March 2017, provides us with the pleasure of extending, on behalf of Romania, the warmest congratulations to the people of Greece.

The vastness and the inestimable value of what Greece has offered for millennia to the other nations and people in so many fields, covering all the main components of human society evolution, make it both challenging and difficult to refer to its most representative achievements and symbols. Yet, we think that, especially in the current context, two of the most relevant key-words that find their origin in the ancient Greek civilization and culture are Europe and democracy.

The National Day of Greece celebrates one of the most sacred values for which mankind has been fighting throughout history – freedom. When freedom becomes the ideal of a whole nation, it evolves to something even more valuable – independence, which goes beyond the individual freedom of its members, ensuring also their right to rule themselves as a people, to be equal to and respected by the other nations worldwide.

Therefore, the anniversary of the Independence Declaration of the Hellenic Republic, almost two centuries ago, provides the National Day of Greece with a symbolic meaning, as a historical day for all the people who feel and live according to the values of a free world and a democratic society.

We, Romanians, are particularly glad to celebrate together with our Greek friends this special moment, as we are closely linked by longstanding relations and deep historical, cultural, spiritual, political and economic ties between Romania and Greece.

Those good relations are still in place today and they are valid for the whole spectrum of our bilateral links: political dialogue, economic and sectoral cooperation and, of course, people-to-people contacts. As a recent example of our close relationship, one can recall Romania’s participation as a guest country to the Olympus Festival 2016.

The political and diplomatic contacts that we had during the last years revealed our joint will to further develop the bilateral cooperation in all the fields of mutual interest. We are constantly looking forward into ways of expanding this cooperation, to the common benefit of our countries and people.

The ancient roots of our economic relations are bearing their fruits up to present, as we have significant commercial exchanges and Greece is one of the most important investors in Romania. Yet, we need to boost the further development of our economic cooperation. There is still a lot of potential to be explored and capitalized, therefore we have to provide a new, increased dynamic to our bilateral trade and mutual investments.

 A truly privileged relation, such as the one between Romania and Greece, needs more than political dialogue and economic cooperation. It needs the unseen link that approaches the two peoples. This happens both in Romania and Greece, where each of the two communities originating from the other country has a dynamic role in strengthening the relations between our two peoples and in developing our cultural ties.

The similarity of our views on many areas gives us a strong basis to develop our cooperation founded on common interests both at regional and Euro-Atlantic level.

This year’s celebration of 60 years since the signature of the Treaty of Rome that laid the foundations of the European Union, as well as the current debate regarding the future of the European project provide us with a renewed opportunity to working together in order to reinforce our EU partnership.

Both countries support a Union of results, of solidarity, a flexible Union close to its citizens, based on its fundamental values and principles. In this spirit, Romania is preparing to assume its first Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2019 and pleads for pro-European solutions and policies that will bring added value to the integration process (e.g. in the field of cohesion and convergence at EU and regional levels or regarding the relations with EU neighbours).

When it comes to regional cooperation, Romania and Greece share common visions regarding the need to maintain and ensure peace, as well as to strengthen stability, security and prosperity in our common area. The European perspective of the Western Balkans and the security of the Black Sea region play a catalytic role in this respect. In the framework of regional cooperation formats, such as the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization or the South-East European Cooperation Process, as well as through the trilateral dialogue established together with Bulgaria, our countries promote common initiatives and projects, as well as an increased involvement of the EU in our region.

To conclude, we would like to express our solidarity with Greece, who was in the first line of several crisis that hit Europe in the last years.

We think that now, more than ever, Europe needs to be united, its members need to be one for all and all for one. And this approach should not apply only to the situation of Greece, but it should define our common view for the future of the whole European project. If we remain together in all our endeavours, truly believing in our shared values and principles, we cannot but succeed, towards one united Europe, which will lead us also to more stability and prosperity.

Celebrating the historic day of March 25th, we wish the Hellenic people a Happy National Day!

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