*Romanian Premier thanks Austria for its support for Romania’s Schengen accession
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu, while on a visit to Vienna, thanked Austria for the support granted to Romania in the process of accession to the Schengen Area.
“I thank Austria for the support granted to Romania in the process of accession to the Schengen Area, which it will continue to provide. (…) I was pleased to find that we have the same concern that the European Union remains a successful project for Europe, an efficient and solidary institution based on the principles of democracy and freedom, an institution that is close to the citizen,” Grindeanu told a joint press conference with Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern.
At the same time, Grindeanu talked about the two countries’ “determination” to jointly work for the consolidation of the European project.
“The fact that it’s May 9th today, the Day of Europe, and that we are in Vienna, I believe we can say it’s symbolic for us, for Romania and Austria, and shows the determination we have (…) to jointly work for the consolidation of the European integration project, further to the interest (…) and benefit of European citizens,” Grindeanu said.
He pointed out that the meeting he had with Chancellor Kern also tackled the European affairs domain, against the backdrop in which Romania and Austria are preparing to successively take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“Austria in the second semester of 2018 and Romania in the first semester of 2019. There are very many difficult topics to tackle, (…) we’ve tackled some of them today too – Brexit, the future orientation of the European Union, future policies, which in our view must confirm the cohesion policy as central pillar and instrument for boosting convergence between Eastern and Western Europe. Likewise, the post-2020 financial framework – very important, and which will be on the agenda of our presidencies,” Sorin Grindeanu added.
In his turn, Chancellor Kern stated that the Danube topic and the topic of cohesion policy grants represent “a priority.”
“The topic of the Danube and of cohesion grants has priority for us and we believe it’s possible for new growth impulses to be generated. This presidency (of the Council of the EU – editor’s note) will take place during a special context for the EU, Brexit will already occur but we don’t know what the concrete consequences will be. However, we have a joint project that both countries will continue and will develop,” Kern stated.
Grindeanu: Romania is incontestably one of the most profitable markets for Austria
Romania is “incontestably” one of the most profitable markets for Austria, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated on Tuesday in Vienna.
“Romania is important for Austria, but Austria is also important for Romania. (…) Austria is the second-largest investor in Romania, which is extremely important in our view. (…) At the same time, for Austria, Romania is one of the most important markets from the standpoint of businesses and things that can be developed in our country,” Grindeanu stated at a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.
According to the Romanian Premier, Austria is the second-largest investor in Romania, “in strategic domains such as energy, constructions, banking sector, insurances and more.” “Our country is incontestably one of the most profitable markets for Austria in Central and Eastern Europe,” Grindeanu said.
The Premier emphasised that he wants the strengthening of economic relations between the two countries.
“We’ll have an extremely important discussion at the Economic Chamber of Austria, where we’ll have talks with investors already present in Romania and with those who will want to invest in our country in the future. (…) I’ll tell them that at this moment our country is one of the friendliest countries in the European Union economically-wise. The taxes are extremely low, the Romanian economy’s growth rate was the highest in Europe last year and we hope to remain on a top position this year too. We’ll try to improve the economic framework so that investments in our economy would grow and would be increasingly solid,” Grindeanu explained.
In his turn, Chancellor Kern stated that Romania is an important partner for Austria from a cultural and political standpoint but also from an economic standpoint.
“Austria is the second-largest investor in Romania. 10 billion euro have been invested. Over two billion euro were invested last year and we saw there was an obvious growth in Romania, which will be even better next year. Austrian companies are registering a very good evolution, thousands of jobs depend on them. Likewise, developments in Europe also show us that we have important challenges. We want Europe to be in a stable situation, to evolve from the standpoint of welfare and Romania in particular to evolve in terms of welfare too,” Kern said, according to Agerpres.
Sorin Grindeanu also announced on Tuesday that he invited Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern to pay a visit to Romania.
“I have invited him and I hope that this autumn Chancellor Kern will visit Romania,” Grindeanu told a joint press conference with Kern.
PM Grindeanu on child benefits Austria grants to immigrants: Changes must be in line with European legislation
Sorin Grindeanu said Tuesday in Vienna that he discussed with Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern the child benefits granted by Austria to immigrants, arguing that any legislative changes in them must be in line with the European legislation.
“In my private conversation with Chancellor Kern I touched on the benefit issue. We understand the problems of each country. Our point of view is that any legislative changes nationwide must be in line with the relevant European legislation. Afterwards, each country can develop its own policies, but only in line with the European legislation,” Grindeanu told a joint news conference with Chancellor Christian Kern at the Austrian Federal Chancellery in Vienna.
The two officials were asked for their take on the talks of late in Austria about possibly prioritising hiring Austrian nationals to the detriment of immigrants, Romanian nationals included, and possibly cutting the social child benefits for the families of immigrants unless they reside in Austria.
In his turn, Chancellor Kern said Austria received more refugees than Greece and Italy.
“If you talk about immigrants, I guess you mean the latest wave of refugees. By size, Austria (…) is the country that has received the largest number of refugees when divided to the population size than Greece or Italy. In 2017, we have to spend 2 billion euro on assistance to refugees, which means more than just food and basic living conditions; it means also schools and social security. We are very much committed to the integration of these refuges as well. Should the Austrian population not support these matters, it would be impossible for us to step in like this,” said Kern.