Premier Sorin Grindeanu announced on Thursday, in Paris, that French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will come to Romania in the near future, following an invitation extended by the Romanian Head of Government in a meeting they had.
“I’ve invited the French Prime Minister to Romania. We share joint political experiences, if I can call them so. He comes from the local administration too. In the near future, he will pay a visit to Romania precisely in order to strengthen, to consolidate Romanian-French relations,” Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated at the end of the meeting with his French counterpart.
According to the Head of Government, several topics of interest for both countries were tackled during the meeting, including the strengthening of the joint European project.
“I had a meeting with the French Prime Minister. (…) The first visit he received from a counterpart was my visit today. The purpose of the visit has to do with strengthening the strategic partnership we have with France. All important points and dossiers were discussed, both from the point of view of France and the point of view of Romania. I’ll mention some of them: how we can contribute together to the strengthening of the joint European project – and it’s one of our targets, especially from the standpoint of the fact that we requested and will receive help in what concerns Romania’s future presidency of the European Council in 2019,” Grindeanu stated.
Likewise, the bilateral relations between the two states were one of the topics of discussion tackled by the two officials.
“The strengthening of economic relations was discussed. In 2016, trade between Romania and France totalled approximately 8 billion euro, 10 percent higher than in 2015. So, there is an upward trend. There’s room for better, for improving and hiking the level of these economic exchanges. The fields would be: infrastructure, agriculture, energy, digital economy. We agreed to have inter-ministerial joint working groups between the Romanian Government and the French Government, precisely in order to strengthen this strategic partnership,” Grindeanu added.
The Premier mentioned that he thanked Philippe for France’s support to Romania for achieving the goal of becoming a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In this context, the head of the Bucharest Government specified that “an important step” was made on Wednesday through the accession of Romania to the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency.
“If the accession to NATO has brought us, Romania, security, joining the European Union has brought us prosperity and economic growth, joining the OECD (…) will bring us respectability,” Grindeanu stressed.
He mentioned that he has also discussed with his French counterpart important issues for Romania, such as joining the Schengen Area and the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, but also about the common European defence policy.
“There are files in work (…) and we have harmonized our views,” Grindeanu said, also referring to the “excellent common cultural exchanges” between Romania and France.
PM Grindeanu was welcomed Thursday morning by French counterpart Edouard Philippe at the latter’s official residence at Hôtel de Matignon.
Romania’s PM was greeted by Edouard Philippe on the steps of the building in a ceremony also attended by members of the French Republican Guard.
After shaking hands and posing for the official photos, the two Prime Ministers stepped in for a half-an-hour meeting in the French Prime Minister’s office.
The delegation accompanying Prime Minister Grindeanu to the meeting with the French Prime Minister includeed Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu and Romanian Ambassador to France Luca Niculescu.
Prime Minister Grindeanu’s working visit to Paris started on Wednesday, when the head of the government attended the ceremony dedicated to Romania and Argentina’s joining the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Economic Development (OECD). OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurría, NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, Romanian Minister of Public Finances Viorel Stefan and Romanian Ambassador to France Luca Niculescu also attended this event (Read on page 4).
At the ceremony, Grindeanu said that he is very pleased to accept on Romania’s behalf the invitation for the country to become the 33rd member of the Nuclear Energy Agency. The Prime Minister also said that Romania is fully prepared to start negotiations to join the OECD, based on its merits and economic results.
On Wednesday evening the Romanian head of government had a meeting with OECD Secretary-General Jose Angel Gurría.
“Strengthening European project, strategic partnership with the U.S. are Romania’s foreign policy pillars”
Strengthening the European project and the strategic partnership with the U.S. are the two pillars of Romania’s foreign policy, Premier Sorin Grindeanu said in Paris on Thursday.
“There are two strategic directions for Romania’s foreign policy: on the one hand, strengthening the European project, as Romania is a EU member, and on the other hand – strengthening the strategic partnership with the United States of America. These are the two foreign policy pillars our country needs to consolidate, and this is the right direction. All contacts, all visits are more than welcome exactly in light of our purpose to consolidate these two extremely important directions that are complementary, and do not exclude each other,” said Grindeanu.
The Prime Minister thus answered a question regarding the possibility for Romania to act as a connecting element between the U.S. and the EU global policy, in the context of the Romanian Premier’s working visit to France, while President Klaus Iohannis is on a visit to the U.S.
Grindeanu, extremely pleased with ambassador Niculescu’s activity
Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated on Thursday that he is “extremely pleased” with the activity of Romania’s ambassador in Paris Luca Niculescu, mentioning that he managed in a very short time, “to do very good things.”
“I am extremely pleased with the activity of Romania’s ambassador to France. He managed in a very, very short time to do very good things, the proof of which consists in what happened today and yesterday. And he represents an example of ambassador who knows how to interact extremely well with the officials of the country where he is carrying out his activity and who helps promote Romania’s interests. I want to congratulate him publicly and I am convinced that he contributed and will further contribute to strengthening the Romanian-French relations,” Grindeanu stated at the Embassy of Romania in Paris, at the end of a working visit in France.
The PM’s answer came after being asked whether he is content with the activity of Romania’s ambassador in London Dan Mihalache, following the recent terrorist attack which took place in the capital of the UK.