On the occasion of the celebration of the National Day of Canada, we have the great pleasure to convey to our Canadian partners and friends our warmest congratulations, as well as best wishes of success and prosperity.
The 1st of July is a significant day for Canada and for Canadians, and this year it is even more so. Canada, born exactly 150 years ago, was built on diversity. Born with its face turned to the world and shaped by the pursuit of inclusiveness and fairness, it has constantly applied this same values and principles to its international action.
Looking back to the almost 100 years of diplomatic relations between Romania and Canada, we can see that our countries have come a long way in terms of political dialogue. Moreover, we ensured the foundation for a steady development of economic ties, improved people-to-people contacts and mutually enriching cultural exchanges.
This consolidation of bilateral relations between Romania and Canada was made possible by shared Transatlantic values and common interests. The presence in Canada of a significant Romanian community further strengthens the ties between our countries.
Our countries find themselves as partners in the NATO decision making fora but also on the ground, in common missions. The unwavering commitment of Canada to its alliances and partnerships has been exemplarily demonstrated by its contribution with military forces to assurance measures for the Eastern NATO allies. This year alone, Canada has participated with land forces in the Exercise PLATINUM EAGLE, hosted by Romania, and with the frigate HMCS St. John’s in the Romanian-led Exercise SEA SHIELD 2017. And our militaries will continue to train and work together in the months and years to come.
It is also trust and a community of values that underline our cooperation in multilateral fora, where we stand together to counter international challenges, such as the threat of terrorism, alleviating poverty and inequality, protecting human dignity and tackling climate change. Another important link between our countries is being a part of the large family of la Francophonie. The French language and culture are an essential component of Canada’s history, a cultural heritage, which has also contributed to Romania’s modern statehood and culture.
Undoubtedly, the coming into force of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Strategic Partnership Agreement will further develop the Romanian-Canadian relations. This legal framework reduces a once deterring geographical and economic distance by building a new, modern and solid bridge. Our partnerships of values will be stronger with the SPA and CETA and will contribute to enhancing prosperity and people-to-people relations. Already ferryboats built in Romania are navigating the waters of the Atlantic’s Western coasts, servicing people and goods, in a telling metaphor of meaningful and beneficial cooperation.
In a further move towards the removal of barriers between our countries and peoples, we are on track to lift the visa requirements for all Romanian citizens. Already, since May 1st, two categories of Romanians are able to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization and travel to Canada for tourism or business visa-free.
To Canada, Romania will continue to represent a solid and trustful ally and friend in our part of Europe. Our countries stand on a firm ground, from where to consolidate even further our bilateral dialogue and cooperation, politically, governmentally, at the academic and research level, at the level of people, businesses and civil society.
Romania shares the joy of the celebration of this historic 1st of July, and wishes all Canadians a Happy Canada Day!