Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu on Wednesday said he agreed with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano to initiate the preparation of the third joint meeting of the governments of the two countries.
“Romania and Italy have an excellent economic relation built on two decades of strategic partnership, reflected in the frequency of the bilateral sectoral dialogue. Minister Alfano’s visit practically confirms this reality. For Romania and Italy it is a priority to keep the intense pace of this dialogue, meant to thrust our relation even more. We agreed today to increase the frequency of the contacts between our ministries, between the relevant ministries and begin to prepare a third joint meeting of the Romanian and Italian governments, which will provide the possibility of giving a new thrusts to the collaboration on an economic and political level between our countries,” Melescanu said, after the meeting with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano.
Melescanu underscored that the economic relations between Romania and Italy are excellent, with the value of bilateral economic exchanges in 2017 having reached almost 14 billion euro.
“There are over 21,000 companies running on Italian capital, most of them SMEs, which bring to Romania a business model that has generated prosperity in Italy. The presence of the Italian capital and know-how is actually found in all sectors of the Romanian economy, from infrastructure to banking services,” Melescanu added.
The Romanian Foreign Minister pointed out that he also discussed with his Italian counterpart about the importance of the Romanian community in Italy, “a very powerful liaison between the two states.”
“It is the most numerous community abroad and, at the same time, the largest community of foreign citizens in Italy. The fact that such a large number of Romanians have chosen to live in Italy is another confirmation of the closeness and the capacity of integration of the Italian society. I thanked Mr Minister for the support that the Italian authorities constantly grant in this respect. We believe that the relation between Romania and Italy represents a confirmation of the advantages offered both for the origin state and for the host state by the European framework which encourages of a complementary manner the labour force and capital mobility inside the EU,” Melescanu also said.
In his turn, Angelino Alfano highlighted the historic connection between the two states and the great number of marriages between Romanian and Italian citizens.
“We feel close to Romania, we go together. This is the idea I shared today with Teodor Melescanu. This means having increasingly more relations between our communities, not only those between co-nationals, who like to live and study in our countries, but we are also talking about entrepreneurs who have chosen to invest in Romania. Italian business people have chosen to invest in Romania, and ever since the 1990s Romania has represented for the Italian societies some sort of laboratory for experimenting their own capacity of investing abroad and their own ability to transfer abroad a success model that worked in Italy and that led to the welfare of millions of Italians and SMEs. The affirmation of this model in Romania, as well, makes us happy,” Alfano said.
The Italian Foreign Minister said that the 14 billion euro value of Romanian-Italian economic exchanges represents “a bet that has proven to be a winner.”
For Min Melescanu: I am positive we’ll further benefit from Italy’s support for Schengen accession
Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu on Wednesday said after the meeting with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano that he is positive that Romania will further benefit from Italy’s support for a positive decision in the file of accession to the Schengen area.
“The European Union is confronted today with a series of major, complex challenges, with in perspective implications. The discussions showed that Romania and Italy continue to plead for a strong European Union, for a cohesive, unitary Union, which should be able to solve the problems that are on the agenda today, based on the respect for the fundamental values and principles which make up the foundation of the European project. I thank once more my colleague for the firm and without reservations support which his country grants to Romania’s accession to Schengen. I am positive that we’ll further benefit from Italy’s support for a positive decision in this file,” Melescanu said after the meeting with Italian Foreign and International Cooperation Minister Angelino Alfano.
Minister Angelino Alfano highlighted Italy’s support for Romania.
“We are and will be by Romania’s side for its own ambitions and battles inside the EU and we are by Romania’s side for an important political meeting, namely the semestral Presidency of the Council of the EU next year. We are truly close and we don’t feel as being in front of or behind Romania, but we fell by Romania’s side and we are going side by side,” Alfano said.
The two officials approached topics concerning Europe’s future, including from the perspective of the ongoing political developments in this space.
“We highlighted Romania’s firm commitment and the will to actively participate in the debate on re-grounding the European project and the strategic vision on Europe’s future. In accordance with the commitments assumed in the European Council, Romania is open to participating, based on its efforts and capacities, in the common effort to manage the migration situation. (…) We have also discussed the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which both countries support and in the context of the recent developments registered in the EU vicinity it is so much more important for the EU and for the candidate states to reaffirm the added value which the EU enlargement policy has, making sure at the same time that the involved states meet the criteria to join the EU,” Melescanu added.
He approach with his Italian counterpart the situation in the Republic of Moldova, the Eastern Neighbourhood in general, and underscored that “it is extremely important in this period that the political forces of Chisinau remain committed to the European path and consolidate the credibility both on a domestic and on a foreign level.”
“We agreed to work together for the reform process of the European vicinity policy. It is a reform process which both Romania and Italy have brought a consistent contribution to through the proposals presented in the EU,” Melescanu also said.
The Romanian Foreign Minister brought to mind Italy’s taking over the OSCE chairmanship-in-office mandate for the current year.
“I assured him of Romania’s firm support in the effort to manage the complex challenges to security in Europe. I argued for maintaining among the priorities the frozen conflict solving, particularly those in the Transnistrian area, as well as the crisis in Ukraine and around. One of the OSCE’s assets remains the comprehensive approach by reflecting all three dimensions in its actions,” Melescanu pointed out.
Strengthening of economic cooperation between Romania and Italy, discussed by President Iohannis and Italian ForMin
President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday welcomed the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, Angelino Alfano, on the occasion of the latter’s official visit to Bucharest.
According to a press release of the Presidential Administration, discussions with the Italian Minister, held in the context of the 10th anniversary since the signing of the Declaration on the Consolidated Strategic Partnership between the two countries, focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation at European level.
President Iohannis highlighted the excellent level of bilateral relations and voiced the Romanian side’s will to consolidate the existing positive dynamics at political level, including through strengthening high level dialogue and also dialogue at cultural, economic and social level.
Minister Angelino Alfano said that Romania is a true partner for Italy, with which it shares the same standpoints and the same vision at the European Union and NATO level in relation to the strengthening of the Transatlantic relations.
“Moreover, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs voiced the appreciation of the Italian authorities for the Romanian community in Italy, which is a precious resource for the Italian society,” reads the release.
In his turn, President Klaus Iohannis underscored the good quality of the Romanian community in Italy and thanked for the support granted to it by the Italian state.
In respect to economic cooperation, both high officials highlighted the mutual interest in its strengthening in the context in which Italy continues to be the second top trade partner of Romania, as well as in the capitalization on investment opportunities offered by the Romanian market.
“The Romanian President highlighted the advantages offered by the Romanian economy and appreciated Italian business community’s activity in our country. In his turn, Minister Alfano voiced his country’s full support for the Italian companies, which are also interested in being increasingly present on the Romanian market,” the Presidential Administration said.
In respect to the future of the European Union, President Iohannis reiterated Romania’s firm endorsement of the consolidation of the European project, through a more profound integration that will allow solving the problems EU is currently facing.
“Such a Union, which functions very well, will be to the direct benefit of all European citizens, who wish for more security, through an adequate control of the migrating flows and through an efficient eradication of terrorism, but also for more prosperity, including through creating jobs and fighting unemployment, especially among the youth,” says the Presidential Administration.
President Iohannis underscored the need for a better communication with the European citizens, of the kind to counterattack populism and Euro-skepticism.
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs agreed with this approach, while also showing in his turn support for the continuation of the European integration and fighting populism.
Moreover, the two officials discussed about the development of the defence at EU level, which needs to be achieved in tight cooperation with NATO, about the migration file, as well as about the situation in Libya and Syria.