The celebration of the National Day of the Hellenic Republic, on the 25th of March, provides us with the pleasure to extend, on behalf of Romania, our heartfelt congratulations to all the Greek people.
The priceless value this day brings to light is one of the most sacred ideals for humankind: freedom. And it was this outcry – “Freedom or death!” that sparked the Greek Revolution for Independence almost two centuries ago, which found its echo in other several areas inhabited by peoples driven by the same ideal, including in a part of modern Romania. We are truly proud that our predecessors, both Romanian and Greek, gathered their strong believes and common aspirations around this burning ideal, for which they were ready to pay the ultimate price and that have later turned into reality, a reality of the freedom of nations.
Sharing a common history since ancient times, Romania and Greece are proudly honoring today the past as a strong pillar for upgrading the level of their current dialogue and cooperation, as well as for projecting an enhanced partnership in the future. The recent bilateral contacts as well as the 10th trilateral meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece proved that we are firmly committed to intensify the dialogue and enhance our cooperation, as countries from the same region, with many similar views.
Besides political dialogue, there is much interest from both countries in further developing their economic and sectoral cooperation. In terms of trade exchanges, the current trend is more than encouraging, as they are at their best moment in the history of economic relations between Romania and Greece, with a total amount of almost 1,8 bld. Euro in 2017. Through joint efforts, we have worked for boosting the relations in this domain, one relevant example being the event “Doing business in Romania”, which took place in July 2017 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Athens. Yet, we have to explore and capitalize the important potential that still exists for further developing our economic relations, also in the area of mutual investments, for which we have in mind the organization of similar events this year. Among the other fields with significant potential to improve our cooperation, one could mention energy, infrastructure, defense, education, culture or tourism.
The two communities – the Romanian one in Greece and the Hellenic one in Romania – have an essential role in strengthening the ties between our countries. For so many centuries, they stand as a defining element for our relations, revealing their longstanding tradition, as well as the joint commitment of our peoples to further consolidate the solid bridge of friendship that unites us.
Regional cooperation is another important component of our dialogue, as it illustrates our joint objectives to further ensure and consolidate peace, security and stability in our common area, while firmly supporting the Euro-atlantic perspective of the aspiring states in the region. We have convergent objectives and interests on a number of files such as the Western Balkans, the Eastern Neighborhood or the Black Sea region, which serve as basis for joint initiatives and common projects.
On the European agenda, the states are advocating for a strong and cohesive European Union, close to its citizens and based on the principles and values that unite its member states. In the perspective of exercising, for the first time, in 2019, the Presidency of the EU Council, Romania will bring its contribution to the further consolidation of the European project, sustaining and promoting pro-European solutions and policies that will bring added value to the integration process, such as the ones in the field of cohesion and convergence or regarding EU relations with its neighbors.
While recalling that the ancestors of our peoples have lived together in peace and understanding in this area since times lost in the mist of history, Romania and Greece are today pillars of stability in a region not hidden from challenges, but also with important opportunities to explore and capitalize. Therefore, we need to further act responsibly, placing dialogue at the core of the relations with all our partners, while remaining committed to the values we believe in. Greece has proven both its willing and capacity to find and promote a balanced approach, which is the key to overcome impediments and to move forward, projecting a future of friendship and mutual respect among countries and people. Therefore, all it needs to do is to keep up the good work and the results will certainly be there, which is just as valid for all of us.
Happy National Day, Greece!