Premier Viorica Dancila received on Thursday French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, currently on a visit to Bucharest, with the two officials tackling, among others, Romania’s goals regarding its bid for Schengen and OECD membership, the government said in a release.
The visit of the French official takes place 11 years on from the previous visit of a French Foreign Minister to Romania, in a year with multiple significances for the bilateral relation: the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Strategic Partnership Declaration, preparations for the broad span Romania – France cultural and public diplomacy season that will run between December 1, 2018 and July 14, 2019, overlapping Romania’s first term at the helm of the Council of the EU, and the celebration of the Centennial of the Great Union, a historic accomplishment France has significantly contributed to.
“During the meeting, the Prime Minister of Romania praised the privileged bilateral relationship between Romania and France, in the context of the special dynamics this year of the political dialogue at all levels, and voiced the wish to take the Romanian-French cooperation even further, including by updating the Strategic Partnership Roadmap, setting as a goal the signing of the document on the occasion of the Romanian PM’s visit to Paris at the end of this year,” the release said.
The sides also hailed the very good evolution of bilateral economic exchanges that topped 8 billion euro in 2017. The head of the Executive remarked the important size of French investment in Romania and expressed interest and openness to attracting new French capital investment and to diversifying economic cooperation.
As far as the European agenda is concerned, Premier Dancila reiterated Romania’s interest in cooperating closely with France and other European partners towards strengthening the unity and cohesion of the European Union, as well as in the light of Romania’s upcoming term at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union starting January 1, 2019.
“The Prime Minister also reiterated the special importance the government of Romania attaches to the country’s joining the Schengen Area, highlighting Romania’s substantial contribution to the EU’s internal security. During the talks, Premier Viorica Dancila also pointed to Romania’s goal of joining the OECD, emphasizing that all evaluation criteria are met and voicing hope for a positive decision being made in the shortest time possible,” the release adds.
Francophony was another subject on the agenda of the talks, with the Premier emphasizing Romania’s role as a beacon state of Francophony in the region and the interest to promote French language as an investment in the professional future of the young generation, the release concludes.
Jean-Yves Le Drian: Romania can count on France’s support for success of its first EU Council presidency
Romania can count on France’s support for the success of its first presidency of the Council of the European Union, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian told a joint press statement with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu in Bucharest, on Thursday.
Melescanu brought into discussion the Romania – France Strategic Partnership, as well as its roadmap, a partnership that “has had a major contribution to deepening the bilateral relation.”
“We have discussed the joint demarche to update the roadmap, which could be signed even at the end of this year,” Melescanu said.
At the same time, he also mentioned Romania’s prospects of being accepted into the Schengen Area.
“I reiterated the request for support from France for a decision, as soon as possible, in respect to Romania’s acceptance into the Schengen Area,” Melescanu said.
In his turn, Le Drian underscored the strong connection between Romania and France, “at an important moment for the European Union, in the context in which Romania is preparing to take over for the first time the presidency of the Council of the European Union.”
“The renewal of the strategic partnership and its roadmap will be a reflection on the quality of our relation. I want to place a particular emphasis, in this framework, on the pro-European dimension of our dialogue, on a cooperation in the Defence area and on developing our economic exchanges,” the French official stated.
Jean-Yves Le Drian highlighted that France “is very present in the Romanian economy, thanks to the big companies in the auto and aeronautics sector.”
“Romania can count on France’s support for the success of its first presidency of the Council of the EU,” he gave assurances.
He also mentioned he discussed with his Romanian counterpart about the current situation in Syria, as well as the Summit that will take place in Sofia, in May, an event focused on the plans of enlarging the European Union to the Western Balkans.
Melescanu – Le Drian meeting in Bucharest. Romania firmly condemns chemical weapon use, particularly against civilians, says Melescanu. French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian: There is a red line in respect to the situation in Syria, a chemical weapon attack is intolerable