Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu declared Wednesday, during his meeting with the Republic of Austria’s Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissel, that economic relations with Austria are solid, and yet they have untapped potential.
“We have discussed about bilateral economic relations, which are solid, but also have a yet untapped potential of a nature to stimulate, on our part too, the development of economic exchanges. Austria remains the second-largest foreign investor on the Romanian market and we are still interested in drawing new Austrian investment to Romania, given that our country offers opportunities in a wide range of industrial branches, but also an opportune legislative framework for the foreign companies. We have talked about the very good cooperation between our countries in the field of vocational education, especially dual education, which is a necessary adaptation of Romania for the EU market,” Melescanu specified at a joint press conference alongside Federal Minister Karin Kneissel.
According to the Foreign Minister, the visit of the high-ranking official from Vienna has special symbolism in the context of 10 years since the launch of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, a Romanian-Austrian initiative that “became a successful project” of the EU.
Austria and Romania’s successive takeover of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, on agenda of talks between President Iohannis and ForMin Karin Kneissel
On Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis met Karin Kneissel, the Republic of Austria’s Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, their talks focusing, among other issues, on the consolidation and diversification of bilateral cooperation in view of the two countries’ successive takeover of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and on the very good economic cooperation between the two countries.
According to a press release, the talks with the Austrian minister focused on the consolidation and diversification of bilateral cooperation, on all levels, in view of the two countries’ successive takeover of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as cooperation on regional, European and international levels.
“The President of Romania and the Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs have appreciated the good cooperation that exists in what concerns the coordination of the successive mandates at the Presidency of the Council of the EU and have expressed interest in the fulfilment of the joint objective of advancing the European agenda, in the sense of promoting a Europe that is united, without divisions, centred on obtaining concrete results in the interest of the citizens. In this context, President Klaus Iohannis emphasised the need to boost the European Union’s relevance as a global actor. The two high-level officials expressed their support for the continuation of the Union’s process of enlargement in South-East Europe, with those states that meet the accession criteria, based on the principle of own merits, the coordination of efforts during the two Presidencies of the Council of the European Union being discussed,” the mentioned source adds.
Likewise, Klaus Iohannis welcomed the substantial political dialogue he had with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in Ruse, in May, alongside his Bulgarian counterpart, and expressed his openness to continuing this format during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At the same time, the President of Romania expressed his hope that the Three Seas Initiative Summit, set to be hosted by Bucharest on 17-18 September 2018, will represent a new opportunity to meet his Austrian counterpart.
The two officials expressed their appreciation for the very solid economic cooperation between the two countries and emphasised the importance of ensuring a predictable economic environment that would favour the construction of new business ties.
He added that on November 1st Romania will take over the presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, and one of our country’s objectives is increasing its visibility by promoting projects that will prove the worth of this regional cooperation in both eliminating development delays as well as increasing connectivity among countries.
“Romania’s Government continues to be politically dedicated to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and we thanked for Austria’s support,” Melescanu said.
The Romanian Foreign Minister mentioned that during the discussions the topic of EU enlargement in the Balkan region was tackled, as a priority of the two countries, in the context of holding the presidency of the EU Council.
Karin Kneissel stated that the EU Strategy for the Danube Region is a project that “links” the two countries, bringing them “prosperity and development”. She stated that during the talks there were also discussed certain topics, such as education and human rights, and in addition that “strengthening the rule of law is, also, an important discussion.”
“Romania was and still is in the 21st century an important source of energy, both in the classic area of fossil fuels, as well as in renewable energy. The energy topic is very important and a significant factor in our discussions,” she stressed.
PM Dancila, Austrian ForMin Kneissl reconfim joint will to cooperate in European Affairs area
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila welcomed on Wednesday at the Victoria Palace Austria’s Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl, who is paying a visit to Romania. Within the meeting the two reconfirmed the joint will for cooperation in the European Affairs area, in view of ensuring an efficient transition from the Austrian Presidency to the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
According to a release of the Government, during the discussions also underscored was the good level of relations between Romania and Austria, both at bilateral and EU levels.
“There were mentioned the solid bilateral economic relations, but also the untapped potential that is likely to stimulate the growth of economic exchanges and investments. Furthermore, the Executive head in Bucharest and Austria’s Foreign Affairs Minister talked about the new legislative framework regarding the public-private partnership and public procurements, with an emphasis on a possible Romanian-Austrian cooperation in the medical area,” the release informs.
Prime Minister Dancila also mentioned the very good cooperation between the two states in the professional education area – dual education, adding that it favors the necessary adaptation to the requirements of the labour market.
“In this context, [the PM] offered information about the National Authority for the Initial Professional Training in Dual System of Romania, a newly established institution in order to respond to the requests related to qualified labour force,” the release mentions.
The meeting also occasioned the reconfirmation of the common will for cooperation in the European Affairs area, in view of ensuring an efficient transition from the Austrian Presidency to the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The discussions highlighted shared expectations and standpoints regarding a series of topical files, such as the enlargement of the EU or the European energy security,” according to the quoted source.
According to the Government, Viorica Dancila also reiterated the importance of observing by all member states the non-discriminatory access to social security in relation to the fundamental freedom of movement of European citizens within the community space.