On the distinguished occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Austria, it is with great pleasure that we send our best wishes and most cordial congratulations to the Austrian people.
On this day, we look back to 1955, when the permanent neutrality has been enshrined in the Austrian constitutional order. The 26th of October is also a celebration of independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Austria.
The excellent bilateral Romanian-Austrian relations provide an appropriate framework for intensifying the political and economic cooperation between our countries. While Austria remains the second largest foreign investor in Romania in many sectors, the value of the economic exchanges is constantly on the rise. The solid economic dimension of the bilateral relation gives an impetus to strengthen the dialogue between Austria and Romania at different levels and in many fields. In this respect, we are delighted to have received the visit of the Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Ms Karin Kneissl, this summer, in Bucharest.
Another important element that gives substance to our relation are the human connections. The Romanians living in Austria represent the second largest community coming from an EU member state, being well-integrated and bringing positive contributions to the Austrian society.
The good cooperation in the educational field is an important feature of our bilateral relations. Language is instrumental in vitalising the cultural bonds between our countries. Therefore, we greatly value the support offered by the Austrian authorities in promoting education in German language in Romanian higher education institutions. Furthermore, we appreciate the very good cooperation in the field of dual education and the support offered by Austria in this regard. The development of professional skills through dual education brings about the necessary adaptation of the labour force to the current market requirements.
Closely working together within the European Union has led to launching ten years ago the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, a successful Romanian-Austrian initiative. Following up on this success, we are convinced that our consecutive Presidencies of the Council of the European Union will consolidate and deepen the dialogue and the political and economic links between our countries. Although the European and the international contexts are shaped by many challenges, we are confident that through our cooperation, our countries will be able to promote the European project and to contribute to a stronger European Union.
Trusting that our cooperation will deliver many successful outcomes, we send our best wishes for success and prosperity to your country and the Austrian people.