On an official visit to Bucharest on Monday, Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, stated that the relations between Romania and the Kingdom of Norway are very good and “they will further thrive in the future.”
“I start by saying that I am very delighted to be here, in Bucharest, to meet my good colleague Teodor Melescanu and, as Mr Minister said, to be pleased with this very good bilateral relation. I’ve seen, over the last decade, a substantial increase and a diversification of our bilateral cooperation and I believe, taking into account the discussions that we carried out today, that there is no secret that our bilateral relations will further thrive in the future. And, even though we are not members of the European Union, we are interested in developing relations on the continent, the same continent as as ours, we have the same vision and we are looking forward to Romania’s Presidency [of the EU Council]. We discussed a series of topics, aspects, about how we can cooperate during the Romanian Presidency (…) It is also an important opportunity for us to find out the priorities, the cooperation that we can have during the presidency, but also to present Norway’s standpoint and vision,” Ine Eriksen Soreide stated on Monday at a joint conference with her Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu.
Brexit also represented a topic of discussion.
“We also talked about Brexit, a point on everybody’s agenda these days, certainly and important point on the Romanian Presidency agenda because we will have Brexit during this period (…), but we will also have the elections of the European Parliament in the spring, you will have a very busy agenda. Moreover, we talked on the observance of the rule of law, how to work together on the initiatives during the presidency. And, as Mr Minister mentioned, the cooperation expanded, Romania is (…) the second country to receive grants from Norway for the period 2014-2021 and this is why we are also trying to work together in the inclusion of green economy in a European context. Furthermore, one of the objectives of this cooperation is to strengthen the economic cooperation, the rule of law, to support business development and renewable energy,” the Norwegian Minister stated.
Referring to the potential for cooperation between the two states, she mentioned that three ships will be built in Romania by Norwegian investors.
The Norwegian Foreign Minister added that also discussed within the meeting was the topic of Romanians residing in Norway. “I told the Minister, during the meeting, that we have around 16,000 Romanians in Norway, they are great Romanian ambassadors, they are very appreciated where they are,” said Ine Eriksen Soreide.
According to her, also discussed at the meeting were aspects related to the developments of the Eastern Neighborhood.
“We expressed our concern regarding Russia’s stance in respect to the ships sent by them. Moreover, we reiterated the support for the sovereignty of Ukraine’s territory and, of course, we have expressed our concerns in this sector,” Ine Eriksen Soreide stated.
ForMin Melescanu : This visit takes place in a very positive framework of the Romanian-Norwegian dialogue
The latest developments in economic co-operation between Romania and Norway is encouraging, with the total volume of trade between the two countries having jumped more than 150 percent this year to over 420 million euro, Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Monday at a joint news conference with his Norwegian counterpart.
“This visit takes place in a very positive framework of the Romanian-Norwegian dialogue, marked this year by an intensification in political and diplomatic contacts especially of late, as well as by the almost clear intent of the two parties to further develop their bilateral relationships in the economic and sectoral fields, capitalising on important opportunities such as energy and the transition to a green economy. Talks were wide-ranging, and I could rate them excellent, having proved that Romania and the Kingdom of Norway have a lot of topics in common and very close or similar positions; we discussed the prospects for bilateral relationships, the forthcoming Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, the European agenda, European and international developments, the security situation and multilateral co-operation,” Melescanu added.
He mentioned that economic co-operation between the two countries also featured on the agenda of talks.
“We also discussed the economic level of our relationship and we found that the development is encouraging. This year, Romania’s total trade with Norway increased by more than 150 percent, exceeding 420 million euro. That trade balance is favouring Romania due to the exportation of products of a high added value,” Melescanu said.
He said the meeting highlighted Norway’s contribution to the Norwegian financial mechanisms and the European economic area that “benefit Romania more than 500 million euro for the period 2014-2021”. “By these grants, Norway also finances projects in the field of the civil society, social inclusion, justice, environment, energy, culture, research and innovation,” Melescanu said.
The Romanian chief diplomat pointed out that the meeting took place in an important context for Romania – two days after the celebration of the centennial of its Greater Union and less than a month before Romania assuming the six-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“By fulfilling its duties, Romania aims to ensure an effective presidency by taking on the role of an impartial mediator and a facilitator of consensus,” Melescanu said.
He also said that EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood was among the topics of discussion as well. “We emphasised that Romania is interested in a stable, democratic and prosperous Eastern Neighbourhood and that it remains a firm supporter of the European journey of the Republic of Moldova. We also mentioned that one of the priorities to us will be the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership, which will receive special attention from the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” added Melescanu.
He mentioned that as far as international affairs are concerned, the importance of the transatlantic relationship was underscored, along with the role played by NATO. “We emphasised on this occasion the very close collaboration between Romania and Norway, as well as the need to further strengthen co-operation in the field of international organisations,” said Melescanu.
President Iohannis, Norwegian ForMin discuss Romania’s priorities during Presidency of EU Council
President Klaus Iohannis on Monday welcomed Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide to introduce Romania’s priorities as holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the main challenges of this tenure.
According to a statement released by the Presidential Administration, Iohannis voiced satisfaction with the state and dynamics of bilateral co-operation, as Norway is an important partner of Romania under the European Economic Area (EEA). The two officials welcomed the prospect of strengthening the high-level political dialogue during Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, taking into account that Norway, as a member state of the European Economic Area, is considering the best rallying around a number of formats of EU co-operation.
“The President of Romania presented Romania’s priorities during the Presidency of the Council of the EU and the main challenges of this tenure, highlighting the importance of the summit of May 9, 2019 in Sibiu to the future of the European design, to the direct benefit of the European citizens.”
Iohannis also shared his appreciation for projects under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the EEA and voiced hope that their implementation will continue to become more efficient and productive in future in areas of common interest.
The Norwegian foreign minister highlighted that the good practices resulting from the projects with Romania are particularly useful in developing programmes similar to those of other countries.
“Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide praised the Romanian community settled in Norway, which is well integrated and brings added value to the bilateral relationship, including the promotion of business partnerships and trade relationships that have experienced a revival of late.”
Iohannis and Eriksen Soreide agreed that the strategic positions of the two countries, as well as the similar security challenges that they are confronted with, are a basis for strengthening the bilateral dialogue inside NATO, where Romania and Norway already have a great deal of excellent cooperation.
At the meeting, views on topics of interest on the international and regional agenda were exchanged, with emphasis on the Eastern Neighbourhood and the current security situation in the Black Sea.