Romania is an important partner for Poland, not only bilaterally and within the European Union – we are strong, close, regional allies in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
2019 marks an important year in the Polish-Romanian relations. In June we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. 10 years ago, on 7th October 2009, a Declaration on Strategic Partnership between Romania and Poland was signed by Presidents Lech Kaczyński and Traian Basescu.
Our aim was to promote a strong North Atlantic Alliance and take a coordinated action in support of a NATO ‘open door policy’.
Romania is now Poland’s strategic partner and most important Ally in the region, the eastern flank of NATO. Poland is hosting on its territory NATO multinational battalion group, which includes Romanian soldiers. We are also readily giving allied presence, meaning security, to others. Over 200 Polish soldiers are deployed in the Romanian city of Craiova, as an element of NATO’s enhanced presence in the Black Sea region.
Ever since 2009 officials from our countries regularly reconfirmed Polish willingness to further develop our relations on the basis of the Strategic Partnership. I presented my credentials in September 2015. Three days after start of my mission here, the Polish Foreign Minister paid a visit to Bucharest. Ever since then I coordinated and participated in the visits to Romania of all the highest ranking officials in Poland, including the President, Speakers of both Chambers of the Polish Parliament, Prime Minister. Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense were here on several important occasions. Not to mention constitutional ministers responsible for strategic areas of our cooperation – infrastructure, transport, trade and entrepreneurship, interior and administration, EU funds. We now look forward to organizing second round of bilateral intergovernmental consultations, after Warsaw in 2018, scheduled for Autumn 2019 in Bucharest.
Romania has many important advantages for deepening our trade and investment cooperation. As a fast growing economy with a substantial economic growth potential of 4%, with a very attractive costs structure, it offers attractive business opportunities to a variety of Polish companies. In the recent years we have been making full use of our favorable location – north of Romania is only 149 km away from the Polish southern border. During my mission in Romania I had the privilege of supporting Polish entrepreneurs. We have a gradually growing group of over 1100 Polish companies registered and active in Romania. They invested over 500 million euro here, creating over 10 thousand jobs. Also, I am glad that Bucharest was chosen by the Polish government to be in the leading group of European capitals where the new institution – the Foreign Trade Office managed by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency – was established, with an aim to facilitate B2B cooperation.
I see a lot of potential in bringing our countries even closer. Current negotiations of the future EU budget are a chance to promote Polish and Romanian successes under EU cohesion and agricultural policies. We share interests and future vision of the European Union. Just recently Poland consulted with Romania establishing another macro-regional “EU Carpathian Strategy”, focusing on the development of i. a. south-eastern Poland and northern regions of Romania. One of key pillars of the Polish strategy for the Carpathian area is the construction of a road route between Northern and Southern Europe, to promote regional integration. We are determined to cooperate with Romania on this project. In April high-ranking representatives of countries in the region signed the 3rd Łańcut Declaration, which paves the way for developing with EU funds the “Via Carpatia” route, which in the next few years will upgrade transport corridors connecting Poland and Romania, enhancing logistics capacity for economic operators.
Building infrastructure connections in our countries is essential for economic development and people-to-people contacts. On my last trip to Poland I was pleased to see another part of the planned A10 motorway (Autostrada Sebeș–Turda) opened for use. Another positive development is the frequency of direct flights between our countries. The Polish airline LOT continuously registers an increasing volume of passengers on the Bucharest-Warsaw route, operating three times a day, and on the Cluj-Warsaw route. Thus, LOT decided to open this April yet another direct route – Bucharest-Kraków, the old capital city of Poland.
Poland and Romania are jointly undertaking many initiatives towards bridging the gap between our borders, “above the geography”, to paraphrase Sigismund, the renowned Holy Roman Emperor.
I am happy and honored to actively contribute to the development of our relations in my capacity as the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Romania.