On the distinguished occasion of the National Day of the Italian Republic – La Festa della Repubblica – it is with great pleasure that we convey our best wishes and most cordial congratulations to the Italian people.
On this day, we look back to the referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946 on the form of government, which resulted in the creation of the Italian Republic, following the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.
Today, as we celebrate Italy, we are particularly proud of what our countries have achieved together as strategic partners both at political, economic and sectoral levels. The privileged diplomatic relationship between our countries, which dates back for almost 140 years, has found a solid foundation on the historic, cultural and linguistic heritage, as well as on our shared values.
The Consolidated Strategic Partnership, concluded in 2008, provided with an appropriate framework for a dynamic calendar of meetings at different levels, which translated into a growing cooperation in many fields between our countries to the benefit of our citizens. The state visit to Italy of the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on 14-17 October 2018, has given yet another impetus to strengthening the dialogue at the highest political level. We would also like to recall the visit to Bucharest of the Vice-president of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Matteo Salvini, on 23rd October 2018.
People to people connections give substance to our strategic relations. Both the Italian and the Romanian communities are instrumental in further bridging our countries and enriching our relation. The almost 1.2 million Romanians who live, study and work in Italy represent the largest foreign community there, as well as the largest Romanian community abroad. Calling Italy their second home, Romanians are well integrated and proud to bring positive contributions to their host communities through their professions, cultural background or through social and economic initiatives.
The excellent Romanian-Italian relations are equally reflected by the robust economic ties. 2018 marked a new record for our constantly growing bilateral economic exchanges at over 15.5 bn. euro. Thus, Italy has maintained its position as our second commercial partner and comes on the first place in terms of the countries of origin of the entrepreneurs who set up companies in Romania, with over 21,000 Italian companies active on the market. At the same time, the value of Italian registered capital exceeded 2.6 bn. euro, placing Italy on the fifth place in the ranking of foreign investment on our economy.
As NATO allies and EU member states, our countries have pledged to defend the democratic values and share the objective of an ever stronger and peaceful Europe. Romania’s first-ever Presidency of the Council of the European Union represented yet another opportunity to work together with Italy – one of the six founding fathers of Europe that we know today – towards a more cohesive and inclusive Union, closer to its citizens and better equipped to face the complex challenges ahead. The Romanian mandate not only reconfirmed the convergence of our positions on most of the current issues on the European agenda, but also provided for a good opportunity to consolidate our political dialogue and thorough cooperation.
Trusting that our countries will continue to build upon our existing cooperation and unexplored potential, we send our renewed wishes of continued happiness, success and prosperity to the Republic of Italy and the Italian people.
Buona Festa della Repubblica ai nostri amici italiani! Sia che il verde, il bianco e il rosso del sorvolo delle Frecce Tricolori sul cielo sereno di Roma vi riempiano sempre il cuore di gioia!