Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu participated on Tuesday in the regional videoconference at ministerial level on the topic of managing the social-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which context he voiced support for the adoption, at European level, in the next period, of documents representing the negotiation frameworks with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia, following the decision in March to open these negotiations, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informs.
According to the said source, the Minister underscored the importance of maintaining the enlargement policy at the core of the EU’s action in the region, beyond the punctual support initiatives for social-economic recovery.
“Despite the crisis, the European Union conveyed, perhaps, the most powerful message possible. In the difficult moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU decided to continue the enlargement process and open negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia. This is a powerful signal that our action corresponds to the European commitments and we are looking forward to adopting the negotiation frameworks with the two countries in June,” Aurescu said.
In his speech, the head of the Romanian diplomacy mentioned multiple European initiatives made available to the partners in the region to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic effects of this crisis. In this context, he pointed out the financial support mobilised at the EU level for the Western Balkans, which represented a strong and concrete signal of European solidarity and the commitment toward the region.
“Minister Bogdan Aurescu mentioned that he expects an economic and robust investment plan in the region, to be presented by the European Commission this autumn, to focus on boosting economies, improving competitiveness and connectivity,” the MAE shows.
Furthermore, the Foreign Affairs Minister underscored that, besides the financial contribution, the European solidarity has also been demonstrated by the association of partners to such European initiatives and instruments that are usually only available to member states, including through ensuring an unrestricted trade flow in terms of protective equipment and ensuring the rapid movement of essential goods, through the green corridors linking the states in the EU to the Western Balkans.
He also brought to mind Romania’s contribution to materialising European solidarity, as the first member state which committed to host the RescEU mechanism, with successful missions including those organized in Montenegro and the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which received supplies of medical equipment purchased through this mechanism.
The meeting took place at the initiative of Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia and was aimed at coordinating actions at the regional level, in view of managing the social-economic effects of the crisis.