The COVID-19 pandemic period has been “perhaps the most difficult to the Romanian diplomacy since 1989,” Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told the opening on Monday of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy (RADR) focusing “The impact of the pandemic on international trends and the response of the Romanian diplomacy.”
“I can say without hesitation, this period has perhaps been the most difficult to the Romanian diplomacy since 1989,” said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.
He said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Ministry had to adjust.
“It was a period in which we had to adapt from all points of view, to make efforts at a very intense pace and to solve problems that we had not faced to such an extent, from a typological point of view or in terms of quantity. It has been a period and, unfortunately, it continues that has determined the more or less acute outlining of new modes of action, challenges and trends in international affairs along with the acceleration or favouring of pre-existing ones. All this has to be carefully looked into by the Romanian diplomacy in order to extract lessons to be learned,” said Aurescu.
He added that he requested the drafting of a crisis response manual based on the lessons learned in the pandemic. Aurescu also spoke about the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, repatriation and consular assistance for Romanians abroad.
“We have continuously managed, sometimes day and night, borderline situations, emergencies and complex cases. From the beginning of the crisis, MAE has directly contributed to the repatriation efforts of over 12,500 Romanians abroad,” Aurescu said.
He added that via MAE 1,800 Romanian workers on cruise or merchant ships were supported to return home, and over 11,000 Romanian nationals were extended diplomatic assistance.
The Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy this year takes place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Monday to Wednesday. Guests of the event are the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi; Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba; Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha; Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya; High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. Part of RADR, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana will send a video message.
“This series of guests is not accidental at all. On the contrary, it fully reflects the comprehensive orientation of Romania’s foreign policy, both at European level and in the neighbourhood, in extra-European spaces and on a multilateral plan,” said Aurescu.
“Given the situation generated by the coronavirus pandemic, the main topics addressed in this year’s sessions are the impact of the pandemic crisis on international relations and global trends and how Romanian diplomatic service is adapting its tools in this context,” a release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) said.
The significant challenges faced by the Romanian diplomacy and the lessons learned in the context of the pandemic will also be addressed in order to analyze and identify concrete lines of action to support external developments favorable to Romania’s interests.
The work of the meeting will also refer to ways to strengthen the management of the consular components in the current context, in order to protect and promote the rights of Romanian citizens in the country and abroad, the MAE also shows.
The Foreign Ministry organizes annually the Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy, in the context of celebrating every year on September 1, starting with 2005, the Romanian Diplomacy Day.
PM Orban on Romanian Diplomacy Meeting: Our mission is to ensure right to vote of Romanians abroad
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Monday told the representatives of the Romanian diplomatic offices to take measures to ensure the best conditions for the Romanians in the diaspora to be able to vote in the parliamentary elections of December 6 and to maintain “an active and permanent connection” with the Romanians abroad.
“Romania is the country with the largest number, as a percentage, of citizens working abroad, (…) estimates showing 4 million people left the country in search of a better living abroad. My request to you is to maintain an active and permanent connection with the Romanians in the diaspora and to do everything in your power to keep them as part of our Romanian nation, to make them feel supported, represented, helped, while not losing touch with Romania, because this is the attitude that we have at the government level and at the level of every other structure and I have even discussed in person with very many ambassadors in countries where thousands of Romanian live, and they actually do all these,” Orban said at the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy.
The PM told the Romanian ambassadors that their mission is to ensure the best conditions for the Romanians abroad to be able to exercise their right to vote.
He also mentioned the economic relations, saying that Romania needs to become attractive to investors.
Iohannis: Increasing Romania’s role in EU and NATO, essential lines of foreign policy
Increasing Romania’s role in the European Union and NATO, but also consolidating and expanding the Strategic Partnership with the United States of America remain the essential lines of our country’s foreign policy, President Klaus Iohannis said on Monday, in a message sent on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy.
President Iohannis mentioned that the Romanian diplomatic service will have, following the pandemic-triggered crisis, some new facets, something which entails “extra attention to anticipation, inventiveness and flexibility”.
“This crisis has produced multiple consequences both domestically and internationally, which must be carefully analyzed. It is therefore welcome that this year’s edition of the Romanian Diplomacy Meeting is dedicated to analyzing the impact of the pandemic on international relations and the ways in which Romanian diplomacy will respond to this new context,” Iohannis said.
“Following this crisis, diplomacy will also have some new facets, which will require that diplomats and consuls, but also decision-makers grant more attention to anticipation, inventiveness, and also flexibility. At the same time, I emphasize that, even in this year’s special conditions, Romanian diplomacy has continued, at all levels, to promote national interests in accordance with the strategic priorities of Romania’s foreign policy – which, despite the aforementioned developments in international relations, remain the same. This year, too, our foreign policy has consistently focused on the key coordinates of increasing Romania’s role in the European Union and NATO, as well as on strengthening and expanding the Strategic Partnership with the United States. These key lines remain extremely important and it is paramount for the Romanian diplomacy to continue working on deepening them,” said the president.
Klaus Iohannis appreciated the involvement and professionalism shown by the members of the Romanian Diplomatic and Consular Corps.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through representatives with the foreign missions, as well as through those in the country, has made constant efforts to ensure the free movement of Romanian citizens within the European Union, to and from the country, as well as their repatriation from remote areas of the world, to facilitate the transit of goods essential to the Romanian economy and of medical equipment so necessary to combat the pandemic, respectively to ensure the consular assistance necessary to protect the rights of citizens, especially in these times of crisis. Often, the conditions in which the Romanian diplomatic body acted were very difficult and entailed assumed personal risks and, therefore, I express my appreciation for the involvement and professionalism shown by the members of the Romanian Diplomatic and Consular Corps,” Iohannis mentioned.
The president emphasized that he has confidence in the actions of the Romanian diplomacy.