Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu participated on Thursday in the meeting of foreign minister of the Central European Initiative (CEI), organized in a videoconference format.
According to a Foreign Affair Ministry (MAE) release, in his speech, the Romanian chief diplomat said that the challenges generated by the pandemic crisis represented a test of resilience for states and societies, a moment that can only be overcome through international solidarity, as an expression of common responsibility and efficient multilateralism, by defending the democratic values and the world order based on rules, as well as by adapting to the current context.
“Minister Bogdan Aurescu referred to the initiatives launched since the beginning of the epidemiological crisis in Europe, especially the financial support and the coordination on a European level for the common efforts in front of the pandemic, Thus, the Romanian dignitary also approached the EU’s demarches for overcoming the crisis and for recovery, under the adjustments to the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and the adoption of the most ambitious investment plan in the history of the Union, Next Generation EU. At the same time, Minister Bogdan Aurescu highlighted the consistent financial support from the EU for the Western Balkan and the Eastern Neighbourhood countries, in addition to the European facilities devoted to combat the pandemic and the crisis consequences in these states,” the release reads.
In context, Aurescu stressed Romania’s contribution to the effort of combating the pandemic, including the measures to the benefit of the Republic of Moldova citizens, through medical teams deployments, fund allotments and donations of sanitary products of first necessity, or hosting the RescEU strategic reserve of medical equipment, benefitting countries from the Western Balkans included.
“Minister Bogdan Aurescu reiterated the political, financial and technical support which the Romanian state continues to provide to its partners in the region in their European path. The head of the Romanian diplomacy reaffirmed the importance of respecting the democratic values, as a precondition of resilience in the demarches to overcome the crisis, and the need to implement some sustainable recovery measures,” MAE also showed.
At the end of the meeting decisions were adopted on the enlargement of the current mandate of Montenegro within the CEI in the period January 1 – December 31, 2021 and the establishment of earmarks to the Cooperation Fund for next year.
At the same time, the CEI foreign ministers adopted a joint declaration, reaffirming the significance of the consolidated cooperation in this regional format with other international bodies as well for overcoming the current medical crisis. The document points out the importance granted by the CEI states to observing the democratic principles which the efficient employment of epidemiological crisis control measures and the success of the post-pandemic recovery depend on.
The meeting of the foreign ministers was organised by Montenegro, as Chairman-in-Office, in collaboration with the CEI Executive Secretariat.
CEI represents a flexible form of regional cooperation including 17 countries, out of which 9 EU member states: Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia – and 8 non-EU states: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, R. Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine. Romania joined the CEI on June 1, 1996. CEI contributes to the process of connecting the countries in the EU neighbourhood to the Union’s standards and values. The CEI activity includes the political dialogue and funding projects for the transfer of European expertise in the vicinity, in various areas (transport, energy, environment, administrative reform, fight against corruption, etc.) and the promotion of good relations, rule of law, democracy and fundamental freedoms.