President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday that the Romanian-French friendship is solid and the strategic partnership between Romania and France is strong and must be deepened in the spirit of European values that the two countries share.
“The Romanian-French friendship is solid and our strategic partnership is strong. It is our duty to deepen this friendship between our peoples, to develop and deepen our partnership, in the spirit of the European values we share,” Iohannis told a French National Day reception party extended by the French Embassy.
He said July 14 was “the foundation of modern France and a crucial moment for Europe and the world.”
“The fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which a central street in Bucharest reminds us of, marked, with the beginning of the French Revolution, the emergence of concepts that spread throughout the world: the rule of law, freedom, equality,” said Iohannis.
He pointed out that Romania and France, linked by a strong strategic partnership, enjoy a long-standing friendship.
“We have a connection rooted in history, which both Romania and France have been able to maintain and cultivate – and which today is geared towards the future. Sharing a common history and culture, the appreciation and inspiration of the Romanian elites in the relationship with France echo with the landmarks that facilitate our dialogue and mutual understanding today. And I am not referring here only to the institutional dimension of our co-operation, but to the multiple human ties established at all levels of our societies,” Iohannis pointed out.
Iohannis mentioned that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Romanians and French have shown that solidarity exists and works.
“I was glad to learn that Romanians – doctors and directors of some medical and social facilities in France – were decorated by the French state for their essential contribution to the fight against the pandemic,” Iohannis said.
He added that the affinities between Romanians and French people “translate politically, economically, culturally, as well as academically, creating a virtuous circle of bilateral connections.”
The president indicated that one of the substantial components of the bilateral relationship with France is economic co-operation, pointing out that France is Romania’s fourth largest trading partner, with trade of about 9 billion euros before the pandemic. He pointed out that collaboration in the cultural field continues, recalling the Romania-France season. He also mentioned that this year’s Enescu Festival will be unfolding under the sign of Romanian-French friendship.
“On this occasion, I would like to welcome the cultural diplomacy initiatives and the various projects that will take place both in Romania and in France under the sign of the Enescu Year,” Iohannis added.
He also spoke about the Francophonie, pointing out that it is “a deep-rooted binder in our history,” as the French language was introduced as early as 1776 in the education system in Bucharest.
“French remains the second foreign language studied in schools today, and Romania is the main French-speaking regional hub, a flagship state of Francophonie in Central and Eastern Europe,” Iohannis added.
The head of state specified that among the most solid pillars of the Romanian-French bonds is the firm attachment to a united, secure and prosperous Europe, indicating that Romania and France have a common vision about the importance of the European design and the European Union’s policies.
“In the first half of next year, France will hold the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the first conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe will emerge. These two moments provide the ideal framework for principles such as unity, solidarity, cohesion, the desire for advancing the European design to be revalued to the befit of the entire union. We want to work together to turn this vision into concrete results that meet the expectations of European citizens,” Iohannis said, according to Agerpres.
French Ambassador Laurence Auer: We dedicate the ceremony to medical staff and vaccination efforts worldwide
French Ambassador in Bucharest Laurence Auer has dedicated Wednesday’s celebration of her country’s National Day – July 14 – to the medical staff involved in the fight against COVID-19 and vaccination efforts around the world.
“After more than a year of fighting the pandemic, we dedicate this ceremony to the medical staff and the efforts made for vaccination in France, Romania, and around the world, which we must intensify even more,” the diplomat said at the ceremony held at the French Embassy’s headquarters, attended by both President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Florin Citu.
“Our countries have faced this period together, continuing to strengthen and intensify bilateral relations. Our unique strategic partnership was renewed in October last year, opening up new areas of bilateral cooperation and shaping together the prospects for tomorrow’s Europe. The European recovery plan, the green transition package approved today, or the debate on the future of Europe that you launched yesterday, Mr. President, are important axes of cooperation between our two countries,” said Auer.
According to her, “in the face of the pandemic, we have affirmed our European solidarity in the best possible way for the health of our citizens, but also for the economies of our countries.”
She also mentioned the participation of our country in the European operation Takuba in the Sahel.
“As we prepare for the French Presidency of the European Union, the decision made by Romania marks a decisive international commitment and I would like to thank you for this, on behalf of the French authorities. French-Romanian cooperation is essential for our security. In defence, but also in the fight against organized crime, we act together, with good results,” added the ambassador.
In her view, the European Recovery Plan, initialed by the agreement of July 21, 2020, marks a common desire for a Europe of solidarity, resilience, green, digital, focused on growth and jobs.
“In implementing this plan, the complementarity and interaction between the economies of our countries and the dynamics of French societies in bilateral relations are essential assets. (…) We want the structuring of industrial sectors, with strong potential, to continue,” said Laurence Auer.
She also highlighted decentralized cooperation among cities and regions, through projects aimed at sustainable development and the younger generation.
“At the same time, I am proud, after the end of the France-Romania season, to continue the project dedicated to the celebration, this year, of the 140th anniversary since the birth of the great composer George Enescu,” added the French ambassador in Bucharest.