Statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila at the start of the Cabinet meeting

15 February

Viorica Dancila: Good afternoon. Distinguished colleagues, yesterday, I received a very good piece of news and I was keen on talking about it at the start of this Cabinet meeting. The National Institute of Statistics confirmed that in 2017, Romania had a 7 percent economic growth, the highest in the EU. I will not give you figures, these were made public, but I want to highlight that this shows the viability of the programme for government, and also the fact that we should continue on the same path. As I announced in the investiture speech, over the next period, we will intensify foreign policy and economic relations actions with the partner states. I think this is very important. We will also place emphasis on the European dimension of the government, we will try to actively participate in the discussions on the economic future and last but not least, we will extend special attention to increasing the absorption rate of European funds, and we will mobilize for this purpose.

Considering the aforementioned, I would like to inform you that I had meetings with several ambassadors accredited to Bucharest. This week, I will continue these meetings exactly in order to put into practice what I pledged in the investiture speech.

I want to further inform you that next week, in Brussels, I will meet with the President of the European Commission, Mr. Juncker, with the president of the European Council, Mr. Tusk, with the president of the European Parliament, Mr. Tajani, and of course, with the European Commissioner for regional policy Mrs. Corina Cretu. I think these are very important issues and I think it is very important for us to show openness and cooperation both with the EU member states and with the states with which we have a strategic partnership.

There are several draft laws on today’s meeting agenda. I would like to refer to the draft law on the acquisition of HIMARS systems and the Executive Decision on the multifunctional corvettes. As NATO and EU member state, our country has the obligation to intensify the national efforts on the defence and security dimension and I think that through this draft law, and the Executive Decision, we are taking two very important steps. The purchase of the HIMARS systems is part of the government –government agreement, it is the second agreement after Patriot system, and this is negotiated in the Strategic Partnership with the U.S. At the same time, the second objective, namely the multifunctional corvettes, I consider that in order to consolidate Romania’s strategic position to the Black Sea, we need advanced naval forces and I think that 2018 can be the start of the fulfillment of such objectives.

At the same time, all of this will proceed starting from the essential and non-negotiable condition that these high-tech products will be manufactured in Romania so that we can return important resources to the national defence industry. We have several normative acts on today’s agenda. Thanks to the press. Following the Cabinet meeting, the Spokesperson will provide details on the normative acts adopted on today's government meeting. Thank you.

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