Fresh News

Tuesday, 11 September

Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă met with her Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini

Joint press statements by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă and her Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini

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Viorica Dăncilă: I want to thank Mr. Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for having accepted the invitation to visit Romania and for our substantive consultations. During the meeting, I voiced my firm belief that the very good level of intergovernmental relations carried out under the auspices of some landmark historic moments, will be further maintained. I refer to the centennial anniversary celebration in the two countries, 25 years since the diplomatic relations between Romania and Slovakia were resumed, as well as marking 50 years since the Prague Spring. I discussed with the Slovak Prime Minister about strengthening the bilateral cooperation and relations, including at sectoral level. We extended special attention to the dialogue on strategic issues, namely the defence areas, with focus on the missions in which both Romanian and Slovak military participate, but also on the energy area. I examined relevant initiatives on energy security, interconnectivity of transport networks and transit corridors, reiterating Romania’s support for the BRUA project, and also for other formats of regional cooperation which might bring added value in terms of the security of the supply. Within the dialogue, I appreciated the evolution of economic relations and I emphasized the importance of strengthening bilateral trade and boosting the investment process between our countries. I also mentioned the activity of the 628 Slovak companies in Romania.

Work, social and internal affairs also represent domains of interest in our bilateral cooperation. The relevant Ministries signed today a protocol of bilateral cooperation in the field of labor inspection, the beneficiaries of which will be Romanian workers in Slovakia. I want to highlight our special cooperation in the field of internal affairs. It is notable, for example, the exchange of operative information and cooperation in combating international drug trafficking. Bilateral cooperation in education and in the field of culture has also been a subject addressed with my Slovak counterpart.



I would mention that 28 Romanian universities have agreements with 21 Slovak universities, whereby they develop university research and curriculum programmes, Slovak and Romanian language departments existing in both Capitals.

Today, we are extending this cooperation by signing the programme of bilateral cooperation in the field of education at Ministerial level. The deepening of the dialogue and cooperation regarding the Romanian community in Slovakia and the Slovak minority in Romania was also discussed during the meeting. Their presence represents important bridges in developing the relations between our nations. I also commended the way the local and central authorities in Slovakia respect and honor the memory of the Romanian military who sacrificed their lives fighting for the liberation of the Slovak territory during the Second World War.

As regards the European agenda, I extended special attention to the topics that are priorities in the programme of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

I have especially highlighted that the cohesion policy has both a symbolic value for the advance of the Union and a concrete one, a definite generator of added value, towards ensuring convergence and reducing development gaps. Both Slovakia and Romania, as beneficiaries of this policy, are clear proof of the importance of this policy at European level.  In this context, I emphasized that during its mandate to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Romania will give primary attention to the advance of the negotiations on the future multiannual financial framework 2021-2027. As regards the EU's internal security, I underlined that the safety consolidation objective will represent one of the pillars on which Romania's priorities will be defined during its mandate at the Council of the EU.

We intend to give special attention to the efforts made to ensure a consolidated framework of the EU's internal security, to the benefit of the European citizens and to support the restoration of the Schengen space's functionality. This will be one more opportunity for us to demonstrate Romania’s added value in attaining the security objectives. I have expressed the willingness to closely cooperate with the Slovak side throughout the exercising of the Presidency-in-Office of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.], especially from the perspective of Romania's holding the Presidency of the EU Council, in the first semester of 2019. Thank you once again, Mr. Prime Minister for your presence in Bucharest and the substantive dialogue we had on this occasion.

Peter Pellegrini: Distinguished Prime Minister, Ministers, I particularly appreciate this opportunity to visit Romania, as this visit confirms again our standard and beyond standard bilateral relations. We have a common history and I especially appreciate the fact that Romania was the first country that recognized Slovakia as a state in 1992. I also appreciate Romania's position in the past. The Romanian army fought in the Second World War in Slovakia and liberated nearly a third of our country's territory. Furthermore, our nation, Slovakia appreciate Romania's position of not intervening in our country's invasion of 1968. I very much thank you for this too.

Romania represents an especially important commercial partner for Slovakia, ranking 11th in terms of our exports and I am also content with the fact that our economic cooperation knows an ascendant trend. Bilateral trade between Romania and Slovakia reached EUR 2.7 billion last year. We very much want that this positive trend keeps its course.

Madam Prime Minister has mentioned all the objectives that we had on today’s agenda. Slovakia appreciates Romania’s activity in taking over the presidency of the European Union, and it offers its services in helping Romania, considering that it already held the presidency of the European Union. We wish to do this also from the position of the V4 format chair, in Visegrad, because I consider that this collaboration between the two presidencies, of the European Union and of the V4 format will contribute to our societies' prosperity and democracy. It will also make a contribution to advancing relations in Eastern Balkans and their integration in the EU structures.

We have also discussed about migration and here, I would mention that an enlargement of Schengen is necessary for a better protection of the European Union. It is very important that the frontiers of the Schengen Area advance toward the south, and Slovakia's opinion is that should someone meet the Schengen conditions and prove they are technically ready, they should be included in the Schengen Area. It is unacceptable to condition the acceptance or refusal of entry in Schengen on political matters, because this is not beneficial for the European policy. I assured madam Prime Minister that Slovakia backs Romania's integration in the Schengen area. I am very glad that our countries have common points concerning the energy policy, and we support the East Stream and BRUA projects and we refuse to accept the North Stream 2 project.

In 2019, Slovakia will hold the presidency of the OECD and it takes into account Romania's efforts of becoming a member of this club. I want to confirm that Slovakia will support Romania’s membership of this club. We wish great success to Romanian presidency! We are certain that Romania will be successful in this role, even if Romania's position is to be a very difficult one, because it will have to deal with Brexit and the parliamentary elections. I am positive that these challenges that will emerge along the way will be well-managed.

In conclusion, madam Prime Minister, I would like to thank you for the care you show to Slovak minority. The Slovaks are doing well in Romania and have a good life here. On the other hand, I would like to mention that Slovakia is also making every effort to ensure good conditions to Romanians who have come to our country. Prime Minister, I wish you a lot of energy, great success, I wish all the best to Romania and the Romanian nation! And I'm glad for a future mutual collaboration.


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