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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Joint Declaration signed by Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the end of intergovernmental consultations between the Government of Romania and the Government of the State of Israel

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On 24 June 2014, the Government of Romania and the Government of the State of Israel had the second round of intergovernmental consultations. Romanian Prime Minister, Mr. Victor Ponta, and the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, chaired consultations and noted with satisfaction the progress in relations between the two states since the previous meeting held on 24 November 2011.
Given the strong partnership built over the years between the two Governments, both seek to further strengthen mutual relations by expanding joint cooperation in a wide range of areas.
Both Governments expressed their hope of Israel's peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. In this context they reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating in stabilizing the region and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
The two Governments reiterated their firm commitment to observing human rights and to combating all forms of anti-Semitism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.
Both Governments reaffirmed that the shared values of democracy, freedom and rule of law constitute a solid foundation for the partnership between the two states. They reaffirmed the right of the State of Israel to ensure its security.
Both Governments outlined the need for future development of relations between Israel and the European Union, and to continue cooperation in regional strategic issues.
The Governments outlined their aspirations for further strengthening relations between the two states and the unique relationship between the two peoples, based on the affinity for centuries between the Romanian and Hebrew peoples, supported and promoted by a large community of Israeli citizens of Romania and a strong Hebrew community in Romania who strives to preserve the Hebrew traditions and heritage. 
The consultations were attended by the following Government members:
For the Romanian side: Prime Minister, Mr. Victor Ponta; Vice -Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration, Mr. Liviu Nicolae Dragnea; Vice -Prime Minister, Minister of Culture, Mr. Kelemen Hunor; Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Titus Corlăţean; Defense Minister, Mr. Mircea Dusa; Public Finance Minister, Mrs. Ioana-Maria Petrescu; Minister of Economy, Mr. Constantin Nita; Minister of Health, Mr. Nicolae Banicioiu; Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Mr. Attila Korodi; Minister for Information Society, Mr. Alexandru-Razvan Cotovelea; Minister of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly, Mrs. Rovana Plumb; Minister of Education, Mr. Remus Pricopie; Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms. Gabriela Szabo; Minister Delegate for small and medium sized enterprises, business environment and tourism, Mr Florin-Nicolae Jianu; Minister Delegate for higher education, scientific research and technological development, Mr. Mihnea Cosmin Costoiu.
For the Israeli side: Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu; Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman; Defense Minister, Mr. Moshe Ya'alon; Finance Minister, Mr. Yair Lapid; Minister of Economy, Mr. Naftali Bennett; Interior Minister, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar; Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, Mr. Silvan Shalom; Public Security Minister, Mr. Yitzhak Aharonovich; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Yair Shamir; Minister of Science, Technology and Space, Mr. Yaakov Perry; Education Minister, Mr. Rabbi Shai Piron; Minister of Culture and Sports, Mrs. Limor Livnat; Minister of Communications, Mr. Gilad Erdan; Minister of Health, Mrs. Yael German; Minister of Environment Protection , Mr. Amir Peretz, Minister for Elderly, Mr. Uri Orbach; Minister of Housing and Construction, Mr. Uri Ariel.

Foreign affairs
Governments welcome the signing of the Protocol of Cooperation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
Governments of Romania and the State of Israel recognize the importance and mutual benefits for Israel and the European Union, of promoting peace, democracy and regional cooperation through the European Neighborhood Policy, encouraging scientific research, academic exchanges, environmental protection and increased cultural ties between the parties.
The Governments hope that direct negotiations in the Middle East peace process will resume and that they will end up with a just and lasting solution.
Both governments share the international community's concern for the destabilizing impact on region of internal conflict in Syria.
Government of Romania and the Government of the State of Israel recognize the importance and mutual benefits of deepening cooperation between NATO and Israel in the spirit of NATO's Partnership Policy. Romania will continue along the NATO member states concerned, to facilitate Israel's participation in relevant allied structures and programs.
The two Governments also welcome the signing by the Foreign Ministers of the Joint cooperation programme for the years 2014-2017, in the cultural, educational and scientific area.

Defense, National Security, Public Security and Interior Affairs
Governments recognize the defence and security cooperation as a key area for Romanian-Israeli relations. Considering the relations between the two ministries of Defence and the Military Cooperation Agreement signed in Bucharest on 9 March 2006, Romania and the State of Israel are determined to promote and deepen the strategic cooperation between the Ministries of Defence.
The Governments agree to strengthen and expand law enforcement cooperation, particularly in combating all forms of organized crime and terrorism.
The Governments should take steps to end in the near future of an Agreement between the Government of Romania and the Government of the State of Israel on cooperation in security and public order through Ministries for public security and internal affairs.

Cyber security
The two governments aimed at strengthening cooperation in combating cyber security and cyber crime, expanding knowledge, understanding and expertise on cyber security from technological, strategic, social, and international law perspective. Governments will cooperate to create a situation in which to reduce potential interferences to an acceptable level regarding authenticity, integrity and availability of data or other damage to participants in cyberspace.

Identity security 
Romania and Israel share the view that the use of biometrics can play an important role in securing the identity of citizens. In particular documents such as next-generation e-passport can be correlated with the legitimate holder through biometric identifiers. The parties agreed to continue intensive dialogue at expert level to seek possible solutions for online identity verification.

Bilateral trade, investment, finance and economic cooperation
Based on the solid foundation of pragmatic cooperation actively pursued in the area of trade and economic development, bilateral relations between the two states reached an advanced long term partnership level, at many levels.
The Governments will act to expand and diversify the trade flows between parties. The Israeli party mentioned that some Israeli companies have developed innovative IC&T solutions, cyber security, agro-technology, HLS, new- media and other hi-tech sectors that are potentially suitable for the Romanian market.

The Romanian side has introduced a transparent and coherent policy to promote investment, including a favorable tax system and other incentives for foreign direct investment, which are applied to Israeli companies active in Romania. Romanian Government highlights the benefits that Israeli companies can get through participating in the development of technology parks and industrial zones in Romania.
Both Governments signaled the importance of creating partnerships between the business communities to boost bilateral trade and economic relations. From this point of view, both Governments attach special importance to innovation and high value-added industries. Governments have invited industries and companies to cooperate in joint initiatives such as industrial / technological parks, and other investment opportunities to create new platforms of entrepreneurship and innovation in both markets.

Regional development
The Governments encourage cooperation in regional development and welcome the signing of a Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration in Romania and the Ministry of Construction and Housing of the State of Israel.

Energy sectors in Romania and Israel continue to undergo significant changes. Ensuring a high level of security of supply and keeping reasonable prices, with the integration of climate protection objectives requires market solutions and technological innovation. Both Governments intend to strengthen fruitful dialogue and successful cooperation in this field and to continue to encourage companies and Romanian and Israeli research institutes to cooperate.

The Governments seek to strengthen cooperation between the two states to protect the environment, especially in areas such as waste management, water resources protection and rehabilitation of water courses, integrated coastal zone management, marine environmental protection, wastewater treatment, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management, air pollution reduction, control and monitoring, promotion of environmental technologies, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, afforestation and measures to prevent and combat forest fires, environmental education and awareness. To facilitate this cooperation, Environment Ministers signed a Cooperation Agreement between Governments on environmental protection.

Communications and Information Technology
Governments will cooperate in the field of electronic communications and information technology, including cyber security policy and e-governance, and encourage cooperation within international organizations specializing and exchanging views and expertise in areas related to the policy process and regulations for electronic communications, information technology and e-government by signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Information Society of Romania and the Ministry of Communications of the State of Israel on various areas of cooperation.

Both Governments agree to jointly promote innovation in agriculture, which are closely linked to the global phenomenon of climate change and the need for global protection of the food security for future generations. There was taken into account the possibility of cooperation in agricultural projects in Africa. We jointly decided to initiate cooperation and exchange of views in the areas of rural development, animal breeding, plant protection and irrigation techniques, based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Agriculture, signed in 2013.

Scientific and technological research, research and development
Governments agreed to encourage and support bilateral cooperation in science and technology through the joint development of research and development programs and projects undertaken by research organizations and companies from Romania and Israel, in a wide range of areas including basic sciences, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies, material and biological sciences, space research.

Governments plan to strengthen joint participation in EU framework program "Horizon 2020" and EUREKA. Special attention will be given to developing cooperation in new fields of technology, especially in laser physics, engineering and related fields, to extend cooperation for the future development of ELI-NP, a scientific cooperation memorandum was signed in this sphere of activity.
Governments welcome the signing of the bilateral agreement on cooperation in research, and technical and industrial development, which will be implemented through a separate agreement between the Ministry of National Education – research activity and MATIMOP, which will be signed in the near future. Also, next year, there will be negotiated and concluded a supplementary agreement dedicated to scientific research.

Employment and Social Affairs
Governments will continue to develop bilateral legal and administrative instruments in labor area, while increasing cooperation in combating illegal employment of foreign workers and illegal recruitment practices and the elimination of illegal fees collected from workers.
Governments welcome the signing of the new protocol on Romanian workers recruitment for temporary employment in the construction sector in the State of Israel.
Governments also welcome the signing of the Joint Declaration on bilateral cooperation in providing long-term care, social care, on challenges of employment, on the welfare of senior citizens.

Governments, through Ministries of health, decided cooperation and exchange of best practices in healthcare, which will be conducted by senior officials of Ministries. There was signed an administrative arrangement between the two Ministries.

Education and youth exchanges
Governments emphasize the desire to strengthen bilateral relations in education by promoting opportunities for collaboration at all levels in order to improve the level of knowledge of the linguistic, cultural and historical values of the two countries.
Both Governments reiterate the importance of sharing experience on education systems in their states and encourage direct contact and collaboration programs between institutions of higher education and at pre-university level.
Governments, through Ministries of Education, will encourage the creation of additional lectureships of Romanian language in institutions of higher education in Israel, and other initiatives to preserve and promote Romanian language.
Governments, through Ministries of Education, will support the arrival of Israeli teachers who will teach Hebrew language and Jewish religion in Lauder-Reut Educational Complex in Bucharest.

Governments agreed to develop cooperation in the field of educational technology through the exchange of information and experience, to improve education and training in their education system, and signed through the Ministries of Education, a joint declaration on the subject.

Governments agreed on the importance of academic mobility and expressed interest in cooperating in the new EU program for education and training ERASMUS +.
Both sides agreed on the importance of the youth exchange in building links for future cooperation, peace and stability, and highlight the importance of the participation of youth organizations from both countries in joint projects within the Euromed Programme.
Governments agreed to encourage and promote youth exchanges between Israel and Romania, in order to create friendships among the younger generations of the two countries.

Holocaust education and commemoration
Governments declare that in their areas of responsibility, they will take all necessary steps to ensure that future generations will continue to commemorate the tragic episode of the Hebrew community in Romania during the Second World War. Governments are grateful to all Romanians who, by their actions, helped to save Jews during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem Institute gathered evidence on the subject and awarded the title of "Righteous Among the Nations" for 60 Romanians, Romanian diplomat Constantin Karadja including, a humanist and renowned intellectual. Both Governments agreed to continue efforts to recognize the Romanian contribution to saving Jews during the Holocaust.
Governments agreed to strengthen cooperation in education on the Holocaust by training Romanian teachers at the "Yad Vashem" Insitute and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministries of Education and Yad Vashem.

Culture and Sports
Governments emphasized the importance of commitment to strengthening cultural activities and initiatives that will be instrumental for deepening mutual understanding and cooperation between the two societies.
Governments welcome the signing of the Declaration on cooperation in sports between the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Romania and the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the State of Israel, and ratification by the competent institutions of the two states, of the Agreement on film co-productions.

Governments reiterated the great importance they attach to continued close ties and interaction between governments and decided to have a new joint governmental meeting (G2G) in 2015.

H. E. Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of the State of Israel
H.E. Victor Ponta
Prime Minister of Romania

Jerusalem, June 24, 2014

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