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Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Participation in the signing of bilateral documents and press conference by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Mr. Prime Minister, Ministers, Secretaries of State, dear guests, ladies, and gentlemen,

Allow me to express once again the joy and honor to host the fourth joint meeting of the Romanian and Polish governments. It is an activity that occasioned a review of what was agreed upon during the other three joint meetings and surely, to set out new goals and new directions of action bilaterally on the lines of every ministry. It is about both government and sectoral cooperation confirming once again the excellent bilateral relations between Romania and Poland. We confirmed once again the 2022 -2026 joint action plan and also we agreed upon a joint statement which was adopted at the end of the Cabinet meeting. All these are taking place within the frame of the strategic partnership that our countries signed in 2009.

This morning, we attended together the economic forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce from Romania. It was a very substantial activity and I am sure that the business sector, and business community of the two countries could discuss and identify opportunities and potential of each of our countries so that beyond government commitments, and official documents, the business communities can have a much coherent perspective of the consolidation of the economic relations between our countries. We also discussed those opportunities existing in this particularly complex situation we are all getting through. There are a set of aspects that have been discussed, linked to the effects they produced and continue to produce both the economic crisis, the energy crisis, inflation, and disruption of the supply chains, and in this respect, there have been addressed the topics that confirm that both countries are particularly concerned with identifying new sources of energy, securing coherence and shortening logistic chains and we are preoccupied with identifying together those areas through which both governments can ensure the framework necessary for the continuation ad development of bilateral relations.

We had a face–to–face meeting in which I discussed with the Prime Minister the aspects linked to the security environment, we analyzed the situation in Ukraine, the situation in the Republic of Moldova, and what Romania and Poland can do to further support and the most consistent possible way, both countries. Surely, we condemned in a single voice and we further condemn Russia’s unprovoked and illegal aggression against Ukraine, within the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. Together with our strategic partner, the United States, we will continue to ensure the relevance of the entire transatlantic framework to ensure the measures necessary for strengthening security and defense on the entire eastern flank.

Some other aspects have been tackled in the joint Cabinet meeting. Each line minister presented the main elements approached with the counterparts. I would like to mention the field of research, development, and digitalization.  It is a very important field as both countries have special potential and joint concerns in identifying those solutions to ensure the strengthening and development of research and innovation. We also have common preoccupations regarding solutions to continue digitalization so that we can facilitate offering this field for citizens, and SMEs, and I mentioned the SMEs as they constituted an item of discussion between the two ministries.

Some aspects also show concern both at the level of the Polish Government and at the level of the Romanian Government, namely the demographic evolution. We must discuss and admit that we have problems with this demographic development, and we must act on it. We have concerns in terms of supporting young families, families who have children up to three years old, in terms of ensuring the development of nursery and kindergarten systems, and, of course, concerns in terms of ensuring an education system that gives confidence to young families that they can have more children and have a place where children can be taken care of, where they can be educated, and we are thus positive that we will be able to take important steps in this field.

We also discussed the aspects related to the signing of the two agreements in the field of sports and the field of emergencies. They were presented at the time they were signed. What I want to add is that, in the field of sports, beyond the collaboration between the ministries, between the federations, and the other technical measures that have been established, it is very important for me that they seek to jointly identify those solutions that encourage sports in educational institutions.

In terms of defense cooperation, there are very good talks that already have a track record. We have a Polish military presence in Romania, we have a Romanian military presence in Poland and I thank you once again for this opening and for ensuring the continuity of the presence on the territory of both countries, of course, there are aspects of direct collaboration between the Armed Forces of Romania and those of Poland, between the Romanian Ministry of Defense and the Polish Ministry of Defense. There are measures that we see having a very consistent aspect of commonality, in the sense that both Romania and Poland have developed similar capabilities, and here I am referring to the PATRIOT systems, the HIMARS systems, the F-16 aircraft, which provides a joint platform of training, training, but also the development of maintenance and operational capabilities in the future. And because we have come to this area, I must also highlight our commitment, which we discussed last year in Warsaw and we have reiterated now, and it is a commitment in terms of defense industry cooperation. Together with the Prime Minister, with the line ministers, after the signing of the agreements in Warsaw, today we can come before you and mention that we have already reached the level of setting up a technical committee that will concretely put forward the elements in which we will be able to jointly develop these capabilities for the manufacture of military equipment and technique.

Last but not least, we discussed our commitments in the field of foreign affairs. The two ministers reiterated the very good collaboration and the common goals that Romania and Poland have and I think that, in this context, it is very important to have lines of effort and common goals at the level of the ministries of foreign affairs. And everything related to our coordination, both within the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance, is very well represented and very well agreed upon so that we can have a common approach.

The last topic I want to talk about is related to infrastructure. We discussed the opportunities we have for continuing the development of the infrastructure, both road and railway, and of course, the development of the port infrastructure.

Along with the objectives we develop through the cohesion funds and the NRRP, we are also looking at the opportunities provided to us by the Three Seas Initiative. We reiterated everything relevant to the realization of this infrastructure network named Via Carpathia and also to the Constanta - Gdansk Rail 2 Sea railway project, connecting the two ports, the Port of Constanța and the Port of Gdansk. Some elements will surely become reality and will continue to help not only our countries, Romania and Poland, but also Slovakia, Hungary, and in the south, Bulgaria, making the connection with the southern part of Europe, and at the same time they are infrastructure elements that will also help Ukraine.

There are, of course, a whole set of other objectives that have been the subject of technical discussions. I would like to stop here and thank the Prime Minister once again for this visit and I also invite him to take the floor. Thank you.

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