Cabinet Meeting

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Statements by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos at the beginning of the Cabinet meeting

Dacian Ciolos: I want to begin today’s meeting by welcoming our new colleagues. At the Transport Ministry – Mr. Sorin Buse- I could see that you have already started visiting the large building yards and projects. It is very important, as I have said when you took over, to follow with priority to carry out works in the ongoing projects, and to release those which are already blocked and which are in preparation. Therefore, it is very important that by the end of the year, we advanced everything that could be advanced on projects implementation and new projects preparation. The Master Plan for Transports, as far as I know, is ready, come with it at the Government as soon as you can, so that we adopt it, also the reform in CNADNR, I understand that you have already had talks with collaborators in the Ministry. Hopefully, you will be able to come as fast as you can, to discuss variants that you put forward. Education Minister, Mircea Dumitru, welcome.

As we discussed at your investiture, I am aware of your experience and interest in university educational system, and research, and I have no doubt that you will continue your projects in that field, some –already started, and I know you have come up with new ideas. I hope we find the time, energy, ways to focus more on pre-academic education, on primary and secondary education, here, I call on you to start preparing the school year by now, after we draw the necessary conclusions after the exams taking place late this year, the baccalaureate and the other exams, and to see what measures should be taken during summer to prepare the start of the new school year. I would ask you to also discuss with Vice Prime Minister Dîncu, on the logistics of schools, and especially of rural schools, as there are certain funds at the Ministry, which have been earmarked for this purpose, for all schools with pupils and which could not be open because of lack of certain works, to get authorized. At the same time, you know that the legislative package for dual vocational training remains a priority, and our objective is to prepare until autumn with the minimum legislation necessary so that we can start the school year with a dual vocational learning on new bases. Mrs. Maria Ligor, welcome, and you, with your experience as Ambassador in Spain and recently, in Canada, I am sure that you come up with the ideas and the energy that we need in the next months, on the one hand, to best possibly prepare the parliamentary elections in Diaspora, and here, I have to voice my worries , as there are extremely few people enrolled in that electoral register from Diaspora, which is a prerequisite under the new legislation, as we cannot organize polling stations but based on this register. I am a little bit worried about the way we can organize ourselves to create conditions for Diaspora to vote in an increased number. Therefore, I call on you to come as soon as possible with the analysis you conducted, with ideas and proposals in this respect. At the same time, I would like us to further as many projects as possible of those we prepared, on connecting the country with Diaspora. Alike, here, I would like you to come up with a report in the Government on the stage of various projects that have been discussed to date, with various Diaspora organizations. I would like to brief you on the visit of last week Asian tour. As you know, I paid an official visit to Vietnam. The first visit of a Romanian Prime Minister in the last 21 years, in a country with a dynamic and impressive economic development, a country that still keeps very pleasant memories about Romania, among its leaders, intellectuals. I met there more than 3.200 Vietnamese citizens who hold important offices in state and in the economy, who studied in Romania in the last four decades, and who represent an advantage for Romania over other countries also interested in economic cooperation with Vietnam, and hopefully, we will be able to turn it to good account. I held discussions with the President of Vietnam, with Prime Minister, with the Secretary of party in Vietnam. I discussed with the Prime Minister, especially potential cooperation projects in fields such as: trade, energy, banking sector, agri-food sector, tourism, infrastructure, information technology. I was accompanied by a group of businesspeople, a group prepared by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.

Nearly 18-20 companies were represented. As far as I know, some of these talks focused and I would call on here the Economy Ministry to have a discussion with the representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, those who accompanied me, to see the conclusions of meetings with businesspeople, to have a picture of what has already been convened. I Vietnam, I attended the signing of some cooperation memoranda between Transgaz, Transelectrica and companies in the field there, which implies also transfer of technology and experience, but also possible investments to be capitalized over the next period. Memoranda of Understanding between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam and agreements for strengthening cooperation in the fields of culture and education signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I would call on the two Ministries, Culture and Education to pursue the agreements enforcement because young people from Vietnam are further interested in studying in Romania, and there are also research institutes interested in working, collaborating with institutes in this field, in Romania. I participated in the Asia –EU Summit in Mongolia, held in Ulaanbaatar, which takes place every two years, attended by Heads of State and Government on the two continents. There were top representatives of more than 50 states in EU and Asia. In the plenary discussions, the topic of the debate was linked to the partnership within ASEAN for a better connectivity. I presented the arguments for turning Romania into a hub for interconnection project and transport infrastructure, communications infrastructure between Erope and Asia, given Romania’s position in this area, with access to Black Sea, and the advantage offered by Danube on connectivity between means of communication coming from Asia and going to Europe, towards EU, but also about Romania’s potential on other ways related to the information transfer and movement. I had on the sidelines of oficial meetings within the summit, bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Mongolia, China, Kazahstan, Singapore and Poland and at the same time, with the President of Switzerland, and the President of the European Commission, with whom I discussed, first, about bilateral cooperation issues between Romania and the respective countries and institutions. On the sidelines of the summit, I had informal meetings with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, with Prime Ministers of Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Malta, Russia, with the Vice President of India with whom we agreed to coordinate ourselves on the proposal that Romania put already forward almost two years ago and that I endorsed at this summit, in the context of the disussions on combating terorism, the idea of setting up an international court against terrorism, idea endorsed by Romania and Spain and it seems that India would back it too. I also had a discussion with the Secretary General of ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations, countries with important economic dynamics and countries with respect to which Romania too would have the interest of developing trade relations, furthermore as there are more free trade agreements between the European Union and these countries, which have already been finalized or about to be negotiated. Surely, this ASEM Summit held in Ulaanbaatar was marked by the events you know – Nice attack, and the failed coup in Turkey. On the sidelines of this summit, I took part in coordination sittings with the other EU Heads of State and Government to establish the EU’s position related to these events, positions which were communicated publicly too and that you know. Regarding Turkey, our message is clear: Turkey is a key partner of Romania and the European Union, and surely, we want stability there. It is important that, following the shock of this coup, Turkey returns to the Constitutional Order, observance of the rule of law, and human rights. There are values that we all share in the European Union, and we express our strong belief that Turkey shares them too, given its relationship with the European Union. Regarding Nice attack, I found out with great sadness that a Romanian national is among those killed in the attack. It is a tragedy that has stricken a whole family, as the wife and child are injured and hospitalised. Fortunately, information to date indicates their situation is stable, and I hope they will recover as soon as possible.

I know we have better news about the other two Romanians injured in the attack. Both are still hospitalised, but their latest health developments are positive. We are in permanent touch with the French medical services to make sure that Romanians hospitalized there receive the best care. I want to thank the Foreign Ministry for the way it dealt with these two crisis situations, the one related to Nice attack, for the exemplary way they mobilized to repatriate the Romanian citizens who were stranded on Turkish airports. From this point of view, it is worth mentioning that TAROM was the first company outside Turkey that landed on Ataturk International Company, following the events there, operating including an additional humanitarian flight, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following requests of the Romanian citizens stranded there.

I want to thank our embassy in Paris and the consulates in Marsilia, the honorary consulate in Nice for the way they mobilized to support Romanian citizens who lived very difficult moments there. There were indeed difficult moments but it is good that we carried it off. Thank you.

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