Romanian Government

Friday, 14 October

Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has attended the strategic meeting ELI – NP for development of the concept „Laser Valley- Land of Lights – smart territorial development”

Dacian Ciolos: Good morning. I would like to thank Mr. Iuga and Mr. Curaj for having invited me here. It is a project which, when I understood its scope and importance, I can say I grew attached to it ever since I worked for European Commission, because I understood it is a very strong advantage for Romania the fact that it got the funding for this project, that it got the agreement for the implementation of a part of this large European project, which has three locations, but one of these three important locations is in Romania, and surely, on its first phase, I understood the importance of the scientific dimension of research and of the contribution to fundamental research this project may have, and the fact that this project strengthens Romania’s position in international research, in the nuclear physics branch.  I gradually understood that this project can have other development dimension, which I do not know if it was guessed initially when the project had been envisaged by researchers and they insisted and they got involved in the project implementation, what I understood after I saw other such examples in the European Union. I would say that it is in a certain way a first time for Romania the fact that it has a research project of such scope, around which a region can develop, as well as new sectors of high –tech where Romania has potential and first of all, we can prove that we can integrate the research part, the researchers who are habitually working in laboratories, isolated from the rest of the world and so far, such platforms around poles of competitiveness have been promoted in large cities in Romania, in regional development centres with investment capacity, and able to carry this project out, due to the financial power and opportunities provided by a large city, other than Bucharest, such as: Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi, Brasov, etc. If such a project is initiated in a large city, the local community can carry it out, can develop and promote it politically including, because you know, many times, financial allocation decisions are made following political pressure and due to the political ability of local authorities to intervene and uphold their views in favor of such project. This is a project based in Magurele, a small locality, in the nearby of Bucharest, representatives of Bucharest City Hall are here, I think that the potential, even indirect, including for Bucharest is bigger than we can imagine now and frankly, I would expect Bucharest City Hall to very dinamically get involved in this project, besides the County Council, the Magurele Town Hall, and I think this is important, like a greater impetus than usually, on the part of the Government too, for such a project, for it not to reach deadlock, after we get funding, and we are in advanced phase, that of completion of project on research, the core element of this development project. We have to think of the steps ahead so that when this research center and the laser become operational, we have the concept developed, the necessary infrastructure, all the platform ready, we know who we will work with, and the sources of finance for certain projects. This pole of competitiveness, beyond this core represented by the research center and the laser has also an applied research dimension, development of some top technologies, applications in the field of medicine, materials science, nuclear material management. It has a training, formation, cooperation dimension, with faculties, universities, professional training centers in high-tech involved, but it also have a territorial development dimension because in that area, if things are running well, very many start-ups, SMEs, branches of interested companies should be bolstered to set up here. We can have university camps, districts for researchers, for those who are going to work in this center, and as it is about a development and high -tech center, surely, it will inevitably need a very strong connection and one in terms of infrastructure, not only with Bucharest, as capital, and as very important economic development center, but with other communication channels, as well, such as: Danube, also with other big cities around. Therefore, I think these things should be thought as of now, and I am willing to analyze them.

I discussed with Mr. Curaj these days, because I intuited the importance of this project, I must acknowledge with his contribution, when he was Minister, I suggested him to ensure the coordination as high representative of Prime Minister for this project and therefore, I had a discussion these days with him about the study conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. I want to thank them once again for their contribution, it maybe part of a very good business logic. Beyond this, the Romanian Government has conducted several projects, in which their contribution was welcome, and I want to thank them this time too. Therefore, seeing this title, I intuited the need of Government’s involvement to bolster this project exactly for the reasons I have presented. The project scope versus the possibility for local community in Magurele to implement it, I think it is high time for us to give this signal that we have here a gold mine, in addition to the fact that there are no risks related to its exploitation, I would outline that if we exploit this gold mine, we can contribute to environmental protection.  I am thinking very seriously of a way the Government may contribute to an integrate territorial intervention in the development of this region. We intend to do this in disadvantaged areas. We have already announced that with respect to Jiu Valley, Rosia Montana –Apuseni area, Moldova area, the poorest area of Moldova, we adopted a memorandum in the Government whereby we are about to create not only a concept of integrating the funding sources from national budget, European funds, in order to intervene in a coordinated way regarding the development projects in these areas, and also to come up with technical assistance, to help local communities from these three areas to build and implement these projects. 

We are doing this in the three areas, we support the disadvantaged areas, we give them an impetus for development. Here, it is a very big development potential, a potential which would be hard to capitalize by local authorities alone, then, I think we need a coordinated involvement of more actors. In conclusion, the message I want to convey you is that the Government shall get involved, or anyhow, together with my collaborators, members of the Executive, we shall do our best to facilitate the coordination of development resources in this region. There is also the Danube Delta area, where we have a territorial integrate development instrument on European funds, in all these areas, I first requested an involvement of local actors interested in this project and as far as I understand, most of them are around this table. To the extent you find your way to coordinate yourselves, and structure your intervention, requests for the coming period, you have the Government’ support. I would like to thank you once again as well as the international institutions that got involved through expertise too, and which can further get involved through expertise, technical assistance, support in identifying financial solutions for investments necessary in this area, as beyond the resources available with public resources, we can mobilize private financial resources for investments and then, we need the support of all partners which can help us in this direction. I want to thank and congratulate Mr. Curaj not only for  his involvement in this project, but also for his birthday today, celebrated through work. 


Statements by Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos following his participation in the strategic meeting ELI- NP for development of the concept „Laser Valley – Land of Lights – smart territorial development”



Dacian Ciolos: I attended a meeting, a discussion around the Magurele laser project, which beyond its scientific component, research one, which has been mentioned, has a territorial development component. This research project can generate technological development, development of the university education system, a university camp, creation of start-ups, SMEs, from various sectors that will use the technology and facilities of this laser.

With Government’s support, Mr. Adrian Curaj, who is high representative of the Prime Minister for this project, gathered together more actors from private environment, local public authorities, Ministries, so that we think together for the period to come, a development concept on the infrastructure and urban planning– there is already an architectural urban planning study for developing the respective area. We have now a study of the economic and social development potential in the respective region, the aim is that in few months, until mid December, we can have a concept of governance of this territorial development project.

Reporter: Will the infrastructure issue there be resolved? It is only a road that was asphalted once with Hollande’s arrival there and we do not know what will happen next, if there is a chance for us to reach Magurele in other conditions...

Dacian Ciolos: Yes, of course. Particularly for that reason the Transport Ministry is also involved together with the Ilfov County Council and the City Hall of the Bucharest Municipality as Magurele lies to the south of Bucharest and there is also need for a connection to the Airport and the city centre. Even the works on Bucharest’s ringroad will ensure the connection between the southern and the northern part of Bucharest This study also includes this part of necessary infrastructure to connect Magurele to Bucharest, and to other areas.

Reporter: You could see there is a technical issue there, now, this issue with researchers, they cannot be hired so easily, it is complicated with studies recognition. There are celebrities coming from outside to make research here and...

Dacian Ciolos: We are working on this too. A governance concept is needed which should include several institutions, because to date, people have focused more on the scientific part, on the construction of this facility that will host the laser, the gamma component. Since spring, we realized that we shall see the laser ready and not be able to capitalise on its true potential. That is why we began developing this concept, which is making progress. The idea of the meeting today is that, beyond the governmental or research institutions there, we should motivate, encourage and involve the local public authorities, but also the business environment. Investments there that can generate, as far as I understood from the study, a turnover exceeding 600 million euro annually, could generate up to 6-7,000 jobs, with a high added value, as researchers, engineers, experts will be working in these fields. Thereforem it is important to be ready until 2018, to have these facilities or at least, a clear idea about what is to be done.

Reporter: The decision to sack the prefect of Galati was taken on the Wednesday’s meeting of the Cabinet or is because of the way he managed the flooding situation?

Dacian Ciolos: No, it is not for this reason, there are others which the Interior Minister has presented to me.

Reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, have you discussed with Ministers of your Cabinet on an eventual candidacy on a party’s lists? Has anybody announced you about such intention to run in the election?

Dacian Ciolos: Yes, I discussed with some of them, and perhaps, they will announce soon their decision.

Reporter: Will they resign?

Dacian Ciolos: Obviously.