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December 14, 2023 UPDATE

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NEWSFLASH
NEWSFLASH

, 14.12.2023, 19:51

Budget — After approval by the Romanian Government, Romania’s draft budget for 2024 will be sent to Parliament for debate. The calculations are based on an economic growth of 3.4%, a deficit target of 5% and an average annual inflation rate estimated at 6% of the GDP. The budget law includes the pension and salary increases already announced, and also most of the measures from the fiscal package assumed by the government. Among the ministries that will receive more money compared to the 2023 allocations are the education, development, environment and family ministries, while smaller budgets will go, among others, to the ministries of energy, of investments and European projects.



Brussels – The leaders of the EU states, gathered in Brussels, decided on Thursday to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, after the European Commission had made a recommendation in this regard in November, AFP and Reuters report. The announcement was made by the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, who is presiding over the EU summit in Brussels. Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis congratulated Moldova and Ukraine for the start of EU accession negotiations and considers the decision of the European Council as ‘historic’. At the European Council, besides the issue of EU enlargement, they also address the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, support for Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and security and defense. Regarding the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis will plead for an approach that promotes the financing balance between the commitments already assumed and the new priorities on the European agenda and that does not involve reductions of funds for the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. As regards the situation in the Middle East, Iohannis will insist on the need for increased involvement of the EU in the region, in order to protect civilians, de-escalate the conflict and resume the peace process based on the solution of two states, Israeli and Palestinian. On Thursday, on the sidelines of the European Council, Klaus Iohannis met with the recently appointed Prime Minister of Poland, the liberal Donald Tusk, with whom he analyzed the priorities on the NATO agenda and the bilateral relationship.



Recovery and Resilience – Romania will send the third payment request from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to Brussels on Friday, December 15 — the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said at the meeting of the Interministerial Committee for the Coordination of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan – PNRR. This has a total value of 2.7 billion euros, from which the pre-financing already received was deducted, and covers 74 targets and milestones corresponding to the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2022.



Summit — The reconstruction of Ukraine and Romania’s strategic role in this process was the topic of an international conference, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Romania’s mountain resort of Sinaia. Attending the conferencce were officials from the country and abroad, independent experts, representatives of the business environment, academia and the diplomatic corps. The Romanian PM, Marcel Ciolacu, and the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denîs Şmîhal, sent video messages to the participants, in which they talked about the Romanian-Ukrainian partnership and Romanias support for Ukraine.



Drones — The Romanian diplomacy strongly protests against the incident caused by the uncontrolled crash of a drone used in the attack on the Ukrainian port infrastructure, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, in an uninhabited area about four kilometers upstream from the town of Grindu, on the Danube. “This represents a new violation of Romanias airspace, contrary to international law,” the Romanian Foreign Ministry MAE states in a communiqué. MAE firmly requests Russia to stop the repeated attacks against the Ukrainian population and civil infrastructure, as well as the irresponsible escalation of the security situation, including at the border between Romania and Ukraine. Following the incident, MAE has summed the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bucharest. The Romanians living in the area were warned by RO-ALERT messages about the possibility of objects falling from the airspace, they were advised not to panic and to take shelter, if the situation requires it. This year, the Romanian Defense Ministry identified remains from several drones used by Russia in attacks against the Danube ports in Ukraine, essential for the export of Ukrainian cereals.



UN – The Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) welcomed the 68th anniversary of Romanias admission to the United Nations on December 14. All these years, Romania asserted itself as a supporter and defender of multilateral diplomacy, including through active involvement in the organizations three fundamental areas of activity: international peace and security, development and human rights. MAE emphasizes that Romania will continue to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. At the same time, it will aim to strengthen the support dedicated to the most vulnerable partners, in order to respond to current challenges, as well as to develop sustainable economies and resilient, fair and inclusive societies.



Hamas – Romania joins the international community to support Israels efforts to release the hostages kidnapped by Hamas, the PM Marcel Ciolacu said after meeting, on Thursday, in Bucharest, with Israels Interior Minister, Moshe Arbel, and with family members of Israeli citizens of Romanian origin who were held hostage in the Gaza Strip. In this context, the Romanian PM reiterated that “de-escalation is a viable solution for restoring security in the region”. Also on Thursday, the Romanian Foreign Ministry — MAE announced the death of a person with dual citizenship, Israeli and Romanian, held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas since October 7. The announcement comes after on December 2, MAE announced the death of another person with dual citizenship, Israeli and Romanian, captive in the Gaza Strip. Currently, two people with dual citizenship, Israeli and Romanian, are still held hostage by Hamas, and the Romanian diplomacy reiterates the need to release all the hostages. The Romanian Embassy in Tel Aviv maintains contact with the Israeli authorities – the MAE also states. (LS)

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