A four-party high-level meeting -Romania, Bulgaria, Greece Serbia -was held in Bucharest on Tuesday/Romanian nationals working abroad last year sent back home some 4.9 billion dollars
MEETING –A four party high-level meeting attended by representatives of Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia was held in Bucharest on Tuesday. Romanian PM Viorica Dancila was the host of such guests as Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, her Greek and Bulgarian counterparts, Alexis Tsipras and Boiko Borisov, respectively. Fresh from the meeting, the Romanian PM said the focal points of the talks were economic cooperation and concrete projects that the four countries can develop together. Viorica Dancila also said this format of consultations offers good opportunities to boost dialogue and identify ways to cooperate in south-eastern Europe, particularly in terms of economic development. The four party meeting in Bucharest is the third in this format, after those organised in Varna, Bulgaria and Belgrade, Serbia.
DECLARATION - The Speakers of the Romanian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Liviu Dragnea, respectively, signed in Tallinn, Estonia, the Declaration of cooperation among national parliaments of the three countries that will take over the Presidency of the EU Council next year. Paula Risikko, the head of the Finnish Parliament and Gordan Jandrokovic, the head of the Croatian Parliament, represented the other two signatory states. The Declaration was signed on the sidelines of the Conference of the Speakers of the EU Parliaments held in Tallinn, Estonia, that comes to an end.
ANTI-CORRUPTION –Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday endorsed the National Anti-Corruption Directorate’s request to start prosecution against former finance minister, Sebastian Vladescu, in a case in which he is accused of having requested and received a one million Euro bribe. He is suspected of two bribe taking offences while he was a member of the government. Former MP Cristian Boureanu is being prosecuted in the same case. The corruption deeds were reportedly related to the signing and implementation of contracts for the rehabilitation of the Bucharest-Constanta railway, such as returning the remaining VAT for rehabilitation works on another railway, between 2005 and 2014.
FINANCIAL - Romanians who work abroad sent back home some 4.9 billion dollars last year. According to a report made public by the World Bank, after three years of constant decline, the amounts sent to Europe and Central Asia went up by 20.9% last year, with the biggest transfers being reported in Russia, Ukraine and Romania. The World Bank document also shows that the increase in these amounts was due to an appreciation of the European and Russian currencies as to the US dollar, the important economic growth and better employment perspectives in the countries where the people who send their revenues to Europe and Central Asia work. The perspectives for 2018-2019 are positive, but the increase will be moderate.
TALKS - French president Emmanuel Macron is on an official visit to the United States during which he tries to convince the White House leader Donald Trump not to walk out of the deal with Iran. Trump warned he would pull the US out of the nuclear agreement unless tougher conditions are imposed on Iran by the 12th of May. Washington says the agreement with Tehran should also impose restrictions on the Iranian ballistic missile programme. Talks are also expected to tackle Washington's new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. These mainly target China, but other exporters can also be affected, such as the European Union. Washington temporarily excluded the EU from these tariffs, but the exemption expires on the 1st of May.
AGENDA - Romania firmly supports the continuation of the EU and NATO accession process in the southeast European region, a priority that will be high on the agenda of Romania’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2019. Romanian State Secretary for Strategic and Bilateral Affairs in the Euro-Atlantic Area, George Ciamba, made this statement at the meeting in Slovenia of the foreign affairs ministers participating in the South-East European Cooperation Process. The Romanian official also urged states in the region to carry on reforms. Talking about migration and terrorism, the Romanian official pleaded for solidarity and enhanced cooperation in the field and underlined the EU’s constructive approach in fighting these problems.(Translated by E. Enache and D. Vijeu)