Helsinki – The Romanian defense minister Gabriel Leş participated on Wednesday and Thursday in Helsinki in the informal meeting of the EU defense ministers. The meeting focused on artificial intelligence and new technologies, the impact of climate change and of the environment on security and defense as well as the issue of a coordinated maritime presence. The issue of hybrid threats was tackled during a joint meeting with the foreign ministers. Minister Leş hailed the effort to increase visibility of artificial intelligence on the EU’s strategic agenda. Also, the Romanian defense minister supported the efforts aimed at identifying solutions for sustainable energy in the field of defense and reiterated Romania’s constant support in this regard. During its presidency of the Council of the EU, Romania organized the 4th meeting of the advisory forum on energy sustainability in the defense and security fields.
Cyprus - The minister for the Romanians abroad Natalia Intotero, who was on a working visit to the Republic of Cyprus, met with the Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis with whom she talked about the Romanian community in Cyprus, the two countries’ bilateral relation and the projects run by the Romanian ministry. Minister Intotero highlighted the initiatives for promoting Romania’s values all over the world, the programs run by the Romanian government with a view to supporting the Romanian communities abroad to promote and preserve their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity. Minister Intotero also had a meeting with the members of the Romanian community in Cyprus. In turn, president Nikos Anastasiadis congratulated the Romanian authorities for their interest in the Romanian communities aboard and for setting up of a ministry meant to deal with their problems.
Film festival – The 76th edition of the ‘Mostra’ International Film Festival continues in Venice until September 7. The event is officially recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations as the oldest festival in the world. This year, 21 films will be competing for the Golden Lion. Romanian cinematography will be represented by the documentary ‘Colectiv’ by Alexander Nanau, a movie whose world premiere will be on September 4. The film describes the aftermath of the fire that the broke out during a rock concert in the Colectiv club in Bucharest, on October 30, 2015 which killed 64 and wounded many.
Volleyball – Romania’s volleyball team was defeated on Thursday by the team of Azerbaijan 3-0 in their last match in Group C of the European Championship hosted by Budapest. In the first 4 matches in the group, Romania defeated the teams of Hungary and Estonia 3-1 each and lost to the Netherlands 0-3 and Croatia 1-3. The first 4 teams in the group will qualify to the eighth finals of the competition. Romania returned to a European tournament final after 4 years. The Romanians’ best result in the European Championship was the bronze medal in 1963. (update by L. Simion)