BLACK SEA – The security situation in the Wider Black Sea Region is currently defined by volatility and marked by a potential for conflict, trends which are likely to continue in the short and medium run, the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis believes. In a message conveyed on Monday at the opening of the 2018 edition of an event entitled 'Security in the Black Sea Region: common challenges, sustainable future,” the Romanian President also emphasised that in this complex and dynamic context the use of all international communication means is all the more important. Romania reiterates its goals of stabilising the region through dialogue and the peaceful resolution of divergences, the President’s message also reads. Taking part in this year’s edition are representatives of regional, European and Euro-Atlantic decision-makers, academics and civil society leaders from 16 countries. The Programme is an alternative platform for communication and cooperation between diplomatic bodies, the academic environment and the security authorities in the Black Sea region. The 2018 edition, held between May 28 and 31, focuses on “Shaping the future of the Black Sea region: game-changers and predictors”.
POLITICAL – The Social Democratic Party, in power in Romania, organises in Bucharest on June 9 a large-scale Government support rally, the president of a county branch of the party told Agerpress news agency on Monday. According to him, party members and supporters from around the country will be present, but all citizens who have confidence in the ruling coalition made up of the Social Democrats and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats are invited. President Klaus Iohannis has repeatedly called on the PM Viorica Dăncilă to step down, on grounds that she is unable to run the government. The announcement regarding the Social Democrats’ rally came on the same day when Pro Romania platform launched its political agenda. The platform is headed by the former PM Victor Ponta, and it was joined by several former Social Democratic members and MPs who are unhappy with what they see as the authoritarian approach of the party’s current president, Liviu Dragnea.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS - The head of the Romanian diplomacy, Teodor Meleşcanu, reiterated, at the Brussels meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, Romania’s support for the efforts of France, Germany and the UK to carry on the nuclear deal with Iran, as well as the importance of the dialogue with the US to identify a sustainable solution to the Iranian file. The EU foreign ministers reaffirmed in Brussels their support for keeping the agreement with Iran in place after the withdrawal of the US, and the need for Iran to continue to implement it. The agenda of the meeting also included the recent developments in Venezuela and Congo.
VISIT – The Minister delegate for European Affairs, Victor Negrescu, was on a visit to Helsinki on Monday, and had meetings with Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho, and with the secretary of state for European affairs Kare Yrjo Halonen. During the talks, the two parties reiterated their commitment to strengthening dialogue and cooperation in the field of European affairs, in the context of the successive presidency of the European Union Council by Romania and Finland in the 2 semesters of 2019. The participants also emphasised the common goal of the 2 presidential terms, namely to contribute to promoting a European agenda based on unity and the cohesion of the European project. Victor Negrescu said Romania and Finland share the goal of making the EU more flexible, more cohesive and more pragmatic in its actions, but, above all, closer to its citizens.
DEFENCE – The Romanian Defence Minister, Mihai Fifor, is as of Monday on a 3-day official visit to France, at the invitation of his counterpart, Florence Parly. According to a news release issued by the Romanian Defence Ministry, the 2 will discuss, among other things, the security situation at the Black Sea and the development prospects of the bilateral relations in the field of defence, including in the area of military equipment. The Romanian official will also have a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron’s diplomatic adviser, Philippe Etienne, the former Ambassador of France to Romania. The agenda also includes visits to the companies MBDA and Airbus Helicopter, the Defence Ministry release reads.
TENNIS – Two Romanian players have qualified into the second round of this year’s Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam tournament of the year. Mihaela Buzărnescu (no 32 WTA) defeated the American Vania King, 2-0 on Monday, while Alexandra Dulgheru (160 WTA) beat the American Christina McHale. In the men’s competition, the only Romanian player, Marius Copil (95 ATP), lost to the Italian Marco Cecchinato (72 ATP) in 5 sets. Four Romanians are playing in the French Open on Tuesday. World no 1 and first seeded in the tournament, Simona Halep, takes on Alison Riske (USA, 105 WTA). Halep has so far lost 2 Roland Garros finals. Irina Begu (41 WTA) takes on the Slovak Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (no 78), Sorana Cîrstea (45 WTA) faces the Australian Daria Gavrilova (no 24), and Ana Bogdan (no 65 WTA) plays against the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (no 90).
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)