France and Romania have signed an updated roadmap setting the coordinates of the bilateral strategic cooperation.
Signed in 2008 in Bucharest, the strategic partnership between France and the francophone and francophile Romania, the first such partnership that Paris signed with a East European country, was ignored for five years. Political will on both sides was required to boost cooperation that was often overshadowed by the negative image - something created by the media or used for political reasons - of some Romanians in France. However, the partnership, with a dominant economic component but also with a political and cultural dimension, is valid and must be fully functional, irrespective of problems of any nature, to which solutions must and can be found through dialogue. This was the message in 2013, when Romanian and French authorities decided to revive this partnership.
Since 2013 on, almost all French and Romanian presidents and prime ministers have paid official visits to Bucharest and Paris to forge new agreements based on this strategic partnesrhip. Early this week, it was PM Ludovic Orban’s turn to travel to Paris for an official visit. At the end of meeting with his French counterpart, Jean Castex, the two signed an updated roadmap based on which cooperation, they say, becomes more structured, more ambitious and better equipped to deal with challenges generated by the coronavirus crisis. This roadmap sets out the main coordinates of the bilateral cooperation for the next four years, in sectors like nuclear energy, defense, telecommunications, agriculture and health. France will support Romania develop its capacity to produce nuclear energy after Romania and the US signed, early this month, an accord for the construction of two new reactors.
PM Ludovic Orban: ”The French PM and I have signed a document regarding cooperation in the nuclear sector, that targets collaboration with strategic partners in order to carry out the construction of reactors 3 and 4 in Cernavoda and the upgrading of reactor 1.”
Ludovic Orban also talked about possible new French-Romanian projects in the military field, Romania planning, for instance, to equip its Naval Forces with four corvettes. Also, after Romania and France successfully organised, in both countries, a cultural season, between December 2018 and July 2019, the two contries now plan to celebrate together, next year, the great Romanian composer George Enescu, and to mark 140 years since his birth. Also next year, the George Enescu International Music Festival will reach its 25th edition. (Translated by Elena Enache)