The PM Marcel Ciolacu is in the USA, where he has talked with representatives of the Romanian community in the Washington - Virginia - Maryland area.
The Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu started his official visit to the USA at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, where he commemorated the victims of the genocide of the Second World War. Later, he met with representatives of the Romanian community from the Washington - Virginia - Maryland area. Romania needs to develop partnerships with companies from developed democratic countries, the prime minister told the Romanians in the area, especially in an exceptional security context, stating that Romania has the longest border with Ukraine.
Marcel Ciolacu: "Without our great achievements after the Revolution, namely membership to the EU, NATO and the strategic partnership with the US, today we would not have been talking about a consolidated democracy in Romania, about stability and we would not have slept peacefully in Romania if this partnership had not existed."
Romanians can only be kept in the country by developing public services and infrastructure, he added, and Romania is on the right track. There are major investments in infrastructure, and next year, although it is an electoral year, reforms will be made in the budget system.
Marcel Ciolacu: "If we don't do this, starting next year Romania risks losing important sums from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan - PNRR as well as European funds. From my point of view, it is Romania's last train to catch. If we lose the projects and reforms from the PNRR and the accession to the OECD in the next period, Romania will no longer catch such a favorable train."
Marcel Ciolacu stated that he hoped that the USA would become the most important direct investor in Romania in all fields and the most important non-EU commercial partner of Romania. In this way, he said, the diaspora will find the way to communicate better with the home country. During the discussions with the representatives of the Romanian community, Marcel Ciolacu also referred to the efforts to include Romania in the Visa Waiver program. He said that the visa waiver will become a reality as of 2025. The US Ambassador to Romania, Kathleen Kavalec, attending the reception in Washington D.C., confirmed that there is progress regarding the inclusion of Romania in the program, which would allow Romanians to enter the US without a visa for up to 90 days.
According to US laws, the citizens of a country can benefit from Visa Waiver if the visa rejection rate is below 3%. This rate for Romania in 2020-2021 was 17%. The visa waiver would mean that thousands of Romanians will no longer wait weeks or even months for visa processing, will no longer risk having it rejected and will no longer pay the 185-dollar- fee. Currently, the only EU countries that are not part of the Visa Waiver program are Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus. (LS)