SUMMIT - Romania's partnerships with the EU and the US are equally important and choosing between them has never been an option, said Romania's President Klaus Iohannis in Sofia, where he attended the EU - Western Balkans summit. One of the topics discussed in the first session of the summit was connectivity in infrastructure, energy and digital networks and the Romanian head of state stressed that macro-regional strategies in these fields must be given additional support. In the second session, focusing on common challenges, Klaus Iohannis said that the EU and the Western Balkans are in a relation of interdependence, given their geographic proximity, and therefore boosting cooperation remains a top objective, with a view to protecting national security and regional stability. At the end of the summit, the EU heads of state adopted a declaration which explicitly reiterates the support for the region's European prospects.
DIPLOMACY - The Romanian Foreign Ministry took note of the Ramallah authorities' decision to call for consultations the Palestinian Ambassador to Bucharest and issued a communiqué stressing the need to avoid any action that might jeopardize the peace process. According to the Ministry, a strong political dialogue is needed more than ever, supported also by means of strong diplomatic cooperation, with a view to ensuring a constructive stand on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Also, the Foreign Ministry reiterates Romania's support for the solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. On Wednesday, the Ambassador of Palestine to Romania Fuad Kokaly was urgently called to Ramallah for consultations, given that Romania is one of the countries that have blocked the EU declaration regarding the relocation of the member states' diplomatic missions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
VISIT - On Thursday, the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila had talks in Bucharest with the European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska. The main topic on the agenda of talks was the future budget of the EU, which, according to the Romanian Prime Minister, should support efforts to bridge the gaps between the member states. In turn, the European Commissioner appreciated Romania's economic development and said that the future budget should earmark more for cooperation between the member countries' defense industries. In another development, also on Thursday, Prime Minister Dancila met with the Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. The two officials discussed the growing cooperation between Romania and Israel in the tourism sector, and the development of a joint tourism programme.
NOTIFICATION - The leader of the opposition National Liberal Party Ludovic Orban has announced he has filed a notification with the Prosecutor's Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice in Bucharest concerning the Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and the leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea, who is also the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies. According to Orban, the notification is about the memorandum recently adopted by the Romanian Government on the relocation of the Romanian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Orban accuses the two officials of high treason and usurpation of public office. Dragnea has stated that Orban's move was a coup attempt.
AIR QUALITY - On Thursday, the European Commission referred Romania to the Court of Justice of the EU, alongside another five countries, for failing to respect agreed air quality provisions. The Commission has sanctioned France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Romania "for failing to respect agreed air quality limit values and for failing to take appropriate measures to keep exceedance periods as short as possible". France, Germany and Great Britain will be referred to the Court of Justice for failure to respect limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and Hungary, Italy and Romania are referred to the Court over persistently high level of particulate matter.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, number one in the world, has qualified to the quarter finals of the WTA tournament in Rome, with 2.7 million Euro in prize money, after the American player Madison Keys, ranking 14th in the WTA classification, withdrew due to an accident. In another move, Halep's main adversary Garbine Muguruza, number three in the world, was eliminated in the second round by the Australian Daria Gavrilova.