Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi has been on an official visit to the Republic of Croatia on 27 September 2011, at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Gordan Jandroković.
The schedule of the Romanian minister’s visit included talks with his Croatian counterpart, meetings with the President of Croatia, Ivo Josipović and with Speaker of Parliament Luka Bebić. The Romanian official also delivered a lecture before the diplomatic corps accredited to Zagreb, on “EU Enlargement: European Advantages, Regional Benefits.” The event was followed by a brief theatrical performance in the Istro-Romanian dialect, staged by children from Shushnievitsa, a locality in the Istria peninsula. The visit to Zagreb ended with a meeting of the head of the Romanian diplomacy with representatives of the business community in the Republic of Croatia.
Minister Baconschi conveyed to the Croatian authorities a message congratulating them for having completed the negotiations on the country’s accession to the European Union and saluted Zagreb’s open approach and support for the continuation of the process of European integration of the states in the Western Balkans region. “Croatia’s approach can add value to the whole region,” the Romanian Foreign Minister said. “Romania and Croatia want to see a stronger European Union,” added Minister Baconschi.
The head of the Croatian diplomacy thanked Romania for the constant support granted in the process of European integration. The two ministers underscored the importance of developing a pragmatic collaboration between Romania and Croatia, also by turning to advantage such regional cooperation formats as the EU Strategy for the Danube Region or the South-East European Cooperation Process. As far as sectoral cooperation is concerned, the discussions focused on the need to spur collaboration in the fields of defence, justice, internal affairs, and tourism.
The growth of economic relations between the two countries was a central item on the agenda of the official talks. The Romanian and Croatian foreign ministers agreed on organizing a business forum and on establishing a bilateral Chamber of Commerce. “I am sure an economic forum would help us stimulate the economic exchanges and mutual investment,” stated Minister Baconschi.
The two officials moreover discussed cooperation between the two states to preserve the Istro-Romanian dialect, one of the historical dialects of the Romanian language, spoken in the Istria peninsula of Croatia. A specific project in this line refers to introducing optional Istro-Romanian language classes at the school of Shushnievitsa and radio programs in the Istro-Romanian language in the respective region, as well as to developing joint cultural and academic projects.
During the meeting with President Ivo Josipović of Croatia, they approached aspects of the bilateral, European and regional relations, with emphasis on the fields likely to help boost the cooperation between the two states. The Romanian minister underscored the importance of supporting all countries of the region in their European integration efforts also after Croatia’s accession to the European Union. “We need to maintain a dynamic regional dialogue,” said the head of the Romanian diplomacy.
September 29, 2011
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