Didier Reynders meets with Romanian counterpart Titus Corlatean
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders met with his Romanian counterpart Titus Corlatean today.
The ministers made use of the occasion to discuss European topics. The Romanian minister stressed the importance of the continued Euro-Atlantic integration of the Balkan countries and Moldavia. Didier Reynders supports this integration, but believes that accession to the European Union is just one of several possibilities for European integration. Titus Corlatean expressed his support for a step forward in the Turkish accession negotiations with the EU, and Minister Reynders agreed with him.
The two ministers also discussed Romania’s joining of the Schengen Area and the cooperation and verification mechanism created after Bucharest’s accession to the EU in 2007. They are hoping for a positive decision on Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area before the end of the year. Didier Reynders stated that controls at the Schengen Area’s external borders would be necessary in this regard.
For Minister Reynders and his Romanian counterpart, informal discussion and cooperation mechanisms between groups of Member States within the European Union are needed. This can take place based on the example of existing discussions between the Benelux countries and the Baltic States, or with countries in the Visegrad Group. Such mechanisms can simplify the decision-making process within the Union, which is becoming more difficult due to the increased number of Member States after each expansion.
The ministers also discussed bilateral relations, which they want to continue developing. The Romanian desire to attract foreign investment was well received by Didier Reynders. The network of economic advisors will, according to Minister Reynders, play an important role in this regard. Minister Corlatean invited Didier Reynders to visit Bucharest and reminded him that this year marks the 175th anniversary of the opening of the first Belgian Consulate in Galati on the Danube (1838).