Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy
An event of both symbolic and pragmatic significance
Minister Baconschi, this week you are holding the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy (RADR). What is the significance of that event?
This is an annual event of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a good opportunity for Romania’s ambassadors, consuls general and directors of cultural institutes, together with the leadership of the Ministry, to asses the diplomatic activity of the past year, and to establish guidelines for the coming year. This event therefore has both a symbolic significance and a very pragmatic one – to make the necessary stage review.
What are the priorities to be discussed? How will this year’s meeting proceed?
We are going to allot two days to working sessions with our diplomats, so as to have an in-depth dialogue on diplomatic action priorities, the means to improve institutional performance and the contribution Romania can make to approaching global challenges.
Special attention will be given to our priorities in Europe. 2012 has special significance for us: it is our fifth year as a European Union member state, and it marks 150 years since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came into being (July 20, 1862).
We shall also be analyzing our diplomatic activity in geo-strategic areas of growing importance to Romania: Asia, the Middle East and Africa, as well as South America. In all these regions, there exist highly favourable prerequisites for cooperation with states having a considerable economic potential.
Also to be examined are projects and programmes devoted to Romanian communities abroad. We must make sure that programmes targeted at Romanian communities are efficient.
The work of Romanian cultural institutes will make the object of a distinct analysis. I believe in soft power, and Romania has a tremendous cultural vivacity which deserves to be properly publicised. I think that the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) under the leadership of Dr Patapievici is doing a great job in that sense, and we fully support its programmes.
Consular activity shall also be analysed carefully, with an emphasis on refining the ways of getting closer to Romanian citizens living abroad, and on improving relevant services and assistance. It is one of the priorities of my term to strengthen the country’s ties with our expats. We have large numbers of Romanians living abroad, and they must not feel excluded from our country’s destiny.
To give further weight to the event, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and the heads of the Parliament’s committees for foreign affairs will address the Meeting. The heads of Romania’s diplomatic missions will thus have an opportunity to be presented the latest items on the Cabinet’s agenda, and notably the strategic economic priorities.
Last year RADR was attended by the Hungarian Foreign Minister, as a special guest. Whom have you invited this year?
Three special guests will be attending this year’s Meeting: Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the head of Turkish diplomacy, Ahmet Davutoglu, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from the Republic of Moldova, Iurie Leancă. It is an honour for Romanian diplomacy, and a signal to our European partners that such outstanding guests have accepted our invitation.
Their presence in Bucharest shall also give us the opportunity to consolidate our constant bilateral dialogue with these important partners, and to have a dialogue on topics of interest at the European and international levels.