Romania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrated last year 135 years of fruitful and dynamic diplomatic relations. The bilateral ties between Romania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, between the Dutch and Romanian people, extended significantly during the last years due to a constant political dialogue, and an increased interest and intensive economic cooperation.
In this respect, the recent working visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on March 9, 2016, of the Prime Minister of Romania, H.E. Mr. Dacian Cioloşș, is a confirmation of this development. The visit included a working lunch with the Dutch Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte, a meeting with the Speakers of the two Chambers of the Dutch Parliament, H.E. Mrs. Ankie Broekers-Knol and H.E. Mrs. Khadija Arib, followed by discussions with members of the standing Committee for European Affairs, and a meeting with the Romanian community living in the Netherlands.
Ten years after the previous dialogue at this level, Romania is a UE member state, enjoys a consolidated political and legislative stability, predictable economic environment and solid economic growth of over 3.7%, a mature civil society able and willing to take responsibility for its development and prosperity.
As EU and NATO partners and allies, Romania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands share a common vision rooted in their commitment for a consolidated Europe based on democracy, rule of law, stability, security and prosperity. Both countries are fully engaged to ensuring a peaceful future, sustainable development of their economies and societies, and prosperity for their citizens. The countries must cope, nevertheless, with new circumstances and challenges, Europe and worldwide, such as creation of more jobs, sustainable economic growth, a solution for the refugees’ crisis, and last but not least the fight against terrorism. A high percentage of Romanians see the answer to these problems in a stronger, more integrated European Union, in a renewed sense of solidarity.
It is fair emphasizing that Romania considers that the solution to the illegal migration flow includes in the first place the protection of the European borders, to which it contributes largely both by efficiently protecting its own frontiers, and by participating substantially in the FRONTEX operations. Romania backs the idea of a European coast guard and border control system and the establishment of a European Agency for Border and Coast Guard, being ready to host a part of this agency.
The 21.000 Romanians living in the Netherlands are fully integrated into and contribute to the Dutch society with their professionalism and dedicated work. They represent a cultural bridge allowing an even closer understanding of each other, as parts of the European family. The Dutch-Romanian special links have recently been substantiated in a moment of high distress by the tragic fire catastrophe COLECTIV in Bucharest, last October.
The Netherlands helped a number of wounded victims in the Dutch hospitals. A special word of appreciation goes to the Dutch authorities and medical teams for their high professionalism, efforts, and solidarity showed in their rescue. The Romanian community in the Netherlands acted as one in their support for the families in distress. The Romanian authorities are highly grateful to all those so highly involved.
The 2015 study performed by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research highlights that the Romanians “… match the profile of high-skilled ’knowledge migrants’: they speak excellent English and came to the Netherlands to work in high-status jobs for international companies, or to study or work at Dutch universities.”
Labour mobility represents one of the most important achievements of the European Union. The policies concerning job creation must encompass both preserving the competition principle, as well as fully implementing the already existing regulations countering abuse and exploitation on the European labour market.
The Netherlands is the biggest foreign investor in Romania, with more than 8.4 billion euro investment in more than 4.750 companies with Dutch capital. In November last year, the economic exchanges amounted to 3.549 million euro. An increase is expected for this year.
Romania has the potential to attract even more Dutch investors in a wide range of domains – public-private partnerships for major infrastructure projects, water management, manufacturing (particularly of auto parts, aerospace and wood products), renewable energies, ICT services, agro-industry and food processing, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, consumer goods, tourism. Investors can find a variety of opportunities – natural resources, fertile agricultural land, skilled and educated labour force, developed networks of mobile telecommunications in GSM systems including 4G, to only enumerate some.
Romania can become a favourite country destination for the Dutch tourists. The 2500 km from the North Sea to the Black Sea, that one can cover in two and a half hours by plane can offer a variety of landscape, from mountains to seashore and Danube Delta, and prestigious vineyards all over the country.