Romanian FM Bogdan Aurescu met his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders in Bucharest on Saturday. The meeting prefaced the Sunday’s ride they both took for the march in the memory of the victims of the attack in Tunis on March 18, 2015.
The meeting tackled bilateral, European and security issues, as well as Schengen topic, according to a press release issued by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Romanian FM presented his Dutch counterpart the arguments that Romania considers relevant pending a favorable decision regarding our country’s joining Schengen area. Bogdan Aurescu underlined that Romania’s accession will strengthen Schengen’s capacity to fight illegal facts, precisely it will enhance EU security. The two foreign ministers agreed on keeping in touch on this topic to identify the best ways to find a solution.
From the bilateral point of view, it was decided that Dutch FM Bert Koenders should come back to Romania this autumn for an official visit, when 135 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, marked this year, will be also celebrated.
The two officials also hailed the level of the Romanian-Dutch commercial exchanges (over EUR 3.5 billion in 2014). The Netherlands has been ranking first on foreign investments in Romania for several years (over EUR 8.2 billion). FM Aurescu expressed Romania’s interest to preserve this upward trend and to attract new Dutch investments on the Romanian market.
Not lastly, at the Romanian FM’s initiative, the two officials assessed the European citizens’ situations, including Dutch and Romanian citizens, who are facing final rulings of death penalties for drug trafficking in countries from Southeastern Asia, contemplating joint initiatives.
The Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders is member of the PvdA, the Dutch socialist party.
Two weeks ago, The Netherlands’ ambassador to Romania, Matthijs van Bonzel told an interview to Realitatea TV that The Dutch Parliament is not supporting for now Romania’s joining Schengen. “At this moment, the integration is not supported by the Dutch Parliament, as the Parliament doesn’t consider Romania has fulfilled all initial demands in order to become the European Union member (…) Romania was not ready at the time of joining EU. It was ready from many points of view, but not the essential ones. I am talking here about legislation, about judicial system, about its efficiency and impartiality in the way the law are brought into force, about institutional corruption,” ambassador van Bonzel was saying.