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World Bank sets EUR 750 million budget for Romania under new 2014-2017 program

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500_Euro_BanknotenThe World Bank Group Board of Directors discussed today a Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Romania for 2014-2017. The new strategy outlines the Bank’s cooperation with the Government of Romania over the next four years. Also today, the Board approved a EUR750 million budget support loan (DPL), the first of a series of such operations loans included in the new CPS.

The Bank’s loan series supports critical reform measures to strengthen public debt management, enhance the quality of public spending, and improve the performance of state-owned enterprises and the functioning of property, energy, and capital markets, all of which are key for private sector development and growth. The DPL series builds upon previous budget support lending to Romania and complements the ongoing European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs.

The new strategy supports Romania’s goal of converging with EU income levels, focusing on improving living conditions for the poorest 40 percent of the population while ensuring gender equality.  The strategy is focused on three main pillars: (i) creating a 21st century government, (ii) supporting economic growth and job creation, and (iii) increasing social inclusion. The CPS is the result of extensive consultations with a wide variety of stakeholders in the government, the European Commission and international institutions, the private sector, academia, think-tanks, civil society, and representatives of selected municipalities and residents within Romania.

Romania and the World Bank Group are deepening an already strong and fruitful partnership”, said Ms. Mamta Murthi, World Bank Director for Central Europe and the Baltic Countries.

Romania is now stable from a macroeconomic perspective and better prepared than before 2008 to absorb global and regional markets volatility. Reaching a growth above 3.5 percent in the medium term, and catching up with the rest of the European Union will require better infrastructure, a policy environment capable to attract significant amounts of private sector investment, and improved utilization of EU funds. We are aware of these challenges, and we hope to reach these ambitious objectives with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank.” said Liviu Voinea, Minister Delegate for Budget and Romania’s Governor of the World Bank Group..

Our expectations are that Romania’s economic growth will further trend upwards and structural reforms implementation will continue. We welcome World Bank’s decision to support our endeavors, including the new CPS, whose objectives reflect our aim to offer predictability to the business environment and a more efficient public sector. Over time, we have built a strong partnership with the World Bank that allowed operations in various sectors of the economy. Looking forward, we hope that it will continue to support the structural reform process, including in public finance. I am aware that the business environment expects fiscal measures that lead to economic growth and development, not only to higher revenues. The fiscal policies that I will promote would pave the way for a more efficient, predictable and transparent public finance system,” said Ioana Petrescu, Minister of Public Finance.

Under the new strategy, the Bank will provide lending and advisory services.  The Bank’s private sector arm, the IFC, will work with financial intermediaries to support small and medium enterprises, provide loans to under-served populations, and co-financing for EU programs where appropriate. IFC will help develop Romania’s competitive advantage in primary goods production, food and beverages processing, and retail and will complement the Bank’s activities in areas such as infrastructure, including through public private partnerships with an emphasis on energy efficiency, innovation and new technologies especially for exporters. MIGA, not active in Romania since 2004, is now looking into provide guarantees to key state-owned enterprises in the energy sector to support the expansion of local and regional interconnections.

“I am optimistic about Romania’s future and, if the reform process is deepened and sustained, I am convinced that convergence with the European Union average income will return to a pace similar to pre-crisis level and will benefit every citizen in Romania.” saidElisabetta Capannelli, World Bank Country Manager for Romania.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu: The Strategic Partnership with the US is the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy, while the accession to Schengen remains a priority

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Foreign Affairs Minister Ramona Mănescu said on Thursday that Romania’s accession to Schengen remains a priority of the Romanian diplomacy.

“Evoking the period when I was MEP, I can certainly tell you that (…) all the time both [the European] Parliament and the Commission said Romania was prepared to join Schengen, from a technical and logistical point of view. (…) Practically, we function de facto as a Schengen member state, but de jure we are not regarded as such. Romania doesn’t ask anything but the observance of the Treaty, we are members with full rights, we met our commitments and we seriously continue to meet them, no one can challenge Romania’s contribution to the security space, because we are not talking only about the eastern flank of NATO, we are also talking about EU’s eastern flank,” Ramona Mănescu told Antena 3 private television broadcaster on Thursday, quoted by Agerpres.

She maintained that the Romanian citizens “have all the right to get this well-deserved position of Schengen member state.”

“This is not something we must beg for, or be made a favour. It is provided in the Treaty and it must be observed. (…) I assure you we keep this on the agenda as priority topic, and all bilateral and extended discussions will include the Schengen accession component, we won’t stop from telling our colleagues in the EU that the Romanian citizens have the same rights,” Mănescu underscored, mentioning that, at present, in the Council half of the states support Romania’s accession to the free movement area, and the others oppose.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Strategic Partnership with the US must remain the central focus of the Romanian diplomacy.

She also showed that Romania has the same position towards Russia as NATO and the EU.

“Romania’s position towards Russia starts in the first place from the vicinity we are in, but it is also part of the EU’s position regarding Russia, as we are part of the EU, we must get in line with EU’s stand. I am referring to sanctions, to certain limitations that we have in the dialogue and cooperation with Russia and I am particularly referring to the firm position we have as EU member, which we have always had, of observing the international legislative framework. We don’t ask too much from Russia as an actor on the geopolitical stage if we ask them to respect the international legislative framework. (…) It is the principle which we start from and which we cannot fail to keep not even for Russia, which is here, close to us. We have no reason to make an exception, because nothing is negotiable in this story,” Ramona Mănescu said.

According to the Minister, the relation with Russia represents “a key point in the stability in the area, in securing NATO’s eastern flank, in the manner in which we can further manage the discussions in the Black Sea. “The threats and gestures which Russia has repeatedly done in the Black Sea space, from a military stand, have been sanctioned all the time. (…) Both NATO and the EU have the same discourse. Romania cannot have a different discourse, because it is both part of the EU and NATO, and we are at the Black Sea,” she added.

Mănescu also said that she expected “the energy diplomacy to have its word,” in regards to the resources in the Black Sea.

“Our desire is for a partner such as Exxon to stay here and continue to work together as much and as well as possible. This entails our making some steps in an expected direction. I believe things will settle in the end, enter the right track and I even want to clarify this position shortly and the US partners must be convinced that we’ll be keeping the same line. (…) Mrs PM wants this as well,” Mănescu said.

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Romania has a new Foreign Affairs Minister. Ramona Mănescu took the oath of office

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Ramona Mănescu, Nicolae Moga and Mihai Fifor took the oath of office on Wednesday in the presence of President Klaus Iohannis for the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries office, Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships office respectively.

The head of state wished success to the new three members of the Dancila Cabinet.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, ministers, Deputy Speaker of the Deputies’ Chamber Florin Iordache, Government Secretary General Toni Grebla and presidential advisors.

President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Meleșcanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

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Romania: President Klaus Iohannis appoints former MEP Ramona Mănescu as the new Foreign Affairs Minister

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President Klaus Iohannis signed on Wednesday the decrees appointing Nicolae Moga as Interior Minister and Ramona Mănescu as Foreign Affairs Minister, according to a Presidential Administration release.

Furthermore, Iohannis took note of Carmen Dan’s resignation from the Interior Ministry and signed the decree dismissing Teodor Melescanu from the Foreign Affairs Minister office.

Through another decree, Mihai Fifor was appointed Deputy Prime Minister for implementing Romania’s strategic partnerships.

The swearing-in ceremony takes place on Wednesday at 11:00hrs, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace. 

Ramona Mănescu is a Romanian politician and lawyer. She was a Member of the European Parliament serving 2007 to 2013 and 2014 to 2019 from the National Liberal Party (till July 2017), active within the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament.

As part of this group she is a member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, vice-chair in the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries and a substitute member in the Committee on transport and tourism and in Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula.

Between 2007 and 2014 she was part of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, where she also held the position of Vice-President (11 November 2012 – June 2014) of the ALDE Party (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party). As a member of this group she is a coordinator in the Regional Development Committee and a member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.

At the European Parliamentary elections from June 2014, Mănescu renewed her mandate within European Parliament, where she became a member of the European People’s Party group in the Parliament European.

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