In the context of his visit to Chisinau, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu met yesterday with Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó, who is visiting Bucharest to prepare for the Romanian-Hungarian Joint Economic Commission. Developments related to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as important issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed during the meeting.
Bogdan Aurescu reiterated the Romanian side’s desire to develop and strengthen relations with Hungary in all areas of common interest, in line with the 1996 Political Pact and the Declaration (2002) on Romanian-Hungarian Cooperation and Strategy for 21st Century Europe.
Péter Szijjártó expressed the willingness of the Hungarian side to warm relations with Romania in all areas by implementing projects of common interest, according to a press release by the Romanian Foreign Minister.
Both officials stressed the growing interest in strengthening bilateral economic co-operation, mutual investment and trade.
Ministers Bogdan Aurescu and Péter Szijjártó welcomed the formation of the new Joint Economic Committee in Budapest in the near future and stressed the need to move forward with discussions on the establishment of a Romanian-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce in Budapest as soon as possible. At the same time, they welcomed the deepening of cross-sectoral transport cooperation, referring to the inauguration in September 2020 of the A3-M4 motorway interconnection, emphasizing the interest in the Satu Mare-Oara (Romania) -Senger (Hungary) highway interconnection . The plan for the Bucharest-Budapest high-speed railway connection was also discussed.
It was also agreed to expedite the completion of the other two projects under discussion in order to enable the speedy signing of the Protocol to the 8th meeting of the Romanian-Hungarian Special Committee on Cooperation in National Minorities and the conclusion of negotiations for the opening of two border stations in Variaşu Mic-Dombegyhaza and Grăniceri-Elek.
Regarding the “Transylvania Economic Development Program”, Bogdan Aurescu reiterated the joint commitment of May 2020 to negotiate an international agreement setting out the parameters on the basis of which this program, which is funded by the Hungarian budget, as well as other programs can to be implemented in Romania.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry statement added that during the talks, the Romanian side also referred to expectations regarding the guarantee of the identity rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority in Hungary. In particular, the need for quality education in the Romanian language was emphasized with adequate funding to preserve and promote the national, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of persons belonging to the Romanian minority, the statement concludes.
The Hungarian official also met with Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu, with whom he discussed Black Sea gas, the BRUA pipeline and the Hungarian perspective on the project.
In a Facebook post, Popescu said the two officials stressed the need to develop bilateral relations, especially in the energy sector. “We discussed the Black Sea gas pipeline, the BRUA pipeline and Hungary’s position on the project, as sustainable solutions are required to diversify sources of supply and transport, with the aim of increasing energy security.” The Romanian minister also said that it had been agreed to strengthen co-operation in EU-wide discussions on meeting the goals for the transition to clean energy. The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Zakonyi Botond from Hungary and Deputy Foreign Minister Mosoczi László, while the Romanian side included Undersecretaries Dan Drăgan and Niculae Havrileţ, as well as the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge, Cristian Bădescu.
Péter Szijjártá’s contacts program also included a meeting with Romanian Economy Minister Claudiu Năsui, who assured him that he would continue to facilitate the entry of Hungarian investors into the Romanian market by accelerating the reduction of bureaucracy and providing a predictable legal framework. .
Trade transactions between the two countries exceed 9 billion euros. Hungary is the 4th largest market for Romanian exports and the 3rd largest country for Romanian imports. More than 14,000 Hungarian companies have invested in Romania with capital approaching 1.4 billion euros. On the other hand, 7,700 Romanian companies have invested a total of 278m euros in Hungary.
The two officials agreed to establish a bilateral chamber of commerce in Budapest and to continue the dialogue within the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Economic Cooperation to be held and co-chaired on 8 and 9 April 2021 in Budapest.
During his contacts in the Romanian capital, Szijjártó also met with Transport Minister Cătălin Drulă, with whom they discussed investment plans for road and rail infrastructure, road transport, limiting waiting times at the border and rail transport. transport on the Danube.
The meeting was also attended by the Hungarian Deputy Minister for Transport at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology László Mosoczi, as well as the Ambassador of Hungary Botond Zakonyi.
Finally, Romanian Development Minister Cseke Attila also had a meeting with the Hungarian official. The two officials agreed on the need to revive the 2001 bilateral agreement, as no progress has been made in recent years.
Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor expressed the view that for the first time in many years, Romanian-Hungarian intergovernmental relations could be significantly improved. Hunor received Szijjarto at government headquarters. The meeting was also attended by Romanian Environment Minister Tanczos Barna (UDMR executive).
According to a press release from the UDMR, Peter Szijjarto and Kelemen Hunor discussed the prospects of bilateral relations and their potential for improvement.
Hunor stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations for the citizens of both countries.
As he said, economic and energy co-operation, infrastructure development and the current problems of the Hungarian minority were discussed in particular.