Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu participated, on Wednesday, in the ministerial meeting of the 11th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), in videoconference format, where he stressed the importance of solidarity, unity and cooperation between partner states and presented Romania’s actions to support Ukraine, according to Agerpres.
According to a Foreign Ministry (MAE) press release, during the meeting, the ministers adopted a joint declaration condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, reiterating the importance of solidarity at the EU level and in the relations between the EUSDR member states, reaffirming „the crucial significance of strengthening cooperation between the states of the Danube region for the benefit of citizens and for overcoming the current crisis”.
Minister Aurescu noted, in his intervention, the effort made by Ukraine, as the Presidency-in-Office of the Danube Strategy, in the exercise of its mandate, in the context of the Russian Federation’s aggression against it.
The head of Romanian diplomacy highlighted the importance of solidarity, unity and cooperation between the EUSDR partner states, in the context of the developments in the Eastern Neighbourhood.
He presented the „multidimensional” actions Romania carried out to support Ukraine, highlighting the measures for the reception and integration of Ukrainian refugees, the measures to ensure food security by facilitating the transport and transit of grains through Romania, as well as the recent cooperation initiative, in a trilateral format, at the level of foreign ministers, initiated by Romania, with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, dedicated to energy security.
Furthermore, Minister Aurescu emphasised that the current crisis represents a test for the resilience of states and societies in the region, which can only be overcome through regional solidarity, cooperation and shared responsibility. The head of Romanian diplomacy highlighted the special potential of EUSDR for the promotion of cooperation projects.
„The Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his support for the creation of synergies between EUSDR and the EU enlargement process, in the context of the historic decision of the European Council in June on granting the status of candidate for EU accession to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine,” the press release also shows.
According to the MAE, Bogdan Aurescu also encouraged the strengthening of links between the Danube Strategy and other EU initiatives, such as the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea and the Black Sea Synergy.
The 11th edition of the EUSDR Forum was organised by Ukraine, which this year held the Presidency of the Strategy, in cooperation with the European Commission and with the logistical support of the previous Presidency, Slovakia, the central theme being „Sustainable and secure Danube Region – recovery, development and unity,” MAE also points out.
The EU Strategy for the Danube Region represents a political initiative of Romania and Austria, jointly promoted in 2008, being an instrument of macro-regional cooperation of the riparian states in the extended river basin of the Danube, intended for the economic and social development of the Danube macro-region, through the implementation of EU policies and legislation in the region.
Fourteen countries participate in the Danube Strategy: Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany – the states of Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg, Hungary, as well as Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.