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Thursday, 05 September

Speech by Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă at the opening of the Forum of Romanians Abroad

Dear Cabinet colleagues,

Dear representatives of religious denominations,

Dear Romanians,

I am particularly glad to attend this event gathering together Romanians living in the country and abroad, who are willing to work together to search solutions in support of everyone.

This Forum is a good opportunity for us to discuss projects and initiatives designed to keep Romanians abroad connected with the country, and even to persuade them to return home.

I refer to the projects that the Romanian Government has financed for maintaining, promoting and affirming the Romanian identity in the countries and communities where you are living.

An important role is played by programs whereby we support mother tongue education for the children of the Romanian ethnics in the historical regions. The programme of scholarships we developed for the pupils of the Romanian ethnics in Ukraine is a model of good practice.

It is essential for children and young people living abroad to know the Romanian culture and civilization.

In addition to the cultural projects carried out in the Romanian communities abroad, we continued and developed the ARC camp programme to give the possibility to more Romanian children and young people living abroad to return to Romania and get to know the country of their parents and grandparents.

Promotion and observance of the rights of Romanians abroad were constantly in the Government’s attention. In this respect, 2019 is the second year in which the national campaign " Stay informed home, safe in the world" has reached all the counties of the country, but also all the communities in which you chose to live.

We have taken steps to simplify and cut through red tape and we have eliminated the consular fees to support Romanians abroad and we will continue to improve consular services, which is why the dialogue with you is very important.

Together with the Parliament and the other relevant public institutions, we have started preparing the organization and conduct of the ballot due this autumn for the election of the President of Romania.

The Government adopted a set of measures for the better conduct of the electoral process home and abroad. As you know, Romanians living abroad will have three days to vote and they can do it at the polling stations or by mail.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Romanians Abroad have carried out an information campaign so that Romanians abroad know all the details related to this electoral process.

I have asked the Permanent Electoral Authority to extend the deadline for the registration of Romanians abroad with the Electoral Register in order to increase the number of those who can vote using postal voting.

Dear guests,

Honourable audience,

At the same time, we have projects through which we set out to persuade as many Romanians as possible to return home.

Obviously, economic growth and the consistent increase in wages are solid arguments. To these add a set of programs by which Romanians are encouraged to return to the country to develop their own businesses.

I would like to point out the Diaspora Start-up Programme, financed from European funds and the Start – up Nation Programme financed from governmental funds which offer opportunities to return in the country and capitalize on the professional and entrepreneurial skills. In addition to the entrepreneurial training courses, Romanians abroad who wish to open their own business in Romania can access funds of up to 40,000 euros for each project. I congratulate all those who have submitted projects and who have accessed these funds to develop successful businesses!

Therefore, we have many programs and measures dedicated to you, to those who keep Romania in your soul and mind and return home dearly whenever you can.

It is our way of thanking you for keeping in touch with Romania and for carrying the traditions, values and culture of the Romanian people in the world.

During my trips abroad, both as MEP and as Prime Minister, I met well-welded communities of Romanians, strongly attached to Romania, but also involved in the society they belong to.

I want to congratulate you on the solidarity, seriousness and involvement you have shown in the countries where you work or study, qualities that earned the appreciation of your host states. Therefore, you are an asset for the countries where you are living but please remember that you are also very important to Romania.

I hold the firm belief that the sessions of this forum will outline solutions and initiatives that would draw you even more close to Romania as you should not overlook that you are always awaited home.

I know that wherever you are in the world, you have the Romanian tricolour in your soul. I know that when you listen to the national anthem, your heart leaps for joy the same as ours. I know that you always wear our popular costume with pride and that you keep alive our very beautiful traditions and customs. Many times we invite you to return home and we are telling you very frankly that we would like Romanians to come home, in great number. But as a Prime Minister, I know we need to create the conditions for you to come home. We need to create the conditions so that you enjoy the same opportunities as in your host countries. I assure you that we will be relentless and very involved in doing so. It is essential for us to stay connected with you, and for us, you represent the Romanians who feel like us, who shared the same experiences and who love this country.

I know that wherever you are, you carry a story with you, a little story about a small part of this country and that you hold it in your soul as a fond memory.

I am glad to be in your midst today, it is an honour to meet you, and please have confidence in the Government of Romania, maybe we will not succeed in everything we have set ourselves, we are not a perfect government, but we will do everything we can for you to return home.

Thank you!

 Răspundem cetăţenilor


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