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PMs Ciolacu, Sanchez meet on dual citizenship agreement

July 22, 2024

  An agreement between Romania and Spain on dual citizenship, a document at a very advanced stage of consultation between the national governments of the two countries, was the main item of a meeting of Romania's Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu and his Spanish counterparts Pedro Sanchez on Saturday at the Romanian Government House."The bilateral agreement will confirm the special bonds built over time between our nations. Our communities, the mixed Romanian-Spanish families, the common cultural and linguistic heritage, but also the European vocation that we share, at a time when the European Union must demonstrate unity, bear witness. The Romanian community is a binder and catalyst of the strategic bilateral relationship between Romania and Spain. I want to thank my counterpart and friend Pedro Sanchez for the way Romanians are helped integrate with the Spanish society, protect their rights and preserve their national values," Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu is quoted as saying in a government press statement.He added that the Romanian side wants to host in Bucharest the next joint meeting of the national governments of Romania and Spain, given that, in addition to the finalisation of the dual citizenship agreement, there are arguments for strengthening the bilateral framework in the areas of education - an agreement on the establishment and operation of the Romanian-Spanish bilingual sections and the organisation of the Romanian-Spanish bilingual Baccalaureate exam in the high schools of Romania - home affairs, with a focus on combating trafficking in human beings, as well as defence.Economic co-operation was another important subject on the agenda of the meeting of the two prime ministers.Ciolacu welcomed the record of bilateral trade reported in 2023, of over EUR 6.4 billion."I particularly appreciate the quality of Spanish investment in the Romanian market and their contribution to the development of the local economy. There are almost 7,000 companies with Spanish capital participation Romania, but we are waiting for other investors in areas such as automotive components, IT&C, energy, infrastructure and agriculture to join them."Regarding co-operation at European level, Ciolacu said that the generation of a pro-European political majority within the EU after the recent European elections will allow the maintenance of an ambitious pro-European agenda, based on common values and citizens' interests.He also noted the good Romanian-Spanish security and defence co-operation as key NATO allies on the eastern flank and the southern flank."Our Spanish partners have a valuable contribution to NATO's deterrence and defence posture in Romania. I want to welcome the decision to strengthen Spain's presence in Romania moving forward, both through ground troops and air police."Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited Romania at the invitation of Ciolacu. The two officials participated, on Saturday morning, in a meeting in Bucharest of the Socialist International - Europe section.The Romanian government reported that, according to the Spanish Permanent Observatory on Immigration, on January 1, 2024, there were 1.12 million resident Romanians in Spain. Percentage-wise, Romanians represent 40% of the EU citizens residing in Spain and 17% of all foreigners.The relationship between Romania and Spain is currently unflooding under a strategic partnership agreed upon on July 22, 2013 and a political declaration adopted on the sidelines of the first joint meeting of the two national governments on November 23, 2022, in Castellan de la Plana.

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