Lahore/DNA/ – A special event marking the 15th anniversary of Romania’s accession to the European Union was held on Friday, 18th of February 2022 in Lahore, at the Governor`s House.

The event was organized by the Embassy of Romania with the support of The Friends of Romania organization based in Lahore.

The event washonoured by the presence of H.E. Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, Governor of Punjab and other important Pakistani dignitaries.

To mark this occasion, the Ambassador of Romania to Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Nicolae Goia addressed the following speech:

”We mark this year 15 years since Romania’s accession to the European Union. On January 1, 2007, our country became part of this unique European project, the most formidable political project of the mankind of all times, which ensured and continues to ensure the stability and prosperity of our continent. The entry into the European Union took place through the joint effort of the Romanian people, political class and diplomats. Therefore, Romania’s belonging to the EU is not a given but is being built on the grounds of common solutions, solidarity in difficult times and further protection of the European way of life, democracy and rule of law.

After being admitted to the European Union, Romania has representatives in all the European institutions and Romanian citizens benefit from the rights conferred by the European citizenship. The Romanian language has become one of the official languages of the European Union, and all Community documents have also been translated into Romanian. The measure of the success of our accession to the EU is confirmed both by the maintenance of a wide support of Romanian citizens for the Union and by the well-being brought about in the 15 years of membership of the Union. Romania’s Gross Domestic Product tripled after joining the EU reaching 547 billion US $ (PPP), and the GDP per capita (PPP) became almost four times higher reaching close to 30.000 US $.Thus, according to the World Bank, Romania has become a high income economy, a status hard even to imagine before our country integration in the EU.

European expertise and funding have made their mark in almost all economic fields, whether we are talking about rehabilitation and infrastructure projects at local or regional level, about supporting the development and modernization of Romanian agriculture, about participation in research projects. European funds of tens of billions of euros have entered the country. And it continues to come, contributing to investments that raise the level of quality of life and bring closer to us the Western standards to which we relate. Another more than EUR 90 billion is made available to us by the European Union in the coming years through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the multi-annual financial framework.But perhaps the most important gain was that of free movement for people, goods and services. Millions of Romanians work, learn or spend their holidays in other European Union countries. The majority of Romanian exports are in EU Member States. The European Single Market is open to Romanian entrepreneurs, who benefit from free access and support provided through European funding.

All this allowed Romania’s integration into the EU in a lasting and profound manner. Projects financed with European funds, the absorption of which must increasingly be streamlined, are undeniably contributing to our economic and social development, supporting reforms and advancing measures at national level that are difficult to achieve alone. Romania is more connected, innovative and prosperous than ever before inits history, constantly being among the fastest growing economies in the EU. The European solidarity, also marked by the historic decision to adopt, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Recovery and Resilience Plan, will allow the support of the reforms necessary for an inclusive development course, which will benefit all Romanians, regardless of whether they live in urban or rural areas, in any part of Romania, if they want an education adapted to the innovative requirements of the economy of the future or access to better health services.

As solidarity and unity are a two-way course, Romania remains firmly committed to supporting the objective of strengthening the European Union. For Romania, membership of the Union represents the solid framework for democratic, economic and social development for Romanian citizens and for the Romanian society. Also, Romania’s action at European level will continue to be guided by full respect for the rule of law, for the Union Treaties and for the principles and values enshrined in the Treaties, as basic pillars of the Union, as well as for European law in general.

Romania’s full integration must include major objectives regarding the fulfilment of the commitments regarding the entry into the Eurozone, well-paid jobs, an economy based on clean energy and digitalization.

We are also, as a state that capitalizes on the experience of its own accession to the Union 15 years ago, ready to continue to act to pass on the European values and principles, in our neighborhood, to our partners who have made a solid strategic option, on the path of reforms and processes of European modernization.

Today’s Union of 27 is stronger than yesterday, and we like to make it stronger for tomorrow. This is our commitment.

In the first semester of 2019 for the first time since the accession, Romania took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union,a position of an utmost responsibility and it is with pride and joy for me to mention that that event was celebrated in Lahore as well and, more than that, the Chief Guest was the same as today, HE ChaudhryMohammad Sarwar. Thank you again Your Excellency,

   God bless you all!”