Ulaanbaatar, July 15, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The Danube Strategy is an example for micro-regional cooperation inside the European Union, Romania’s Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos told the 11th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Summit in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Friday.
“Romania’s offer for the hard connectivity related projects is based on two assets, with the first one being offered by the obvious advantage of Romania’s geographical position, at the border of the Black Sea, ensuring the connection with Asia, and having also the Danube River and Danube Delta connected with the Black Sea. The second one relates to the regional framework offered by the Danube Strategy, which is an example of macro-regional cooperation within the European Union. Romania and Austria initiated this strategy with the primary aim of transforming the Danube in a relevant instrument of cooperation that is enhancing the use of the largest European river as a means of transport, cultural exchange, tourism, spreading sustainable economic development and connectivity between people,” Ciolos said according to a video footage posted on the official You Tube channel of the Romanian Government.
In his speech to the summit, Ciolos said connectivity is currently one of the priority areas of cooperation.
“Connectivity has become one of the priority areas of our cooperation. Never before in the history of humankind has connectivity been a more complex reality. It has an increasing impact on all our societies and on all possible fields of human activities. In our view, a clear, comprehensive definition of this reality should be a dynamic and flexible one,” said Ciolos.
He added that people are currently opting for full connectivity. “In all our endeavors, the ultimate players and beneficiaries are the people of our countries.’
Ciolos also mentioned the importance of facilitating access to education and traveling for young people. “I would also like to put emphasis on the importance to facilitate youth exchange, to facilitate access to study and to travel for the young people,” he said.
Equally important, said Ciolos, is virtual connectivity, which offers endless opportunities in various areas.
“Over 40 percent of the world population use the Internet, with our regions, Europe and Asia being among the most plugged in areas. We support further extension of using the actually endless opportunities the cyberspace offers to the learning process, e-governance, business and trade. At the same time, we strongly advocate the full observance of the basic principle of freedom of information,” said Ciolos.
In his speech, the Romanian prime minister also mentioned the need for “the proliferation of cooperation formats that are meant to bridge the well-known gaps of the physical infrastructure in and among many of our countries.”
Ciolos started his speech to the ASEM Summit in French, condemning the recent truck attack in the French city of Nice and conveying condolences to the French people, while voicing Romania’s full solidarity with France.
Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos is attending Friday and Saturday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the 11th ASEM Summit, which marks 20 years of formal political dialogue between Europe and Asia, according to a press statement of the Romanian Government, which calls the event a landmark in the economic and political relationships between Europe and Asia.