A lecture by His Excellency Dr Titus Corlãtean, Foreign Minister of Romania.
What happens in the countries in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus affects the European Union, not only because the continent’s prosperity and stability are largely indivisible, but also because successive EU enlargements have brought these countries closer. Nor is this a one-way partnership: the potential these countries offer for diversifying the EU’s energy supplies is just one example of the advantages which can accrue to the EU once these partnership arrangements are concluded.
All these countries, to varying degrees, are carrying out political, social and economic reforms, have stated their wish to come closer, and the EU has put forward concrete ideas for enhancing our relationship with Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. This would imply new association agreements including deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with those countries willing and able to enter into a deeper engagement and gradual integration in the EU economy. It would also allow for easier travel to the EU through gradual visa liberalisation, accompanied by measures to tackle illegal immigration.
As a country currently on the eastern frontiers of both the European Union and NATO, Romania, together with its other new EU member neighbours, has devoted a great deal of energy to the successful conclusion of these diplomatic engagement efforts. In his lecture, Dr Corlãtean will outline what has already been achieved and what he considers as Europe’s main remaining challenges before the EU summit in Vilnius at the end of this year.
His Excellency Dr Titus Corlãtean is an international lawyer by training, having studied at BucharestUniversity and at the equally prestigious National Institute for Public Administration in Paris. He joined the Foreign Ministry as a diplomat in 1997, and served for a while as Romania’s Agent to the European Court of Human Rights before his appointment in 2001 as Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister. Dr Corlãtean was part of the first batch of Romanian MPs to the European Parliament after his country became a full member of the EU in 2007, but then returned to Romanian national politics as a Senator in 2008, where he chaired the Romanian Senate Foreign Policy Committee from 2008 to 2012. He briefly served as Justice Minister, and took up his appointment as the Foreign Minister of Romania in August last year.
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