The bilateral strategic partnership signed between Romania and France back in 2008 will be revised and the two countries should sign the new document by the end of the year, Philippe Gustin, the French ambassador to Bucharest told RFI Romania.
“I think that the strategic partnership signed in 2008 was meant to be very thorough and cover all the aspects of bilateral relations between France and Romania (…) We need to maintain the philosophy behind the agreement but it has to be brushed up and we need to set out very clear objectives. This is what we are doing right now together with our Romanian partners. In the end, the document should not exceed two pages compared to 18 – 20 pages it has now,” he said.
The ambassador explained the main objectives of the revised agreement will be economic development – energy, agriculture, health, and defense industry – and cultural relations.
France considers giving up the EUR 300 support scheme for expatriated Roma
France continues to expatriate Romanian citizens of Roma origin paying each adult EUR 300 for their voluntary return to Romania but the French government is reconsidering this strategy after the visit of the ministry of internal affaires to Bucharest.
“Every person that the French ministry of foreign affaires has met in Romania told his that this EUR 300 financial support for Roma expatriation has extremely perverse effects. It is rather an incentive to go toFrance again which does not help solve the Roma issue between France and Romania,” he told RFI. He added the issue of Roma citizens is not something that has to do solely with bilateral relations between France and Romania but should become a topic on the European agenda.
The French government announced in August it plans to shut down 300 illegal Roma camps this autumn as such camps are a source of illegal trafficking and exploitation of children for begging, of prostitution and crime.