Romania, France plan cooperation on Cernavodă nuclear power plant’s expansion
Romania and France signed an intention declaration for a partnership regarding the construction of reactors 3 and 4 and the upgrade of reactor 1 of the Cernavodă nuclear power plant, PM Ludovic Orban said.
At the same time, Nuclearelectrica signed a partnership with Orano, a French group specializing in nuclear power.
This comes two weeks after Romania and the United States signed an agreement concerning the construction of units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda plant and the upgrade of unit 1.
The Romanian PM is currently on a two-day visit to France, where he signed a new roadmap concerning the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“This is an extremely important visit in a symbolic year, when we celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations. Our countries are connected through a strategic partnership, and the shared will is to give it an even more strategic character; this is why we have signed a new roadmap with an updated, ambitious structure that is meant to tighten even more the relations between France and Romania,” Orban said after the meeting he had with French PM Jean Castex.
Orban highlighted the important presence of France in the Romanian economy. “French investments generate many jobs and, before the pandemic, the trade between our countries reached almost EUR 10 billion yearly. We want this cooperation to grow, to diversify, deepen, and generate even more beneficial effects,” Orban said, quoted by Agerpres.
He also pointed to transport, energy, cybersecurity, and telecommunications as potential areas of cooperation.
“We also decided to intensify the bilateral dialogue in the area of security and defense. We are committed to continuing the periodic consultations, at the level of the responsible ministers in the Foreign Affairs and Defense ministries,” Orban said.
Orban explained that he presented to his French counterpart Romania’s “legitimate expectation” to join the Schengen area.
“We have asked for support in speeding up a positive decision. At the same time, we expect support in another important file for Romania, namely joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; Romania is the best-placed European candidate, and we count on the support of our European partners and of France for the finalization of the expansion process,” Orban said.
At the same time, Orban assured his French counterpart of the Romanian party’s “compassion and solidarity” after the killing of teacher Samuel Paty.
“We have extended our solidarity with France in respecting our fundamental values and the importance of a space where freedom of expression and consciousness are defended from violence and censorship. Personal attacks on a head of state, like the one president Emmanuel Macron was subjected to recently, are not acceptable from our point of view. The mutual respect between partners and allies is essential, and the differences in approach or the crisis moments need to be overcome through constructive dialogue and mutual respect,” Orban said.
The PM also mentioned the cooperation in the cultural field and said the two countries plan to celebrate musician George Enescu next year, marking 140 years since the birth of the composer. The 25th edition of the Enescu Festival is scheduled to take place in Bucharest in 2021 as well.