Weekly overview in pictures: President Iohannis travels to Kyiv | Emmanuel Macron, Philippe of Belgium visit military base in RO | TIFF kicks off in Cluj
Last week was marked by several high-profile visits as French president Emmanuel Macron and Philippe of Belgium visited the troops stationed at the NATO base in Mihail Kogălniceanu, close to Constanţa, on Romania'sRomania's Black Sea Coast. President Klaus Iohannis travelled to Kyiv, where he met president Zelenskiy alongside the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy. The largest film festival in the country kicked off in Cluj-Napoca, while Bucharest hosted a fundraiser concert in support of Ukraine. More of the June 13-June 19 week's highlights in photos below.
French president Emmanuel Macron was in Romania early in the week to meet with the French troops stationed at the Mihail Kogălniceanu base in Constanța county. There, he had talks with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis. The two discussed Romania's Schengen accession, the security situation in the region, and the impact of the war in Ukraine, as well as the preparation of the NATO Summit in Madrid.
On June 16, Iohannis accompanied French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi on their visit to Kyiv, where they visited suburbs bombed by the Russian invaders and met Ukraine's president Volodimir Zelenski. At a joint press conference with the European leaders in Kyiv, Iohannis argued in favor of granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, which is "key to building a strong and lasting shield around our common values."
The following day, the Romanian president welcomed King Philippe of Belgium at the Mihail Kogălniceanu base in Romania. The two met with the Romanian, Belgian and other allied military troops stationed there and had official talks.
Over the weekend, the Parliament of Romania and that of the Republic of Moldova held a joint session in Chişinău, and signed a Joint Declaration reiterating the "unconditional support" assumed by all political forces in Romania for the development, democratic consolidation and the European course of the Republic of Moldova. A decision on the EU candidate status of Moldova is expected this week.
After fleeing the country before being handed a six-year prison sentence for bribery and abuse of office, former tourism minister Elena Udrea was extradited to Romania last week. She was caught in Bulgaria, where she was detained for more than two months until a Bulgarian court cleared her extradition.
Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), the largest festival in the country, kicked off last weekend in Cluj-Napoca. It is its first restriction-free edition after two pandemic years when the event still took place, but at lower capacity and in keeping with the sanitary norms. This year's edition, the 21st, runs under the headline Make Films, Not War!, meant to highlight the event's call to creativity instead of destruction. More about what's in store at this year's TIFF here.
The European Life Will Win tour, a charity event raising funds for Ukraine's medical needs and supporting Ukrainian artists and Ukraine's accession to the European Union, stopped in the Romanian capital this past weekend. The concert in Bucharest, which took place in George Enescu Square, was an initiative of the Embassy of Ukraine in Romania, with the support of Bucharest City Hall and ARCUB - Cultural Center of Bucharest.
District 6 joined the Open Streets - Bucharest, Urban Promenade event, which turns streets into areas for pedestrians at the end of the week. The event, which kicked off in early spring, has so far been held in downtown Bucharest. District 6 was the city's first to organize it outside the central area of Bucharest, attracting thousands of residents to a program of promenade, music and theater performances, and events for children.
Eighty young footballers, aged between 14 and 16, joined the cause of the local nonprofit Blondie Association, which organizes air transportation for seriously ill children who cannot be treated in Romania. The athletes, coming from Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Lithuania, and Romania, took part over the weekend in filling up a one km-long, pink IV line, a symbol of the long journey ill children sometimes need to make to get better. The young footballers are part of the European Commission's project Football for a Better Chance, coordinated by the Romanian Football Federation. Last week, they participated in a tournament in Romania, marking the end of the project.
(Opening photo: Cristi Vescan/ Inquam Photos)