By H.E. Mr. Lucian Fătu, Ambassador of the Republic of Romania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Every 1st of December, Romanians proudly recall the union of the Principalities that established the modern Romanian State. Since 1990, this became our National Day, and is celebrated by Romanian communities worldwide. In the Netherlands, we are glad to share this anniversary with around 50,000 resident nationals who are living, working or studying as part of a vibrant welcoming and multicultural society.
This year, we also celebrate 160 years since, on July 27/August 8, 1862, the creation of the Department of Foreign and State Affairs can be considered the birth of modern Romanian diplomacy. Looking back, we pay tribute to outstanding Romanians who left their mark on our diplomacy and history, such as Constantin Karadja, Romanian diplomat born in The Hague in 1889, who was awarded the distinction Righteous among the Nations for his courageous actions of saving thousands of Jewish lives during World War II.
Modern diplomacy also means looking forward. And this is what we are doing, together with our Dutch partners. Our bilateral relations are based on the solid pillars of a dynamic investment, economic and business cooperation, steadfast commitment to peaceful and law-based international relations, all within the framework of shared values and ongoing communication.
With a total of above 10 billion Euro, the Dutch investments rank first in Romania, and they embrace a wide range of fields, from ship building to financial services, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. Tourism is increasing in both directions and, as a result, more human interaction and a better understanding gives coherence to the dialogue between our societies. At the same time, every Duster SUV and the rest of the Dacia range of automobiles, powered by conventional or electric sources, is a statement of the confidence inspired to the Dutch consumers by the landmark Romanian car manufacturing industry.
Russia’s illegal, unprovoked and senseless invasion of Ukraine is a watershed in the history of Europe and marks a turning point in our foreign policy, as it does in all areas of our social life. However, this tragedy has brought Europeans closer, offering a new impetus, and this is also true for Romania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Our Embassy works towards consolidating the Romanian-Dutch dialogue on multiple levels. We continue to coordinate our positions on the topics high on the European agenda, such as the resilient response to this brutal war, security, economic, democratic and sustainable future of our continent, EU neighborhood, adaptation to climate change. On the issue of migration, as a border Member State, Romania has done and will continue to do its part in a responsible, humane and accountable manner that is consistent with all the relevant EU legislation and moral standards.
Romania remains firmly committed to combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and strengthening international regimes by actively participating in the formulation and implementation of policies in the field. Here, in The Hague, we are acting in this regard and we have an active presence in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and in support of the OPCW Technical Secretariat in its efforts to monitor the situation in risk areas worldwide.
Romania pledged a strong and long-lasting attachment to multilateralism and respect for international law, and in this vein my country joined the proceedings initiated by Ukraine against the Russian Federation before the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Allegations of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. While we staunchly uphold the activity of the International Criminal Court in investigating war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide, Romania is among the States which referred the situation in Ukraine to the ICC Prosecutor. Furthermore, the Romanian Government pledged significant financial resources and expertise in support of the proceedings of the ICC on all cases under investigation or consideration.
As mentioned in the opening, the human dimension is the most vibrant component of the Romanian-Dutch relations. As a token of shared identity, by the generous efforts of the Romanian Orthodox congregation led by Schiedam Parish Priest, Dr. Ioan Dură, a tulip was created in 2018 bearing the name of Dame Maria Brâncoveanu, in recognition of her iconic figure in the Romanian history and spirituality. Every year, in the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, this delicate symbol testifies to the essence of the Romanian-Dutch relations and to the enduring quality of the shared values they are based on.