Reactions to the Poland incident
Romania expressed its full solidarity with Poland in these difficult moments, expressing condolences for the two unfortunate victims left by the explosions on Tuesday near the border with Ukraine. As a result of the incident, Warsaw put on alert a number of military units. One day later, NATO ambassadors met by request from Poland on the basis of Article 4 of the alliance treaty. Speaking after the meeting, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that there was no sign that Russia prepares to deliberately attack NATO. According to him, the explosion took place after Russia launched a massive missile attack against Ukraine. He added that the organization has increased its level of vigilance and its monitoring on the eastern flank since the start of the illegal Russian war in Ukraine. The alliance continues to strengthen its eastern flank. This week, Romania received a second convoy of French military force, consisting of a company of Leclerc tanks, which went to Brasov County, in the middle of the country. This type of battle tank is considered highly effective, able to do precision hits on targets 4,000 m away. This military convoy is part of the ten that France had promised Bucharest, as a bulwark against aggression on the eastern flank of NATO. The first such convoy arrived in Romania on October 23. France announced that it would send to the military base in Cincu almost 150 combat vehicles, with the necessary munitions and equipment.
Romania stepping closer to Schengen
The EC called on the European Council to make the necessary decisions, with no delay, allowing Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia to join the Schengen space as full members. The executive of the EU specified that Romania has a solid and high quality management of its borders, and is involved in international cooperation in terms of border security. In addition, it is active on two priority fronts: combating illegal migration and combating human trafficking. In terms of observing fundamental rights, Romania has effective structures to guarantee access to international protection, observing the principle of non-refoulment, according to the EC. In early December, a vote is expected in the European Council on the three countries joining the free circulation space, since unanimity is needed for the decision to pass. This week, a mixed team of experts from the EC and some member states arrived in Romania to evaluate its preparedness to join Schengen. The team of experts includes members from The Netherlands, which consistently opposed Romania's membership for judicial reasons.
Data on Romania's economy
The Romanian economy grew in the autumn of this year, but at a slower pace, according to data published this month by the National Institute of Statistics. This data shows a 4% growth in the third quarter as against the same period in 2021. This is the highest growth in the EU compared to a previous quarter, equal to that of Cyprus, with other states showing growth of under one percent, or even negative growth. PM Nicolae Ciuca said that Romania is under no danger of recession, and says that this data clearly indicate that there is a premise for Romania to end the year with a growth of around 5%, and a growth of around 1.5% for next year. National Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said he was confident that the Romanian economy next year would only slow down, with no technical recession in sight. However, he specified that this evolution would depend on the government's ability to attract European funding. The National Bank, which recently submitted its quarterly report on inflation, said that it expects it to reach 16.3% by the end of the year, and 11.2% by the end of the next, with the potential to reduce to about 4% in September 2024.
A second budget adjustment for this year
The government in Bucharest on Thursday passed its second budget adjustment bill for this year, allocating additional funds to cover compulsory spending, such as public wages and social assistance. The bill also contains the necessary funds for running European projects, as well as proper functioning of state institutions for the rest of the year. Most of the funds go to the ministries of finance, labor, agriculture, and the economy. According to the document, key institutions would lose some funds, such as the ministries of energy, the interior, health, and transportation.
Cristina Neagu is top scorer in the history of the European handball championships
Two Romanian women handball players, Cristina Neagu and Cristina Pintea, have been nominated for the ideal team this year in the European women's handball championships, hosted by Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia, concluding on Sunday. On Thursday, Neagu announced that this edition of the competition would be the last of her career, and that it did not go down as she would have wished, since the team ended up in 12th place. Upon the conclusion of the final round, Cristina Neagu has 303 goals under her belt, becoming the top scorer of all time in the European championships, both male and female.