Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Össur Skarphéðinsson, met with the Romanian Foreign Minister, the speaker of the Romanian Parliament and the Minister of European Affairs, during his official visit to Romania. At the meetings, Foreign Minister Skarphéðinsson discussed the use of funds from the EFTA Development Fund to commence geothermal projects in Romania. He also explained Iceland´s accession process to the European Union. Mr. Skarphéðinsson´s visit to Romania is the first official visit by an Icelandic Foreign Minister.
The Foreign Minister of Romania, Teodor Baconschi, showed great interest in using the EFTA Development Fund for geothermal projects. The Ministers agreed that trade should be promoted between their respective countries and discussed ideas of hosting a joint meeting of start-up companies. The Foreign Minister of Romania stated his interest in learning about the Icelandic welfare system and how the country has managed to gain a leading position in the promotion of gender equality. The Romanian Foreign Minister pledged Romania's full support of Iceland's application for EU membership. He furthermore said Romanians understood that certain aspects of the negotiation, such as fisheries, would have a great impact on the outcome of the referendum on the Accession Treaty.
Mr. Skarphéðinsson announced that as of the beginning of the year 2012 all limitations on population movement between Iceland and Romania on the basis of the EEA-agreement have been eliminated. He furthermore stated his support for the participation of Romania in the Schengen-cooperation as well as in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD.The Foreign Minister also met with the Minister of European Affairs, Leonard Orban, and the speaker of the Romanian Parliament, Petru Filip, where he discussed geothermal projects in Romania.