France and Romania plan joint work on Cernavoda project

27 October 2020

France and Romania have signed a declaration of intent on cooperation in the civil nuclear field, which aims, among other things, to work "with strategic partners" to build units 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant and to upgrade unit 1. The document was signed yesterday by French Prime Minister Jean Castex and his Romanian counterpart Ludovic Orban, who led a delegation of his ministers to Paris.

Romanian and French prime ministers, Ludovic Orban and Jean Castex, yesterday (Image: Romanian government)

Alongside this, an agreement was signed between Romanian power producer Nuclearelectrica and French nuclear engineering firm Orano.

According to a statement on his official website, Orban said the main objective of the visit was the signing of an updated version of a Roadmap on Strategic Partnership between France and Romania, which was first signed in 2009. The new roadmap is also based on a Political Declaration of Strategic Partnership signed in November 2018 by presidents Klaus Iohannis and Emmanuel Macron.

The latest version defines an action plan for the next four years, Orban said, and aims to strengthen cooperation in economic activities, defence, energy, civil nuclear, infrastructure, agriculture, communications and culture.

"It is an extremely important document, which establishes a framework for strengthening relations between France and Romania in virtually all fields of activity, in the period to come, with mutually beneficial effects," he said.

Orban noted that this was the first official visit made by a Romanian prime minister to France since 2016, and the first time Castex had hosted a foreign counterpart since taking office in July. Their meeting also marked the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

The Romanian government said in a statement: "The meeting of the two heads of government represented an excellent opportunity to boost the bilateral strategic partnership with the signing of an updated partnership roadmap by the two prime ministers, and in order to re-launch bilateral sectoral cooperation. The new roadmap will give the Romanian-French strategic partnership a new level of ambition, as well as a more structured character. The text of the document includes directions of action, cooperation priorities and mechanisms for in-depth dialogue, aiming at strengthening Romanian-French relations at the bilateral level, as well as at the European and international levels. Thus, the two prime ministers decided to resume the mechanism of 2 + 2 consultations between their foreign and defence ministers."

It added: "Moreover, during this meeting, the two heads of government highlighted the common desire to intensify economic cooperation, as well as to strengthen coordination and cooperation on topical issues of the EU and international agenda, including from the perspective of the forthcoming French Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2022."

Orban also outlined the "very good development" of bilateral economic exchanges and the impact of French investment in Romania and "expressed interest in and openness to attracting new investment" from France.

The two prime ministers also exchanged views on discussions at the EU level on the European Economic Recovery Plan and the future Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

Orban also reiterated the "special importance" that his government attaches to finalising the process of accession to the OECD, and highlighted “the expectations of the Romanian side regarding France's support for a positive decision in the shortest time possible”, according to the Romanian government statement.

Earlier this month, Romanian and the USA signed a draft intergovernmental agreement on cooperation to expand and modernise Romania's nuclear power programme. They said that areas for cooperation could include the completion of units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda plant and the refurbishment of unit 1.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News