The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, held a meeting on Wednesday, in video-conference format, with the heads of the Romanian consular offices on the territory of the Italian Republic - in Bari, Trieste, Turin, Catania, Milan and the consular section of the Romanian Embassy in Rome - on the occasion of his official visit to Rome.According to a release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) sent to AGERPRES, the agenda of the discussions included topical themes on consular activity in Italy, with a focus on identifying the best solutions in support of the numerous Romanian community living in this country. Minister Bogdan Aurescu also presented the priority lines of action on the reform of consular services, as well as the professionalization and efficiency of consular activity.
On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that the reform of consular services is a "zero" priority of the MAE leadership, in order to facilitate the access of Romanian citizens to consular services and to improve their quality and conditions of processing.
At the same time, Minister Aurescu stressed "the importance of maintaining high standards in working with the public and of irrefutable conduct in all situations, stressing that he will not tolerate any deviation from these standards and conduct," the MAE states.
The Romanian chief diplomat also referred to the adoption and implementation of the new procedure on the organization of itinerant (mobile) consulates in localities far away from the premises of diplomatic missions or consular posts.
Thus, on 1 April, it was launched in public consultation, with the Romanian communities outside the borders, the first form of the Plan on the organization of 63 itinerant (mobile) consulates in 2021.
The minister also reviewed the steps initiated by the MAE to digitalize and debureaucratize the process of providing various consular services to Romanian citizens abroad, actions involving the optimization of related information systems, as well as, in some cases, the modification of the national legislative framework. Through this extensive process, the MAE aims to significantly reduce the physical presence of Romanian citizens at the offices of the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Romania, to improve the efficiency of consular services.
According to the MAE, the heads of consular offices have presented in detail elements concerning the Romanian community in the consular district, with a focus on the problems faced by Romanian citizens in the current pandemic context, have made proposals for improving the work activity, including on the arrangement or relocation of consular office where appropriate, and have confirmed the necessity and usefulness of implementing the process of digitalization and debureaucratization of consular services.
Minister Bogdan Aurescu stressed the importance of continuing the modernization process in the consular field, for the benefit of the members of Romanian communities abroad, and asked the consular offices' heads to boost the approaches to regularly inform the Romanian community in the Italian Republic about the state of the steps taken for this purpose.
During his official visit to Rome, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, also attended a decoration ceremony in which he handed over the distinctions awarded by President Klaus Iohannis to representatives of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy and the Adventist Church.
During the ceremony were decorated the All-Holy Father Siluan, Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy, the All-Holy Father Atanasie of Bogdania, Bishop-Vicar of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy, and Pastor Benone Corneliu Lupu, coordinator of the Romanian Adventist Church in Italy, for their efforts in supporting people in need, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as as a token of appreciation for the activity of preservation and active involvement in the life of the Romanian communities in Italy. AGERPRES