Last weekend I was in Chester and Liverpool to meet local authorities and business people interested in developing economic cooperation with Romania. Liverpool John Lennon Airport hosted the launch of a project that could increase trade, and air travel, between the city and Romania. The event was organised by Romania Gateway 2018, a UK company to support Romania in improving absorption of EU funds and use public and private sector investment for large-scale regeneration and infrastructure projects. The initiative received enthusiastic support from local authorities in Cheshire West and Chester, and from members of the Parliament.
I met Councillor Bob Rudd, Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Mike Jones, Leader of the Council, Councillor Alan McKie, Councillor Stuart Parker, Graham Evans, Conservative MP for Weaver Vale and Dr Sajjad Karim, Conservative MEP for North West England. I told my interlocutors that in ancient times Romanians’ ancestors were among those who built the Hadrian Wall, and now we build together bridges and open gateways between our countries to promote their interests in the world.
I had an inspiring conversation with Dr Sajjad Karim MEP. He is committed to contributing to build a strong United Kingdom that takes on a leadership role in Europe and we both agreed that cooperation with Romania could be an important asset to his plan. He gave a remarkable example of political elegance and fair play when saying: „I apologise for what the UKIP said about Romanians. It was disserving both the UK and Romania. It was something one never does to friends and Romania is a long standing friend of the UK”. Later, he posted on Twitter: „After awful bigoted un-British electoral campaign referring Romanians by @UKIP I have reached out to repair with Romanian Ambassador.”