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National Day  December 1

IMG_4404 Amb Laura Popescu
Her Excellency Daniela-Laura Popescu
Embassy of Romania
Arundel House
4 Palace Green
London W8 4QD
T: 020 7937 9666
F: 020 7937 8069
E: londra@mae.ro

Romania’s new Ambassador Her Excellency Daniela-Laura Popescu is grateful to “have had the chance to understand the host country before being accredited as Ambassador.” She arrived in London in September 2019 as the Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, and in January this year, was formally appointed Romania’s new Ambassador. “The advantages are indisputable, although the change of role has brought a rather demanding resetting of my priorities.” At the time of her appointment, her daughter was studying Economics in London, but her husband “continues to stoically commute between London and Bucharest — quite a challenge during the pandemic.”

She finds the capital to be “an eternally surprising and fascinating place,” despite the restrictions of the past year. “London makes up for it with its wonderful landscapes and colourful gardens,” along with her “unforgettable conversation” with HM The Queen at her recent credentials presentation.

She came to London after three years as Minister Counsellor in the EU Department of Romania’s MFA Headquarters. The Ambassador credits her success to “the ability to learn from the people that I have met throughout my career, to whom I equally owe who I am today.”

In London, Ambassador Popescu’s priorities focus on “the new Strategic Partnership between Romania and the UK. The UK has left the EU, which we regret. Although this has changed the paradigm of the Romanian-British relationship, it nevertheless provides an opportunity to adapt our cooperation under these new circumstances.”

A further focus of Her Excellency’s mandate is the Romanian community living in the UK and the British perception of them. “Almost 950,000 Romanian citizens have applied to continue to work, study and live in the UK under the post-Brexit EU Settlement Scheme. Safeguarding and guaranteeing their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is of paramount importance for Romania.”

Ambassador Popescu highlights that “the Romanian community in the UK, one of the biggest in the world, plays a major role in the British economy and way of life, and is a huge asset for bilateral relations. During the pandemic, for instance, many thousands of Romanian doctors and nurses were on the frontline. Romanian carers play a major role in looking after the elderly across the UK.” She was also delighted to hear that three Romanians were elected as UK local councillors in May.

So too, the Ambassador considers “a wide range of further cooperation, such as NATO and the security of its Eastern flank including the Black Sea, defence of human rights and democracy, and, of course, enhancing bilateral trade and investments.”

The Ambassador is also keen to highlight the close relationship between the British Royal Family and the Royal House of Romania, “another asset to strengthen bilateral relations. HRH The Prince of Wales’s affection for Romania and his contributions to projects in Transylvania and beyond are well documented. The shared history of the two families recently became common knowledge as cousins Prince Philip and our late King Michael spent holidays together in Romania as small boys.”

Alongside its fellow EU Member States, Ambassador Popescu notes that Romania looks forward to “an ambitious UN Climate Change Conference… We recognise that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will only be possible if we all work together, and we trust the UK can bring everyone to the table to make COP26 a success.”

Furthermore, she explains, “Romania’s commitment to tackling climate change will be demonstrated by the adoption of our first Climate Law.” Romania has increased efforts to support developing countries through Official Development Assistance, and bilaterally, particularly in terms of capacity building and adaptation. Ambassador Popescu continues: “We have recently published our Multiannual Strategic Programme for International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance for 2020-23, which has sustainable development as one of its priorities. Our MFA has launched Romania’s Climate Diplomacy Networks abroad that connects diplomatic missions in the climate sector, while serving as a diplomatic lobbying tool.”

As NATO and EU members, Ambassador Popescu notes that Romania’s next big challenge is to adjust its role on the international stage “to encompass new partnerships with key allies, including the UK. We are keen to pursue multilateral diplomacy within the UN and other bodies, to best respond to various global challenges.  Romania is the second largest country in Central and Eastern Europe with vibrant new policies and initiatives, from tackling climate change to new IT hubs, so we have plenty to share.”

Ultimately, the Ambassador looks forward to returning to a pre-pandemic routine.  “Diplomacy relies heavily on personal interactions, and we have missed this human dimension. But the pandemic has taught us that solidarity and generosity are human values that help us not only to survive, but to prevail at the other end.”


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