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 Currency Romanian leu

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Romania

Eastern European Time Zone UTC+02:00

 Capital City Bucharest

National Day  December 1

romania
His Excellency Mr. Mihnea Ioan Motoc
Ambassador
Embassy of Romania
Arundel House
4 Palace Green
London W8 4QD
T: 020 7937 9666
F: 020 7937 8069
E: londra@mae.ro

Biography:

On his arrival as Romania’s new Ambassador in the UK, Mr Dan Mihalache found himself thrown in at the deep end. The date was two days before the referendum and in “the middle of a very complicated and heated period.” The first weeks were “hard work and intense,” and he has been interested to observe “the complexity of British politics, and the intensity of the debates.” His wife Madalina is a diplomat, currently working for the European Parliament’s bureau in Bucharest. His family will join him soon. Passionate about history, he looks forward to indulging this hobby while in London.

Starting his career as a journalist after graduating from Bucharest University Law School, Mr Mihalache recalls benefiting from the press freedom that followed the 1998 revolution in Romania.  “The press was booming, suddenly unbiased by political and financial interests. At age 34 I became an editor-in-chief. For our generation, it was a great opportunity for moving quickly up the professional ladder.”

Mr Mihalache then gathered expertise as a political advisor for top politicians in Romania, including a role as advisor to the Prime Minister (2001-04). Later he went on to complete a doctoral degree in Political Science, allowing him to teach Political Marketing as a Professor at university. He then made the switch from political expert to becoming a politician himself. “Sometimes it can be complicated to move from adviser to actor, but it worked in my case.” He was one of the first members of the European Parliament after Romania joined the EU in 2007. “To be part of the first wave of Romanians that were members of the European Parliament was a fascinating experience.” After a period as Minister, he held the office of Secretary General of the Romanian Senate, and then ran the electoral campaign of Romania’s current president. He concedes that President Iohannis winning the election in November 2014 was a career highlight: “Running the President’s strategy team and winning when everybody said we had no chance, was a career highlight, and my most important day as a political strategist and analyst.”

A role as head of the presidential administration prior to this appointment meant that again, communication was important. This position involved coordinating between all departments and issues that each institution was dealing with. He plans to use this “communications experience as a useful tool to establish bridges between the embassy and institutions, but also the Romanian community living in the UK – about half a million people we estimate. Of course, after the referendum, establishing a dialogue is essential to understanding what will happen next.”

So what are his main plans and priorities as Ambassador in London? “Diplomacy in London is a new era of my life and a great challenge.” Mr Mihalache fully admits that the referendum results have changed his original remit laid out by the Romanian government. “Now we will have to complete the negotiation process to assist our government to set up Brexit arrangements especially for Romanians living in the UK. This is my first priority.” Secondly, he must maintain relations between Romania and the UK, “which are excellent at political and military levels,” but also “deepen the partnership and upgrade it in certain areas, especially financially, as there are plenty of unexplored opportunities where we can do more to increase economic relations and bilateral trade between Romania and the UK.” Last but not the least, the large Romanian community is spread across the entire UK.  “As Ambassador here, I should probably devote 50 per cent of my time to the diaspora. A diversified group, people have their problems, from simple administrative questions brought to the Embassy and Consulate, to problems with regard to preserving to their national identity, and assisting students studying in the UK.”

Clearly proud of his country, Mr Mihalache concludes that Romania has achieved two of its key objectives in the last 25 years: “Membership of NATO providing us with a solid security umbrella and membership of the EU. But we now face a post-integration need for political projects to transform Romania into a strong country. Unfortunately, now the EU seems to be weaker. But Romania has much to contribute, especially with its strong voice in the Euro-Atlantic community.”

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