Solemn Parliament meeting to mark Romania’s ten years since NATO accession

The MPs passed a declaration in which Romania pledges to support promoting the role of the Alliance as stability provider, in the present geopolitical context of “emergent risks.”

The Parliament held a solemn joint meeting of its two chambers on Tuesday, April 1, to mark 10 years since Romania joined NATO, with the President and Prime Minister, formers Presidents and Premiers attending the event. Also at the meeting were former and current officials, Princess Margareta, as well as representatives of the Army and of the diplomatic corps. President Basescu had a place reserved in front of the presidium, while the former heads of state and other former officials involved in the accession to NATO sat on both sides of the presidium. PM Victor Ponta however sat on the parliamentarians’ bench, in the hall. The solemn session began with the national anthem and a moment of silence for the Romanian troops who died in the operation theatres.
Basescu: The mixture of greed and incompetence endangers the country
President Traian Basescu took the floor at the conclusion of the meeting and said that the accession to NATO and EU were historic decision of the Romanian state and brought economic benefits through the increase of foreign investments.
“For the first time in its modern history, Romania is allied with all western powers at the same time. At this moment, Romania enjoys the best guarantees of security in the modern history of the country, by bringing content to the bilateral relation Romania-USA,” the president stated, adding that the relation with the USA made possible the missile shield in Deveselu, the location of bases on Romanian territory or the organising of the NATO summit in Bucharest. According to the president, the frozen conflicts in Transnistria, Abkhazia, Ossetia, Crimea represent a test for the capacity of NATO to bring security in the region. “There is no other answer than adapting the capacities of the alliance to facing the threats in order to have stability in Europe. We must avoid the grey zones and ambiguities in approach,” Basescu added.
The head of state also warned, in the plenum of the Parliament, that “the mixture of greed and incompetence which plagues Romania” against the background of the present international situation “can endanger the country.” President Traian Basescu mentioned that politicians have a very high responsibility: “From now on we will have to do what we must, not what we can.” “I ask the Government and Parliament of Romania to jointly identify the best ways to equip the Romanian Army and increase its operational capacity,” Traian Basescu said, also pleading for a closer transatlantic cooperation. At the end of his address, the president added that we cannot demand others to respect our country more than we do it ourselves, nor to defend and love it more than we do.
Ponta: Romania has the duty to secure the integrity of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine
In his turn, Premier Victor Ponta appreciated that Romania has a duty to the region, to contribute to the security of Ukraine, R. Moldova, Georgia and other countries of the region, assuring that “in the next years we will have a strategic and important role within NATO.”
The premier militated for an increase of the defence budget. “For the last 3 years, we tried to answer these needs as much as possible. In 2014 we allocated 1.42 pc of the GDP to the Defence. I make an appeal to the Parliament so in 2015, 2016 and 2017 we support the increase of the defence budget so that we move close to that 2 pc of the GDP,” Ponta mentioned. He stressed that the increase is not for the electoral year 2014, when a reduction of all taxes is demanded, “a miracle which nobody discovered so far,” thus alluding to the dispute with President Basescu over the excise on fuel.
Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said that “Romania must use its whole potential and its statute of NATO member to provide, by all means, the security of the national territory and of the eastern frontier of NATO and of the European Union.” “The events of these last weeks, in which the Russian Federation manifested with such aggressiveness in relation to sovereign states in its close vicinity, make us wonder what would have happened if Romania were not a full-right partner of these two organisations,” the Speaker of the Senate said, while accusing “some political parties and personalities in Romania of trying to electorally instrument the themes related to NATO and EU.”
Minister of Interior Gabriel Oprea said that Romania, despite lacking the resources of other member states, has the mentality and attitude of NATO.
PNL president Crin Antonescu stated in Parliament that Romania’s accession to NATO is “probably the biggest diplomatic and historic success” of our country, while Democrat Liberal leader Vasile Blaga thinks Romania could not have joined the European Union without previously joining NATO.
After the conclusion of the solemn session that marked 10 years of NATO, the Parliament passed a declaration in which Romania pledges to actively support promoting the role of the Alliance as provider of stability and is further preoccupied by the current geopolitical context “marked by emergent risks.” Romania pleads for the NATO policy of open doors, considering as very important the continuation of the enlargement of the Alliance in the Western Balkans region and in the enlarged region of the Black Sea, reads the document.

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