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February 17, 2020

CSAT endorses PM’s proposal for deployment of Portuguese aircraft and troops for NATO Air Police in Romania

President Klaus Iohannis convened his first Supreme Council of National Defence (CSAT) meeting on Tuesday, after he consulted Premier Victor Ponta on this issue in early February.

Eduard Hellvig attended the meeting too, a day after he was voted by Parliament as head of the Romanian Intelligence Service. Hellvig attended the meeting alongside SRI Deputy Director Florian Coldea.

“A first issue debated by the Council was the analysis of the security situation in Ukraine and its implications for Romania. The members of the Council believe that Romania’s consistent support for Ukraine since the start of the crisis has marked an unprecedented openness from Ukrainian authorities toward bilateral cooperation with Romania. The members of the Council then discussed the stage of the Western Balkan states’ processes of political and economic association with the European Union and of Euro-Atlantic integration. They appreciated that 2014 saw progress in the European path of these states. At the same time, the members of the Council consider that the Western Balkans region has to be included in an overall vision on South-East Europe, one that would strengthen Romania’s strategic role in the region. Romania’s role as NATO and EU pivot in the region will contribute, at the right time, to the Western partners’ acceptance of including the Republic of Moldova in the expansion package that concerns the Western Balkans,” a Presidential Administration communiqué reads.

According to the same communiqué, another issue on the agenda of the meeting consisted of the update on the stage of fulfilment of the multi-annual program on restoring the Romanian armed forces’ combat capacity for the 2013-2016 period and on the horizon of 2022. The members of the Council concluded that in 2014 Romania continued to respect the commitments it took as member of international security bodies, while simultaneously reducing its troop contribution to operational theatres.

At the same time, the Presidential Administration communiqué adds, the members of the Council noted that the decision to raise the defence budget to 2 per cent of GDP by 2017, as a result of the consensus obtained from all Parliamentary parties, will result in the reinvigoration of the major programs on transforming, developing and equipping the Romanian armed forces and will represent a certain opportunity for the defence industry.

The next issue consisted of approving the draft law on defence planning. The members of the Council felt that this law seeks to render efficient the defence planning process that focuses on defence procurement, in order to integrate all the planned defence disciplines and to ensure their coherence with planning in other NATO and EU states.

In what concerns the mobilization exercises and training that took place in 2014, the members of the Council were informed about the conclusions of the report presented and the government’s proposals on improving the activity of the institutions involved.

Next, the members of the Council analyzed and approved the report on the 2014 activity of the National Response Centre for Cyber Security Incidents (CERT-RO), an institution whose general goal consists of developing response capabilities to cyber security incidents and cooperating with national or international entities with prerogatives and responsibilities in the cyber security domain.

The Supreme Defence Council approved the Prime Minister’s proposals concerning the deployment in Romania, in May-June 2015, of Portuguese armed forces and equipment – approximately 150 soldiers and civilians and 4 F-16 multirole fighters – that would prepare and handle NATO air-policing missions. The Romanian President will inform Parliament about the decision, in line with the law.

The meeting also approved the Supreme Defence Council’s Report on its activity in 2014 and decided to send it to Parliament for examination, the Presidential Administration communiqué concludes.

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