Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday that the U.S. presence in Europe signals a strong commitment towards global security, while to Bucharest, the presence of the U.S. in Romania is “a reassurance factor.”
“Transatlantic cooperation is crucial. The presence of the U.S. in Europe is a strong commitment towards our common security and global security as well, which is fundamental to joint security. Only a united Euro-Atlantic community can deal with threats and can project stability. Romania can testify to this. The strategic partnership with the United States is one of the fundamental dimensions of the Romanian foreign policy. The U.S. presence in Romania is a reassurance factor,” Aurescu told Bucharest Forum “Facing a Perfect Storm: Perspectives for Europe’s Neighborhood Vision” organized by the Aspen Romania Institute.
The Romanian chief diplomat reminded that for some time now there has been global talk about strategic change and the dissolution of the European strategic architecture.
“We continually need to adjust and develop new policies. However, as the crisis deepens, we should focus on our strategic interests and pay attention to the threats in the surrounding area. (…) We have an important role in this neighborhood. Tendencies appear stimulated by third parties, which are not only destabilizing to these regions, but also have a negative impact on the domestic and foreign security environment,” said Aurescu.
He reviewed the situation in the Eastern and the Southern Neighbourhood and in the Middle East, highlighting the opportunities available to Romania in this context.
“Today, when the Euro-Atlantic community is at a crossroads, Romania can act as a powerful ally at the NATO and EU eastern border. For the first time in our history (…) we are part of this community of values (…), for the first time our borders are a in safety zone and we can represent a bridge in this area. As a country, but also from the standpoint of the community of values, we are responsible for using this position as a bridge in order to create stability and prosperity in the region,” the Foreign Minister said.
He also highlighted the importance of cooperation between NATO and the EU, so that there is an adequate response to the current challenges.
Aspen Romania president Geoana: 15 – 20 years until more stable world order sets in
President of Aspen Romania Institute Mircea Geoana considers that another 15 – 20 years of turbulence must probably still pass before a more stable world order sets in.
In his opinion, Europe must redesign its neighborhood policies.
“We might probably have another 15 – 20 years of turbulence before a more stable world order develops. Every year in Bucharest we attempt to make it clear that we should encourage cooperation between Europe and North America, the transatlantic dimension, but the Western and Euro-Asian dimension too. It’s a fact that Asia and Eurasia become major superpowers. (…) We should be more aware of the fact that at the time we speak about our problems – the refugees, the euro crisis, the British referendum next year – Europe must still be present in this corridor too. Europe cannot afford not to rethink its neighborhood policies. We shouldn’t be waiting for Russia and China to establish a cooperation in the Eurasian part of the world. We need to understand that we must be present there from a geopolitical, political and economic standpoint, to stabilize the region,” Geoana said on Thursday in the opening of the 4th annual Bucharest Forum.
He added that in the given context, the Aspen Institute’s ambition is to propose, alongside its partners, to Brussels and the major European capitals – Berlin, Paris, London – and to Washington as well the stabilization of this part of Europe’s neighbourhood.
Geoana also mentioned that the Aspen Institute has a new meeting scheduled for December in Brussels, and most likely next year a branch of the institute will open in Kiev.
NATO’s Ducaru: Warsaw summit will prove NATO is ready to adjust to new challenges long term
NATO will have to adjust itself in the long run to the new, complex security challenges facing it, and its next summit meeting to be held in Warsaw will prove that, ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, said Thursday in Bucharest.
“Our region and the neighbouring regions face emerging and recurrent challenges, such as cyber threats that are increasingly bigger. Re-emerging challenges relate to stability, security and territorial integrity in some countries in Europe. Such kinds of challenges sometimes generate a hybrid composition. The world has become increasingly more dangerous and less predictable, with changes springing up daily,” Ducaru told the Bucharest Forum 2015 event.
He mentioned in the context the recent attack in Ankara that left more than 100 people dead.
“These are rather challenges that the NATO allies have to face simultaneously and in the long run. The NATO member states bordering the Black Sea zone are faced with such challenges and that is why we have to focus on security and stability in the region,” added the NATO assistant secretary general.
The crises in Syria and Ukraine underscore the importance of what NATO is already doing, Ducaru added. “We have increased the capacity to defend our allies, to be prepared. Over the past year, we have doubled the size of the NATO reaction force. (…) Our presence was extended to the eastern border of the Alliance with several aircraft and sea ships as well as other equipment deployed on our territories. We opened some centres inside our alliance, and even in Romania a NATO response force unit opened in September,” he explained, adding that the decision-making process was also improved.
“We have increased the number of troops while also conducting more exercises and designing more scenarios. There will be an exercise in the following days that will be the largest in the past decade. It is the biggest investment in our collective defence since the end of the Cold War,” said Ducaru.
He mentioned long-term adjustment to the new challenges as one of NATO priorities, saying that the theme will be discussed at the incoming summit meeting in Warsaw.
“And yet, there are some key priorities. If we have to react to such complex challenges, we have to upgrade our deterrence system against challenges with better intelligence and better preparation for better integration of the air, sea and land forces,” he said.
Ducaru pointed out that the long-term consequences of the current crisis should be analysed. “As the Warsaw summit is nearing in, we will have to analyse the long-term consequences of the current crisis as well, of our relationship with Russia. (…) Another thing regards challenges from the southern part and the operative word here is reaction from the entire community, from the countries in the region that are in the first line, as well as from international organisations, such and the UN, the European Union, the African Union as well as the allies and NATO,” he said.
According to him, all these efforts considered by NATO requires big investment and resources. “Security is not a present. (…) The allies promised at the wold summit they will no longer cut security resources, but they will increase them to 2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
He mentioned that NATO praises Romania for its contributions to the Balkan and Mediterranean area as well as those to the development of the ballistic missile and cyber defence.
“Last but not least, Romania has contributed to the conceptual, intellectual debate inside the Alliance, and its contribution was supplied to governmental levels and by event such as today’s,” said Ducaru, according to Agerpres.
He underscored that type Warsaw summit will prove NATO capable of coping with new challenges.