Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu on Monday attended a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels, where he discussed Romania’s support in favour of the European Union’s profile of a global player, including by consolidating the defence dimension and the need for coordination with NATO, as well as the importance of candidate and potential candidate member state being supported to continue their reforms and keep up their commitments to a European journey.
According to a press release of Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE), the EU foreign ministers mainly focused on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, migration, the Western Balkans and the Middle East Peace Process.
The foreign ministers joined by the defence ministers passed the meeting’s conclusions on progress in implementing the EU global strategy in the area of security and two programmatic documents in accordance with the EU Global Strategy in line with the directions set by the November 2016 and December 2016 meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council as well as the decisions of the December 2016 European summit.
“Support from all the member states to the consolidation of the EU’s security and defence dimensions, including by closer cooperation in the areas of defence planning, identifying more coherent ways of managing military missions on a non-executive mandate and advancing the capability development plan has emerged,” said MAE.
MAE quotes Melescanu as voicing in a speech to the meeting Romania’s support in favour of the EU’s profile of a global player, including by consolidating the defence dimension, highlighting the need for closer coordination with NATO in order to identify added value, boost synergies and avoid overlapping.
The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini mentioned the transatlantic partnership following a recent visit to Washington DC, as well as the latest developments in the Syria file, including from the perspective of the next conference in Brussels and the EU drawing up a new strategy for itself.
Talks on the Western Balkans underscored support for the European outlook of the region, the need for continuing reform and improving management of cross-border challenges alongside their partners.
In his speech, Melescanu also hailed the involvement of Mogherini in sensitive files, such as the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, highlighting the importance of consolidated resilience and of preserving stability and security in the region.
At the same time, he underscored the need for the EU to place more emphasis on regional cooperation under concrete projects in areas such as energy, transportation, infrastructure, mentioning to the point Bucharest and the European Commission planning to hold this September in Bucharest a ministerial meeting of the Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC).
At the same time, he pointed to the importance of candidate and potential candidate member states being supported to continue their reforms and keep up their commitments to a European journey.
Mogherini briefed the attendees on the latest developments in the implementation of the European summit of Malta in connection with the external dimension of migration, according to MAE.
The ministers also exchanged opinions on the Middle East Peace Process, with Romania underscoring the importance of the EU keeping up its dialogue with both parties involved.
At a working lunch, the EU foreign ministers discussed the EU-Egypt relationship in the presence of Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, with Melescanu pointing to the need for all the dimensions of the bilateral partnership to consolidate starting from traditions and the crucial part of Egypt in terms of ensuring peace, security and stability in the entire Middle East and North Africa, said MAE.
FAC meeting – good opportunity to reconfirm Romania’s security and defence commitments
The Minister of National Defence, Gabriel Les participated on Monday in Brussels in the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in the format of defence and foreign ministers of EU Member States, the meeting representing a good opportunity to reconfirm Romania’s resolute commitment to the strengthening of the European project in its defence and security dimension, MApN states in a release.
According to the source, the meeting’s objective was to prepare the progress report regarding the implementation of the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions in November last year, which gave the green light to the process of implementing the Global Strategy for the European Union in the field of defence and security and established the general action lines for the common security and defence policy (CSDP) development.
“The activity was an important step in the completion and submission by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, in the meeting of the Heads of States and governments of the EU Member States, which will take place on March 9 and 10, of a report on this topic,” adds the MApN release.
The participants adopted some of the Council’s conclusions on the stage and prospects of the EU Global Strategy’s implementation process on its security and defence dimension, focusing on priority issues on the European agenda: the permanent structured cooperation, the annual coordinated review of defence and the permanent capability of operational planning and conduct of the non-executive missions.
“Upon the High Representative’s invitation, the Ministers of Defence met during an informal breakfast and discussed issues regarding the EU commitment in the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) in the wider vicinity of the Union. This session provided an opportunity to assess the EU’s level of ambition operationalizing, agreed upon in November 2016, in response to complex security challenges addressed at Union. The EU’s commitments in Libya, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa regions, were also tackled,” the release further reads.