The integration of the armed forces is essential for the European Union (EU) to be able to solve its security problems and defend its eastern flank, against the backdrop in which member states have 178 types of weapon systems, while the United States armed forces, the largest armed forces in the world, have only 30, ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Thursday at the conference titled ‘10 years since Romania’s EU accession,’ which took place at the National Bank of Romania (BNR) and in which incumbent President of Romania Klaus Iohannis also took part.
“The EU can defend its eastern flank on its own, provided the armed forces are integrated. An integration of defence research is essential. We’re all spending money to find out the same thing. (…) The armed forces of EU member states have 178 types of weapon systems. The largest armed forces in the world, the United States armed forces, have 30. Sooner or later, taxpayers will ask: why are we investing so much money in defence and are unable to defend ourselves and crying for the Americans to come defend us?” Basescu said.
He pointed out the Russian Federation’s defence budget totals EUR 57 billion, while EU member states have total defence expenditures of EUR 227 billion.
“Poland is crying for the Americans to come, Russians are attacking us. Romania is also crying for the Americans to come. I want to assure you that the Americans will come to Europe anyway. (…) Why do we feel we’re not safe? Because we don’t want to integrate the armed forces,” Basescu said.
The ex-president warned that the acceleration of integration processes is the EU’s solution to an ever-growing number of crises that will appear in the future. At the same time, Basescu believes that Romania has the obligation to start the Euro Zone accession process, considering that it is meeting all the conditions of the Maastricht Treaty.
“To make the maintaining of the national currency a national identity objective is wrong. One of the essences of the EU is the single currency, here you are part of the EU or you aren’t. (…) Romania had two great objectives – joining NATO and the EU – but is yet to set the third,” Basescu stated.