At a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Luxembourg on Monday, Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu underscored that the EU’s progress in the field of security and defence should contribute to strengthening European defense and intensify co-operation with NATO.
According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE), the EU foreign ministers had a joint working session with EU defence ministers, which allowed for an assessment of the state of play in EU’s security and defence. Also, the joint ministerial meeting discussed strengthening the EU-NATO relationship, in the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
During the joint session of the foreign ministers and defence ministers the progress in the field of security and defence was assessed, and conclusions were adopted. The ministers welcomed the progress made with the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as well as military mobility, a concrete project illustrating the coherence and co-ordination in EU-NATO co-operation.
The discussions also focused on the recent developments in strengthening the civilian dimension of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and the first reactions to the new financial instruments for security and defence were also expressed.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy highlighted support for the further development of conceptual and operational PESCO in the spirit of complementarity, inclusiveness and flexibility. Melescanu also said that Romania supports the definition in the near future of the governance elements that allow the participation of third countries in PESCO projects. He also reiterated the importance of EU-NATO co-operation and advocated deepening and coherent security planning and security and defence between the European Union and NATO.
The ministers also exchanged views on EU-NATO co-operation with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, as part of the third progress report at the level of the two organisations focusing on hybrid threats, operational co-operation, exercises, capabilities development partner defence and military mobility.
“Minister Teodor Melescanu stressed the importance of ensuring EU-NATO synergy and complementarity in order to avoid overlapping, including capability development. He added that the EU’s security and defence progress should contribute to strengthening European defence, as well as intensifying co-operation with the North Atlantic Alliance,” according to a MAE statement.
During a discussion on the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, regional developments and the EU approach were analysed, mainly in terms of maritime security, economic development and migration management. Discussions on Jordan highlighted EU support for maintaining stability.
On the theme assessing the latest developments in the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy objectives, the progress report was welcomed. Minister Melescanu emphasised in his speech the importance of the triangular approach on the following dimensions: hybrid threats – resilience – strategic communication capable of contributing in a coherent, synchronised manner, to increase confidence in the European project and contribute to the consolidation of the EU’s posture as a global player. He also reiterated the special importance that Romania attaches to the consolidation of the resilience of the Eastern Neighbourhood partners and the Western Balkans, which should be further pursued at the level of the European Union and NATO.
A working lunch allowed for an exchange of views on the recent developments in Yemen, in the presence of Martin Griffiths, the special envoy for Yemen of the UN secretary-general. There was concern about the risk of instability spreading into the region and the need for urgent measures to respond to special humanitarian needs. The ministers expressed support for the UN official’s efforts with identifying a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Also, Romania and Bulgaria informed about the stage and prospects for the Black Sea co-operation initiatives. The importance of intensifying sectoral and political co-operation in the Black Sea region was highlighted, including through increased involvement of the EU and the member states. The Romanian side advocated increasing EU support, including when Romania holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, for regional co-operation projects in the Black Sea, in line with the Black Sea Synergy and for the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy objectives on regional resilience and co-operation.
On the FAC meeting’s side-lines, an informal working breakfast was held with Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, hosted by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. The talks provided a snapshot of recent developments and the pace of the reform process, including in terms of reporting on the European Commission’s proposal to start Albania’s EU accession negotiations. Melescanu reiterated Romania’s support for the start of the EU accession negotiations with Albania.