Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu attended on Monday the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels; the combat of disinformation, EU – League of Arab States cooperation and the relationship of the EU with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were among the subjects discussed, the Foreign Ministry said in a release.
The Romanian Foreign Minister presented the meeting the main subjects in Romania’s attention during its tenure of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, including those related to foreign and security policy, where the Presidency acts in support of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Talks on the combat of misinformation focused on the operational implementation of the external dimension of the EU Action Plan against Disinformation, based on the conclusions of the European Council of December 2018, the release mentioned.
The Romanian top diplomat reiterated the strong support for concrete measures being set in place for rendering the Plan operational and for ensuring the most effective sharing of responsibilities among the involved structures, including through the promotion of EU messages and policies in EU’s neighboring countries.
Minister Melescanu backed stepping up strategic communication efforts, notably by strengthening strategic communication teams and putting into operation early warning mechanisms; he also pointed out that the partnership with NATO on the strategic communication dimension needs to be continued and strengthened.
Teodor Melescanu advocated the organization of an EU-wide awareness campaign for European citizens on choosing the right sources of information, and highlighted the need to alert mass media representatives and the public opinion about the negative effects of disinformation in EU member states and in the neighborhood, the Foreign Ministry said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated Romania’s interest in an integrated approach of the triangle resilience – hybrid threats – strategic communication, while ensuring cross-connections among the various areas of the EU Global Strategy.
“In the same context, he mentioned that the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council will organize in Bucharest February 28 to March 1, a conference on ‘Facing Hybrid Threats through Consolidated Resilience and Enhanced StratCom’,” the Foreign Ministry’s release reads.
During talks on the EU-League of Arab States cooperation, Minister Melescanu expressed support for the organization of the EU – League of Arab States Summit scheduled to take place in Egypt on February 24 and 25, as well as for the February 4 preparatory ministerial meeting in Brussels.
“The FAC meeting also occasioned a preparatory discussion for the EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting organized on the same day, with Minister Melescanu expressing firm support for deepening the relations between the EU and ASEAN in all areas of common interest and the accomplishment of a substantive strategic partnership capable of serving as a powerful tool for effectively addressing global challenges,” the release concludes.
Romania proposes organisation of special meeting dedicated to systemic approach of hybrid war, misinformation
Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu announced on Monday that he proposed at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels the organisation of a special meeting dedicated to “a systemic approach of the hybrid war and of misinformation.”
The external aspects of the action plan to combat misinformation, presented in December by the European Commission, have been one of the themes tackled on Monday by the foreign ministers of the member states.
“There is a statement adopted by the EU. I insisted on the idea that we now need to establish what means and resources we have to really put in place a strategy to combat misinformation. From this point of view, I promised that during the tenure of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union we will present a draft roadmap related to the measures that we propose so that the fight against misinformation can truly have concrete results and most of all, we want to know very clearly who is doing what, which are the responsibilities and the means and resources on this topic,” Melescanu said.
He mentioned that there is a great deal of concern at EU level, especially in the context of the elections to the European Parliament, the aim of the member countries’ efforts being for the EU to become one of the world leaders in combating misinformation.
Another issue highlighted by Teodor Melescanu was the importance that Romania attaches to the Eastern Partnership, the Romanian official announcing that our country has committed itself to seriously contributing to the organization of a ministerial meeting on this issue.
“My first intervention was devoted to the priorities that Romania grants while providing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on issues related to the EU’s external action, increasing the EU’s efficiency and internal and external security security, promoting the enlargement policy of the European Union, especially with the Western Balkans, where we hope to have concrete results,” the head of the Romanian diplomacy said.
An important topic that Romania will consider during the presidency of the EU Council will be the promotion of multilateralism, with a focus on closer cooperation between the EU and the UN, being important for the stance of the EU member states to be a coherent one, the Romanian minister went on to say.