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President Iohannis: NATO needs a reflection process in order to identify a very good strategy for the future

The North Atlantic Alliance is the strongest alliance of all time, which withstood for more than 70 years, said on Thursday President Klaus Iohannis, who participated over the past days in the NATO high-level meeting, held in the UK.

“Firstly, NATO reached 70 years, a notable thing and I believe that it’s truly important to underscore that this alliance, which is the strongest military alliance of all times, withstood very well for 70 years and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for good reason, at the reception on Downing Street 10, rhetorically asked himself what makes this alliance so strong and the natural response was the fact that all the member states are consolidated democracies, democracy and democratic values also make the NATO Alliance stronger and, as they say, resilient,” the President said in a statement at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

Iohannis said that also discussed at the NATO Summit was “the fair burden sharing,” as well as the future of the organization, adding that Romania achieved its objectives at this meeting.

“Firstly, this so-called burden sharing, meanwhile everybody understood and effectively accepted that everyone needs to pay more for Defence. Thus, that 2 percent will be reached by increasingly more allies. This thing has been quickly clarified and it hasn’t led, contrary to the expectations of the public space, to any kind of controversy. Thus, I repeat, any kind of controversy” the President mentioned.

The head of state mentioned that everyone accepted that NATO needs a reflection process in order to identify a very good strategy for the future.

“The second matter which also led to breaking news and all sorts of speculations in the public space were the requests to assess the medium and long-term strategy for NATO, a matter which in a rather powerful form was requested at that time, a few weeks ago, by President Macron. This issue was discussed and no controversy arose here, on the contrary, we all accepted that NATO needs a refection process in order to identify a very good strategy for the future of NATO. We need to respond to questions like who is our enemy, where are the threats for NATO, how should NATO relate to the new world powers, for instance, how does NATO relate to China. Should or shouldn’t we change the approach regarding Russia. This type of questions were asked and will undoubtedly lead to the drafting of an improved strategy,” Iohannis added.

He said that the outer space will be part of NATO’s concerns for allies’ security.

“Finally, we all decided together to request the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg, to draft the guidelines of a reflection process, which will ultimately lead to a strategy, which, in its turn, will be discussed. These issues have been widely speculated and, at the end of yesterday’s meeting, I can say that: 1) NATO celebrated 70 years; 2) NATO is united; 3) NATO is strong and NATO has a very good future. I would like to highlight a few specific aspects. One may be surprising, perhaps not, but we have decided together that outer space will be part of NATO’s concerns for allies’ security. It is obviously a new part for NATO,” the head of state explained.

The President also underscore that he brought to attention some matters related to the Black Sea area and the intervention plans for the Easter Flank.

“All these, obviously, of great interest to us and, as such, I believe that this NATO Summit hasn’t been only a success for the alliance, for NATO, but this Summit has been a success for us, for Romania and we achieved the objectives we went there with,” Iohannis concluded.

 

PISA results worrying, that’s why I started the “Educated Romania” project

 

President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that the results of the PISA tests should be worrying, noting that education needs an overhaul and that is why he has started the “Educated Romania” project, saying that en-masse condemnation as some have tried, does not help anyone.

“It is extremely important to discuss education, probably in light of the most recent PISA study, where Romania has shown that it has not made any progress; on the contrary, it has recorded decline in certain areas. These issues are no news to me or my team. (…) I told the public at the beginning of my first term that education in Romania needs an overhaul, a settlement, for which I launched the project ‘Educated Romania’. It is an extremely important project about the future of education in Romania. The project is still being debated everywhere. And when we have the consolidated conclusions of the ‘Educated Romania’ project, I will reach the stage where I will present to the political parties the concept of education in Romania,” said Iohannis at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

He said that when he has the conclusions of the ‘Educated Romania’ project, he would need broad political support for their implementation.

“That can be discussed when it is due if the majority to be in place in Parliament then will be used or an education pact. These things are of particular importance and I was careful to discuss them in the election campaign or to get a small news item on Facebook. It is important to underline in this context that en-masse condemnation, as some have tried, does not help anyone, and neither do measures to the point, as we could have seen over the past years. We have many very good schools, we have very good teachers, we have children with very good results at the Olympiads. On the other hand, there is a very big discrepancy between urban and rural education. We have pretty bad results, such as the PISA assessment. That should make us think, but not in an electoral way, but along the lines of overhauling the system and I am very determined to go further with ‘Educated Romania’,” said Iohannis.

He added that “things need to be improved systemically, they cannot be solved by a piecemeal measure, because an integrated, new approach is needed.”

 

“I will have informal talks with the political leaders on the issue of early elections”

 

The Head of State said that he will have “informal talks” with the political leaders on the issue of early elections, when asked if he is considering to convene consultations at Cotroceni (Presidential Palace, ed.n.) on this subject.

“No. I will not conduct formal consultations on this topic, but I will have discussions with the political leaders, but those will be informal discussions, working discussions, and not consultations in the very formal sense of the word,” Klaus Iohannis told on Thursday a press conference at the Cotroceni Palace.

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