Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Thursday attended virtually the GLOBSEC Global Security Forum organised in Bratislava, Slovakia, addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global trends.
He was invited to speak in a panel called “EU’s Global Leadership in the post-COVID Era” alongside his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, German counterpart Heiko Maas, Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, and his Slovak counterpart Ivan Korcok.
Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) reports in a press statement that during the interactive GLOBSEC panel discussion, the head of Romanian diplomacy touched on a wide range of topics related to the EU’s global role, the EU’s foreign policy action, as well as the future of the transatlantic relationship, and the impact of the pandemic on global trends.
Aurescu pointed out that “the EU must claim a responsible role of international leadership, because, given its characteristics and its mode of external action, the European Union has all the arguments to be justified in that regard.” At the same time, however, it must constantly reaffirm and reconfirm this capacity, according to Aurescu, and the EU needs to identify ways to co-operate as effectively as possible with actors with the same vision, in order to put into practice visions of and solutions to common issues of global interest.
The Romanian chief diplomat also pointed out that the EU has managed to adjust to the current pandemic crisis through complex and high-impact measures, even if the reaction in the first stage of the crisis has been slower. He also pointed out that especially the states in the EU’s neighbourhood looked at the measures at European level with the hope that the crisis can be overcome through solidarity and concrete support measures that the EU took. At the same time, the EU’s power of attraction, which lies in its strength, lies in its ability to regulate and in the fact that it is a union of democratic societies that does not deviate from democratic values and that is based on a world order based on rules and regulations, on international law.
Aurescu also pointed out that the pandemic also highlighted the importance of strengthening the resilience of states in all its forms, both in the case of EU member states and in the case of partners, especially in the neighbourhood. He stressed that the European Union, as part of its global role and as a precondition for the success of its external action at global level, must confirm that it is capable of managing the challenges in its immediate neighbourhood.
He also pointed out that, in order to become more efficient and to have an increased global impact, the European Union must make efforts for a more coherent action. Thus, he stressed that the success of this approach calls for a better dialogue between the EU institutions and the member states designed to identify more clearly the immediate needs and concerns of the citizens. There is also a need for a deeper dialogue at member state level in order to be able to identify the common denominator with regard to the common priority interests and the main approaches to be followed, essentially focusing on reconciling national interests with common interests at European level.
At the same time, Aurescu pointed out that the strength of the EU, a multilateral structure by its nature, lies precisely in its power of attraction, with democratic values and principles being its most important resources.
Aurescu called for the strengthening of the transatlantic link, which is essential, as the EU and North America are part of the same community of values and security, and voiced belief that specific divergences, which do not have the same weight as common interests, can be overcome.
The GLOBSEC Forum is a global think tank based in Bratislava dedicated to debating and proposing solutions for security and sustainable development in Europe and the world. The forum is known, among other things, for organising annual conferences attended by chiefs of state or government, ministers, representatives of academia and diplomacy, experts.
The 2020 annual conference is held October 7-9 in a mixed format comprising physical presence and virtual participation.