President Klaus Iohannis reiterated, at the European Council meeting taking place in Brussels on Thursday, the need to strengthen security and defense in the Black Sea area and expressed his concern about the deteriorating security situation on the borders of Ukraine, calling for a united and firm response from the European Union in order to discourage the actions of the Russian Federation.
“In the field of security and defense, the EU leaders’ debate was aimed at guiding the process of developing the Strategic Compass. The document, to be endorsed at the European Council in March 2022, will set out a common strategic vision for the next decade through effective use of EU instruments, amid growing global instability, increased geostrategic competition and complex security threats. The EU’s commitment to work closely with NATO was reiterated at the meeting, as well as the support for the strengthening of the EU-NATO strategic partnership, the transatlantic relations and EU-NATO cooperation as key to ensuring security. President Klaus Iohannis emphasized the importance of the Strategic Compass for strengthening the profile of the European Union as a relevant and credible player in terms of security. Romania’s president reiterated in his address the need to strengthen security and defense in the Black Sea area and stressed the importance of EU-NATO cooperation, avoiding duplication, as well as the central role of the transatlantic partnership,” shows the Presidential Administration in a release.
President Iohannis stressed that the situation needs to be monitored further and called for a more coordinated and strategic approach to responding to such hybrid threats, in coordination with NATO. The head of state called for further action against third countries of origin and transit, including as part of general efforts to manage illegal migration, saying that protecting the Union’s external borders remains a priority and EU agencies must be prepared to support Member States. He emphasized the importance of continuing EU support for civil society and the democratic opposition in Belarus.
“President Klaus Iohannis has expressed deep concern over the worsening security situation on Ukraine’s borders and called for a united and firm response from the Union in order to discourage the aggressive and unpredictable actions of the Russian Federation, supporting the preparedness for a rapid response, including the imposition of sanctions,” shows the Presidential Administration.
President Iohannis voiced concern about the high level of energy prices and highlighted their significant impact on vulnerable consumers and the business environment, especially in the context of the economic recovery but also the cold season. The head of state called on the European Commission to complete its assessment of the causes of rising energy prices, saying that in the medium term a careful analysis of how to improve the legislative framework for the energy market is needed, so that consumers pay a fair energy price.
President Iohannis recalled the vital importance of gas and nuclear energy for Romania in ensuring energy security, access to affordable energy and a fair energy transition. He reiterated the need for the European Commission to publish, as soon as possible, the Delegated Act on Sustainable Financing Regulation (EU Taxonomy), which includes nuclear energy and natural gas, in order to facilitate a feasible energy transition.
The head of state welcomed the new legislative package of the European Commission in the field of natural gas, adopted on Wednesday, which proposes a voluntary mechanism for joint procurement of strategic natural gas stocks, to be used in case of emergency, in response to the increase in energy prices.
President Klaus Iohannis spoke in favor of an in-depth analysis of how such a system can be established and operated at European level, including from the perspective of the impact on prices.
We need to see why the high energy prices have been reached
President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday that the European Council meeting will address the topic of high energy prices, pointing out that the market needs to be thoroughly analysed in order to improve the conditions of competition.
“We’re going to talk about the enormous gas price, the high energy price in general, and what can be done, because these prices actually exist. We have taken measures home, there are compensation measures and so on, but these measures cannot go indefinitely and we must see why it has been possible to reach these high values, in conditions where, for example, not all the transport capacity of the European pipelines is used. It means that somewhere the market needs to be looked at very well to see how we can improve the conditions of competition, in such a way that there is real competition and there is, obviously, consumer protection in this regard,” the president said in Brussels before attending the European Council meeting.
Iohannis said he would reiterate the necessity of the delegated act that establishes that gas and nuclear energy are good transitional energies, “if we move towards a green economy”.
“For us these two are vital and these things need to be emphasized very clearly,” Iohannis said.
The president said that another important topic for Romania is that of security and the Strategic Compass.
“The Strategic Compass is a document that will establish how the EU is guiding itself in the years, in the decades that come and in the security zone, in the area of economic security and beyond. I will very clearly stress the great strategic importance of the entire Black Sea region, the importance of strengthening security at the Black Sea and, at the same time, the importance of cooperation between the EU and NATO. There is a need for synergy, for positive collaboration and, under no circumstances, can we accept parallelisms between NATO and the European Union,” Iohannis said, according to Agerpres correspondent in Brussels.