Romania to take new foreign policy responsibilities after January 1, 2007 Nine O’Clock – Aug 31-06
by Ioana Zamfirescu
BUCHAREST – Romania is taking new responsibilities and has new prospects in the foreign policy area after becoming member of the European Union on January 1, 2007, stated Foreign Affairs Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu in his address that opened the annual reunion of the Romanian diplomats, yesterday. For three days, Bucharest is hosting the annual reunion of the Romanian diplomats with the main objective of assessing Romania’s foreign policy as a future EU member state.
Officials from the Presidency, Government and Parliament, heads of Romanian diplomatic missions, general consuls, representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps accredited in Bucharest are attending.
Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu said he is content with the achievements of the Romanian diplomacy in the last year. He found that Romania was very close to fulfilling its priority objective of foreign policy – accession to the European Union on January 1, 2007.
“We must keep the same sober and pragmatic approach while taking the last steps that separate us from accession. The next weeks and months are crucial. We have ahead of us an important test – the monitoring report of the Commission (European Commission – editorial note) due September 26, based on which the European Council will confirm our accession on January 1, 2007,” said the chief Romanian diplomat.
According to Ungureanu, “January 1, 2007 will be just another date in the calendar” and Romania will not have the time to celebrate because efforts will continue past accession. In his opinion, “Romania’s ultimate interest is to grow in order to make the most of its political, economic, social, cultural and human potential.” In what regards our country’s security obligations as a future member of the EU, Minister Ungureanu stressed the fact that “Romania attached great importance to the role of the US in the European security.”
“We do not consider the American presence in Europe a factor opposed to the ambition to develop a European security and defence policy. Romania considers that one of the most important political responsibilities after accession is to contribute, with arguments and credible actions, to the reconstruction of the transatlantic solidarity,” said Ungureanu.
He added that Romania will plead for the complementary nature of EU and NATO as providers of security at European and global level. Referring to the energy security of EU, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu stated that Romania does not see this problem “only in the context of the relations EU-Russia,” it militates for a policy of energy security of the EU. According to Minister Ungureanu, the relation with the Russian Federation has to be balanced and functional both in the community structures and at bilateral level. Moreover, the strategic objective of Romania is “to increase the efficiency of the implementation of a European Proximity Policy able to function as a realistic interface with the Black Sea region, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Western Balkans.”
In this respect, Romania targets a greater involvement of the EU in the Black Sea region, the consolidation of the European political and strategic offer for the Republic of Moldova, but also for Ukraine and the countries from the Western Balkans.
Our country will also be an important political factor in the EU, through its geographic importance. “Romania will benefit in the Council of the European Union from 14 votes and 35 Euro-MPs, a European commissioner, a judge in the Court of Justice of the European Community, and a judge at the First Instance Tribunal, 15 representatives in the Economic and Social Committee and 15 in the Committee of the Regions,” quantified Minister Ungureanu the Romanian representation in the central institutions of the EU. Mihai Razvan Ungureanu mentioned the achievements of the Romanian diplomacy in regard to strengthening the partnerships.
The head of the Romanian diplomacy emphasized also the involvement of our country in the organisation at the end of September of the Francophone Summit, hosted by Bucharest.
FM Ungureanu also recalled the contribution of Romania to the projects of construction of new collaboration structures at the Black Sea. Attention paid to developments in Western Balkans, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, but also in the Middle East, has also been quoted as a merit of Romanian diplomats in the past year.