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Ioan Mircea Pascu minister of National Defence opened Monday September 20, 04 in the Marble Hall of the National Military Cercle Palace, the Romanian–French seminar “Perspectives of the European Policy of Security and Defence of the European Union – Vision of a Member Country, Approach of a Candidate Country” organized by the Department for Euroatlantic Integration and Defence Policy from the Ministry of National Defence.

Participants were Philippe Etienne, ambassador of the Republic of France, General Dr. Mihail Popescu, chief of Romanian General Staff, representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Romania and France, the deputy director and chief of General Staff of the European Union, military attaches and counselors within the embassies of the European Union and NATO in Bucharest, analysts from the European Union.

For two days, during the seminar, there will be a debate on the European Policy of Security and Defence, the crisis management and the relations between the European Union and NATO.

Hereby, we present the speech Ioan Mircea Pascu delivered at the opening of the seminar:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear colleagues,
I have the great pleasure to meet you again here in Romanian at an event of special importance for us, the bilateral Romanian-French seminar on European policy of security and defence. I address an warm salute to our French friends, to the representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the researchers from prestigious institutions and to all the EU officials. Especially, I want to remark the efforts of an old friend of Romania, Marc Perrin de Brichambaut in organizing this activity.
The seminar is the fruit of a two years ago common Romanian-French idea. Since then Romania developed her contribution to the European policy of security, we went in EU missions in the Balkans, we engaged in supporting the European Union a more powerful role in the defence area complementary to the North Atlantic Alliance.
Thus, the agenda of this seminar is much more comprising then we thought it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Security does not wait for us to open or to close different chapters of negotiation. Due to the present challenges one have to act in an instant and can not wait for the creation of mechanisms of cooperation. Our contribution to the European security and EU efforts for countering the asymmetric risks are inscribing within this logic.

Join to NATO also changed the profile of our relation of security with the European Union. Practically, what we do now within NATO for the security in our region in fact we do for our European allies for the European security as a whole. As NATO member and as EU future member we have the same forces we want to offer for both of the organizations and we want to contribute not only in NATO missions but also in EU missions for ensuring the security in our neighborhood.

Integrating Romania, the European Union will have borders with the Black Sea region with a strategic potential the Alliance is focusing nowadays. If NATO engages in promoting the security in the Black Sea, then the European Union can play a key role in controlling the Danube, a very important river route for Europe as the main continental route. EU-due to the programs of assistance and security of borders- can engage in a relevant manner in security of the maritime Danube and Delta, thus developing a coordination and a combined action with the North Atlantic Alliance in this region. Thus we can set into value the opportunities offered by the Danube and the Black Sea as axes of communication and transport towards the Caucasus and the Central Asia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As future EU member Romania wants to have a voice and an active policy in the European security because the EU future is in fact the future of our national security.

It is obvious in the last years the European defence policy deeply progressed. The EU already run five peace operations engaging civil and military components, defined its own requirements for the new forces and new capacities and developed the fundamental principles enlisted in the Strategy of Security. Nowadays we talk about the elaboration of a new White Cart of the European Union. The Agency of Armaments is already established and – as a happy coincidence- I want to salute the presence at the seminar of the French State Secretary for Armaments who came in Romania for the bilateral consulting.

For all these we do want to participate in a substantial manner to the European defence and we do consider a unitary approach and a distribution of tasks between the EU and NATO are the premises for consolidating the role of Europe in this world.

This autumn is a key moment in defining not only the way the Union will develop the policy of defence but also the vision as a whole on the cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance. First of all, we are going to perform the second transfer of a NATO –SFOR operations to the European Union (after the Cocordia operation in Macedonia) and we already defined a substantial participation to Altheea mission in Bosnia Herzegovina. The second, during the informal defence ministerial reunion from September 16 and 17, they discussed about the draft of the “combat groups” of the European Union and their coordination with NATO Force of Response.
Third, within a successful European initiative, EUROCORPS took the command of ISAF in Afghanistan.

All these developments converge towards the necessity to define a new vision on the European security and all of us contribution as actual and future members of the European Union and NATO to the global security and challenging the new risks and threats. What other occasion of analysis and reflection would be more adequate then such kind of a seminar, that, I believe will offer new ideas and elements not only for our role, Romania’s role in supporting the European defence policy but also in the future development of the European policy of defence and security process.
I would not end without thanking for the common efforts in organizing this seminar and to the French part for the introduction of a relevant academic research component by the presence of important experts from the Institute of Internal Relations and Security.

Lieutenant Colonel Gelaledin Nezir, MoND Spokesman


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