The security context in the region and worldwide continues to be complex and dynamic in the light of the challenges and threats that Romania needs to balance with solid solutions congruent with the national interests and objectives of our country’s security.
Starting from the changes in paradigm worldwide, from the present status quo, from the assessment of our own threatens, risks and vulnerabilities, Romania’s National Defence Strategy for 2015-2019 identifies a series of solutions and pragmatic guidelines. The document operates with the concept of extended national security perfectly concordant with the European principles.
Nowadays there are multiple interests that correspond to the need to ensure national security.
The National Defense Strategy’s integrating and balanced approach does not confine to the defense dimension.
In a region defined by the collision of interests and in a period marked by swift geopolitical changes, the strategic credibility represents an outstanding national value in relation to our Allies and partners as well as to our own citizens.
This is the reason that the advantage of our being a NATO Ally, a EU member and a credible strategic partner is conferred by the acknowledgement of those opportunities that empower us to generate defence and security within our borders, to jointly contribute to the collective defence and to promote steadfastness and collective security at an international level.
In order that Romania can coherently and responsibly operate the risks and answers to the threats, we more than ever need cohesion and consensus nationwide while facing vital concerns of our country. The national political agreement regarding the increasing funding for defence, issued in January 2015, is a act of political will sustained both by a proper legislative framework and a continuous, multi-annual and accurate planning process.
Country Defence and National Security Priorities
For the first time in its post-December history Romania owns a National Security Strategy that was issued, advanced and approved by the Parliament within the six months’ legal time limit since the President took office.
The power of a nation stands in its general values, objectives and expectations that exceed individual interests, ambitions and even personal success. A powerful state respects and protects its citizens. The National Security Strategy is a sensible expression of this vision.
“A Strong Romania in Europe and worldwide” is the clearest expression of the ultimate objective of the Strategy and defines the profile our country is building in the coming years.
The National Defence Strategy reflects the necessity to promote a concept of extended national security. Through its goals and its content, the strategy, in fact, refers to defence and national security altogether as congruent concepts. The National Defence Strategy was worked out to properly respond to the complex reality that the Romanian society is facing.
Beyond ordinary, standard elements in the realm of defence, public order, intelligence and counterintelligence, security cannot be approached as separate from a competitive economic environment, from financial-budgetary stability. The national security cannot be segregated from the existence of such public systems as healthcare, pensions, education that need to be functional and adapted to changes, from the protection of the critical infrastructure or from the ability to respond to environmental issues.
The National Defence Strategy aims at meeting the needs and expectations of the society and refers either to the individual citizen, the entire society or the public establishments. The process of developing and concluding the Strategy involved consultations with experts and with representatives of relevant institutions, of the civil society, of the Academy and of the political parties.
Romania, as a democratic country, fully connected to the European and Euro-Atlantic values, contributes effectively to maintain the collective security along with its Allies. As a NATO Ally, while being a beneficiary, Romania has responsibly assumed its function of a security provider.
This inherently implies at a national level constant and coherent endeavours to ensure a modern and effective military capacity.
In this respect, for the first time since the Revolution in December 1989, President of Romania in January invited the parliamentary parties for consultations to submit concluding an agreement with all parts of the political spectrum to increase the defence spending. The required consensus has been achieved for a 2% of the GDP in 2017 and at least 10 years’ time maintaining this minimum target percentage.
This commitment is appreciated by Romania’s Allies and partners as, on the one side, it offers credibility and consistency to our position within NATO and the European Union and on the other side it becomes a catalyst for other NATO members’ similar commitments.
These funds are and will be responsibly devoted to major equipment expenditure programs. This approach has started the technological cooperation between Romanian specialised companies and those of our Allies and it represents an opportunity for our national security industry.
The National Defence Strategy integrates and leads a whole process and has generated other fundamental documents as the National Defence Strategy Plan for Implementation, The Strategy Guide, the White Paper on Defence and other sector strategies.
The National Defence Strategy aims at an integrating and balanced approach that brings together the defence, military dimension and a series of other dimensions: public order; intelligence, counterintelligence and security; economic and energetic; diplomatic; crises management; educational; healthcare; social and demographic. The action guidelines and the main proceedings to ensure Romania’s national security are expounded through all these dimensions.
The Plan for Implementation is a collective product of all the central public institutions responsible for ensuring the national security and the process of monitoring the implementation is continuous and coherent. The implementation of the Plan is annually analysed in order to increase the efficiency of its measures.
The inter-institutional cooperation is meant to ensure the coherence and the complementarities of the processes specific to national defence and security. The most relevant example is implementing the decisions of Warsaw NATO Summit in 2016 whose monitoring and evaluation are provided by an inter-institutional workgroup created to this specific purpose.
An important and current target for the coming period, according to the National Defence Strategy directions is the completion of the national system of integrated crisis management, which needs to be regarded as a priority.
The proper function of national security and defence institutions is directly conditioned by the assurance of a legislative framework accordant with the current challenges. In this respect, the laws in force need a conformation to the new security concepts, to the international context and to Romania’s position as a NATO Ally and a EU member.
Consequently, the regulations of the present legislative documents are being reviewed and consolidated to disambiguate the indistinct sentences, to eliminate the provisions out of use and to update the concepts and instruments required to ensure national security.
Concurrently, the legislation needs to be better concordant with the imperative to respect civil rights and freedoms. A legislative framework to correspond to the security requirements can be but closely linked to the principles of consolidating the rule of law and strengthening the fundamental rights and the bases of the constitutional democracy.