The national security policy, the result of a process that falls within the constitutional purview of the President of Romania, is built on fundamental values and benchmarks, being the expression of consensus and common national effort.
In today’s dynamic, turbulent and unpredictable geopolitical context, we must have an adapted and effective response to the risks, threats and vulnerabilities we face.
Continuity, predictability and transparency in decision-making are essential conditions for strategic leadership, which President Klaus Iohannis has applied since his first term in office. The National Defense Strategy for 2020-2024 provides clear answers to key questions about our priority goals for ensuring the security of Romania and its citizens, as well as a guideline to achieve them. Public policies in the field of national security are designed and implemented in the benefit of the citizens.
Romania will continue to act resolutely within NATO to increase its relevance within the Alliance and to ensure that it remains the strongest and most effective collective defense organization in history.
The Black Sea region is of strategic interest to Romania and must be a secure and predictable area – essential for national, European and transatlantic security. Thus, we will continue our efforts to develop the national defense stance and increase the presence of allies in NATO structures on our country’s territory. The President of Romania supports the continued firm implementation by our country of its commitment to allocate at least 2% of GDP for defense, which has brought concrete benefits for national security. Thanks to this program, launched in the beginning of President Klaus Iohannis’ previous term, we are better protected against risks and threats in our region.
National security is the practical expression of the normality we all want for Romania, a country where citizens live in a safe environment and trust that state institutions protect and defend them.
THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STRATEGY FOR 2020-2024 “Together for a safe and prosperous Romania in a world marked by new challenges” is the motto and goal of the National Defense Strategy for 2020-2024. The document operates with the same concept of extended national security introduced and defined in the previous Strategy. In addition to armed defense, understood in its dual nature of national defense and collective defense, the Strategy also covers other dimensions, such as foreign policy, public order, intelligence, counterintelligence and security activities, crisis management, education, culture, health, economic, demographic, financial, environmental, energy and cyber security, security of the critical infrastructure and historical and cultural heritage.
The strategy sets out directions for action so that Romania can respond effectively, proactively and appropriately to the unpredictability of developments in the global security environment, including combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The safety of the citizen is a key element of the approach, and the state has a duty to identify effective sectoral strategies to protect them. Consequently, security management also requires the participation of civil society.
The National Defense Strategy proposes a management of national security issues with a focus on integrated management of risks, threats and vulnerabilities by the Romanian government. Integrated management has a dual dimension – the internal dimension, which aims to build a genuine security, defense and public order community, and the European, Euro-Atlantic and international dimension, with Romania assuming its responsibilities as a member of the EU, NATO, OSCE, UN and other international organizations.
At the same time, this document is also intended for the general public, giving citizens the opportunity to be informed, in a transparent manner, about how the institutions are performing their missions for the benefit of citizens.
For the external environment, the Strategy shows how Romania conceptualizes its security issues and how it intends to act – open to cooperation with external partners, in a predictable and transparent way.
Since taking office in December 2014, President Klaus Iohannis has initiated and led consultations with the parliamentary political parties, which ended in January 2015 with the conclusion of the Agreement stipulating an increase in defense funding up to 2% of the GDP.
The Agreement is the solid basis for providing the necessary financial support to the Ministry of Defense as an essential condition for the proper functioning of the Romanian Army. At the same time, through this political consensus, Romania demonstrates its quality as a responsible and active player within NATO, as well as its support for transatlantic solidarity in the allied context.
Burden sharing has been a priority for the North Atlantic Alliance since the NATO Wales Summit in 2014, when the Defense Investment Pledge was agreed upon by member state leaders, and will continue to be an important focus of Allied effort in the coming years.
By allocating 2% of the GDP to Defense, Romania strengthens its strategic credibility and profile within NATO, with concrete benefits at national level, both in the field of national defense, through the modernization of the Romanian Army, and in the economic field, as a result of stimulating the process of revitalizing the national defense industry.
The continuing transformation of the international security environment creates a number of current challenges to the institutional capacity to formulate appropriate responses and enable effective action.
The President of Romania supports and encourages constructive inter-institutional dialogue as a tool to ensure synergy between national efforts in terms of concept and concrete action in the field of national security and defense. The functionality of the national security system shall be achieved through an integrated, phased approach of institutional consultation, decision-making, implementation and regular evaluation.
Under the leadership of the President of Romania, the Supreme Council for National Defense (CSAT) periodically monitors, analyzes and evaluates the entire machinery of the national effort to ensure the state of security and the achievement of national security interests and objectives, translated into implementation plans corresponding to national strategic documents.
Based on the stipulations of the National Defense Strategy for the period 2020-2024, the Plan for the implementation of the National Defense Strategy was developed and approved by the Supreme Council for National Defense on 6 October 2020. The Plan, which is submitted annually to the CSAT for review, incorporates the contribution of all institutions responsible for ensuring national security and sets out the framework in concrete terms for their coordinated action to achieve the goals of the Strategy.
The implementation of the National Defense Strategy is also the subject of ongoing inter-institutional consultations, coordinated by the National Security Department of the Presidential Administration. In this context, the progress made at each level of action is analyzed, the institutions’ approaches are harmonized and the necessary measures are established to adapt the national effort to internal and external developments with implications for the national security. The President of Romania pays particular attention to both conceptual and practical strategic perspectives for the implementation of the commitments undertaken by our country within the North Atlantic Alliance and the decisions resulting from the Allied Summits.
In order to ensure a harmonized approach and the necessary inter-institutional support for the implementation of the decisions approved at the NATO Summits (starting with the Warsaw Summit in 2016 and continuing with the Brussels Summits in 2017 and 2018 and the London Summit in 2019), on the basis of a decision of the Supreme Council for National Defense of 26 July 2016, an inter-institutional dialogue format was set up in the form of an inter-institutional working group, which operates continuously under the coordination of the Presidential Administration’s Department for National Security.
Inter-institutional cooperation is a constant feature of the work of the President of Romania and the Presidential Administration. Through subsequent mechanisms that usually take the form of formal meetings and working groups on distinct subjects, inter-institutional cooperation is a timely and effective tool, both in the process of gaining in-depth knowledge of strategic realities with an impact on national security intended to inform strategic decisions, and on a practical level for planning, monitoring, evaluating and accelerating actions aimed at achieving national security interests and objectives.
From the perspective of the operationalization of the National Defense Strategy for the period 2020-2024, a complementary condition to all the other values and principles on which the development of this programmatic document was based is the provision of a coherent and applied legislative framework, aimed at contributing to the strengthening of the security culture and the modernization of the institutions that have a role in the field of national security.
The national security regulations have been the subject of several proposals for amendments and additions over the years, without, however, having any concrete finality. The adaptation of the security legislative framework is a necessity. The national institutions responsible must have all the appropriate instruments at their disposal to be able to manage national security challenges.
At the beginning of 2021, at the initiative of the President of Romania, the inter-institutional process of reviewing the legislative framework in the field of national security was launched, which included a first package of regulatory acts.