Message from President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, at the opening ceremony of the training programme on „Security in the Black Sea Region. Shared challenges, sustainable future”, the 6th edition

11 June 2019

President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, conveyed a message for the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the „Security in the Black Sea Region. Shared challenges, sustainable future” training programme. The message was delivered by Mr. Constantin Ionescu, State Adviser – Department of National Security, Head of the Integrated Intelligence Office, in Constanța.

The message, as translated, reads:

„I welcome the initiative to continue the cooperation, which has already turned into tradition, between «Mihai Viteazul» National Intelligence Academy and Harvard University in the United States of America, at the opening session of the 6th edition of the training programme on «Security in the Black Sea Region. Shared challenges, sustainable future», which is organised under the high patronage of the Presidential Administration.   

I note that this event has become more and more prominent among the most relevant think-tanks in the academic environment on the regional and global security.   

I congratulate the organisers for the multidisciplinary approach and for the presence here of participants from many states, representatives of the regional, European and Euro-Atlantic policy-makers, numerous personalities of the academic world and of the civil society.    

This confirms both the importance Romania places on the event and the increased interest in the situation in this region. The debate could contribute to shaping a common vision and a series of solutions to better reap the potential of the region we live in.     

For Romania, as Allied state, and for NATO as a whole, security in the Black Sea region has an outstanding significance for the Euro-Atlantic security. 

Moreover, I consider the topic of this year’s programme - «The New Great Game – Connecting the Black Sea and the Balkans» - is drawn also from the current evolutions. We keep on being in need of a multi-level approach to strengthen the relations and the cross-border cooperation among the states from the Balkans and from the Black Sea region, as well as the transatlantic tie – in the first place.   

Our region – which is a border of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation and of the European Union and a place where different civilisations, various cultures and diverse interests meet - has gained special meaning in terms of international security as it has been marked by many and increasingly complex challenges over the years, particularly in the latest period.   

The Black Sea region is an area of tensions, pressures, risks and threats, such as the hybrid war in Ukraine, Russia’s assertiveness, international terrorism, frozen conflicts, the crisis of migration, cyber and communications attacks.  

We are willing and it is highly required that the Black Sea and the Balkan regions stay stable and predictable. 

In my vision, our response to the challenges that distinguish our region can be encapsulated in two main directions: cohesion (in its broadest meaning) and tailoring (to the new realities of the security environment).    

As Presidency of the European Union Council, Romania supports keeping the Western Balkans region on the EU’s priority agenda and emphasises the importance to have concrete results, consistent with their individual progress. 

Furthermore, Romania aims at reaffirming the Black Sea on the European Union’s agenda through further boosting the enhanced participation by the EU in sectoral cooperation projects, based on the Maritime Agenda of the Region. 

The main pillars of our country’s foreign and security policy are to consolidate our country’s profile within NATO and the Strategic Partnership with the USA. At the same time, Romania takes action to play an active and constructive role in the Black Sea region.   

Therefore, as a regional security provider, Romania regards as a strategic priority to ensure the regional stability. From this view, it is imperative to enhance our regional collaboration, based on strictly observing the international law norms, through political dialogue and peacefully solving divergences.   

At the same time, to expand the regional collaboration on its economic dimension can be beneficial to all the states that are involved.   

Moreover, I consider that we cannot transform this region without making major investment in education, as a comprehensive process of acknowledging, adapting and increasing resilience at all levels. 

I strongly believe that ensuring a proper standard of security culture is the key to cope with the new realities and has to be a major concern of all the actors involved, from the governmental environment to the ordinary citizens.  

The ideas that have been brainstormed lately during your programme have brought a substantial contribution to the knowledge in the regional, European, and Euro-Atlantic security.   

I express my conviction that this year’s edition will also be a useful source of expertise in shaping feasible solutions able to increase resilience of our societies to the regional challenges, and, at the same time, will boost searching for solutions to reap the best benefits from the opportunities. 

Additionally, the debates that are going to start will contribute to knowing each other better, to increasing transparency and to better understanding the phenomena and situation we face, as well as to a more consolidated training of the experts in the Black Sea region. 

 I wish you success!”