Romanian Security Policy

Despite the various dysfunctional aspects of the government - some of it is institutional and some rooted in personalities - there remains a deep consensus across party lines on Romania's strategic interests; foremost of which is the US-Romanian partnership. Even though there have been occasional missteps and misstatements, there remained enormous continuity and consistency in Romanian foreign and security policy decisions at the end of the day. Romania always seemed to find its way back to the fold.

One impediment to consistency in Romanian policymaking is the lack of a clearcut national security strategy. The version from 2006 was more sermon than strategy. The process through which the interagency turned the strategy into a "Christmas Tree" with every ornament any government agency and ministry could hang on it. The final product was then wholly rewritten in a rambling style (even in Romanian) that made the strategy essentially unintelligible. As a result, there was no framework document to keep the sundry foreign affairs actors from wandering off a task. Some issues, like Romanian deployments to Iraq, have national importance but are not fixed within a strategic context and are easily overshadowed by the internecine conflicts among the political leaders--again raising questions about Romania's reliability.

The National Security Strategy of Romania was adopted by the The Supreme Council for National Defense At its meeting on April 17, 2006, under the Decision no. 62. It is the "political program for building a modern, prosperous Romania, with a distinct regional profile, fully integrated into the European and Euro-Atlantic community, firmly committed to promoting democracy and freedom, in a dynamic and complex world, with citizens living safely."

Romania is located in a region still fraught with local conflicts, impacting heavily on regional and European peace and security. A consequence of the more or less violent dissolution of some multinational states in the area, the inter-ethnic or religious conflicts have strong political undertones and pose a serious threat to regional security, even though, due to some important efforts made by international community, most of them are contained. By their high number, these conflicts – alongside other tensions, disputes, separatist trends, territorial differences, and crises in the proximity of Romania – generate uncertainty, waste resources, and perpetuate poverty. They also feed other forms of violence and criminality and favor terrorism.

The new democracies in this region are still being faced with a host of negative phenomena that impact on the quality of governance. In this context, bad governance undermines the citizens’ confidence in public insti-tutions and can pose a major threat to the security of the states. It is a con-sequence of the democratic deficit and institutional corruption, which manifests itself in political clientelism, the ineffectiveness of public administration, authoritarian tendencies and a lack of transparency and public responsibility, undermining the citizens’ confidence in democracy. In Romania’s area of strategic interest, ineffective governance often endangered the normal exercise of fundamental human rights and affected the fulfillment of some international obligations – as well as the obligations pertaining to safeguarding national identity – bringing about the risk of humanitarian crises with cross-border impact.

Romania’s integration in NATO and EU triggers substantial changes in its status and strategic identity. From this viewpoint, the dynamics of the develop-ment of Romania’s European and Euro-Atlantic identity, as well as that pertaining to the shaping of a profile matching its geo-strategic potential, will be structurally re-designed and promoted at a high pace. Membership involves the gradual configuration of a specific and active role for Romania within the two organi-zations and providing the necessary resources to fulfill it.

Building a climate of security and prosperity in the Black Sea area is a distinct direction of action of this strategy. As a dynamic vector of democratic security, economic stability and prosperity, Romania has a fundamental strategic interest in seeing the wider Black Sea area stable, democratic and prosperous, tightly connected to the European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Subordinated to this interest, the strategic goal of our country is to give an impetus to the European and Euro-Atlantic involvement in the region.

NATO membership involves setting up the necessary capabilities for the Romanian Armed Forces to take part in Alliance missions – first and foremost those pertaining to collective defence, playing an important role in the deve-lopment of concepts that are specific to the new strategic context, as well as speeding up the transformation of the military system and developing new capab-ilities. The shift from the territorial defence specific concepts to collective defence and countering asymmetric risks in the global perspective of the military commitments, calls for the transformation of the Romanian Armed Forces whilst at the same, fulfill the tasks incumbent upon them.

Romania aims to create a modern and professional Army that has the proper number of troops and appropriate equipment, with mobile and multifunc-tional expeditionary forces that are swiftly deployable, flexible and effective. They have to be able to provide a reliable defence of the national territory, to fulfill its commitments to collective defence, and to take part in international operations, in keeping with the priorities and requirements of its foreign policy. Improving the joint and multinational operations capabilities and increasing the effectiveness of generating forces and use of resources are the goals of this process.

The transformation of the Military needs to take into consideration the new strategic orientations of the process that the Alliance is undergoing and be complementary to it. Thus, we shall meet the requirements of establishing military capabilities that would allow the conduct of operations in the Alliance’s area of responsibility and beyond, carrying out the whole range of possible missions, and ensuring consensus in decision-making.

Particular heed will be paid to the changes in the area of defence planning and especially to the harmonization of national planning procedures with the standard procedures of NATO, European Union and strategic partners. The process of force planning will be improved, new principles and operational con-cepts will be adopted and a new military strategy will be drafted.

The priorities of transforming the domain of intelligence, counter-intelli-gence and security: the activities of the intelligence, counter-intelligence and security services are a key component of the national security system for preventing, and giving early warning of risks and threats to the values and fundamental interests to Romania, as well as providing adequate protection against other dangers. Intelligence guarantees avoiding being taken by surprise and provides the decision-making power and speed of reaction, as well as the capability for pro-active action in order to mount new types of missions. The priorities will be the fight against international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other cross-border risks, the effective monitoring of the local conflicts that can jeopardize the security of Romania, its allies and partners or fundamental human rights, countering cross-border crime, corruption and other illegal activities which endanger Romania’s national security.

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