At a joint plenary sitting on Tuesday, Parliament approved, 311 to 4 and 38 abstentions, a joint report by the defence committees of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Romania’s National Defense Strategy for 2020 – 2024, a document submitted by the president Klaus Iohannis.
The document is composed of five chapters: ‘Romania, active member of NATO and EU, a resilient country and a pole of regional stability’; ‘National security interests and objectives’; ‘Assessment of the international security environment’; ‘Threats, risks and vulnerabilities’; ‘Action guidelines and main ways to ensure Romania’s national security.’
The first chapter provides a vision for a modern Romania, whose foundations of foreign and security policy are represented by its membership of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as well as its strategic partnership with the US. At the same time, the need to strengthen national resilience in the face of threats and developments in the international security environment is underlined, so as to ensure the security and prosperity of Romanian citizens.
The second chapter deals with national values, interests and objectives, key elements in defining the national defence strategy.
The third chapter presents the major trends likely to affect and influence the international security environment, characterised even today by a high degree of dynamism and unpredictability. “In this context, Romania has the opportunity to strengthen its strategic position at Euro-Atlantic level and its role as a vector of stability and provider of national security,” says the joint report of the specialist committees.
The fourth chapter of the strategy details the threats, risks and vulnerabilities to national security. Mentioned among the threats are the economic crisis caused by the SARS-CoV 2 pandemic, the consolidation of the military potential in the vicinity of Romania, the volatility of the regional security, hostile actions of influence in the public space, cyberattacks, distortions on energy markets, hostile foreign interference with and takeover of business operators of national interest. The risks include illiberal temptation, the Eurasian developments in Moldova, the stagnation of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, terror, the tendency to destruct multilateralism, the absence of real multiannual budgetary planning, precarious infrastructure, demographic decline, corruption regarding European funds, trans-frontier crime, the use and provision of new technologies, hybrid offensive operations.
The last chapter of the strategy deals with action guidelines and the main ways of ensuring national security in eight dimensions: diplomacy, defence, public peace, intelligence, counterintelligence and security, economics and energy, civilian crisis management, civil protection, environmental security, as well as the educational dimension in health, social affairs and demographics. It also emphasises the dependence of the operation of the national security system on integrated relations and collaboration, a vision that entails correlating action guidelines with national security objectives from the perspective of threats, risks and vulnerabilities, as the essence of the national strategy.
At the end of the document mention is made that in order to make the strategy operable a consistent and applied legislative framework is needed designed to contribute to the consolidation of security culture and the modernisation of the national security institutions.