Maritime Romania- EDITORIAL
For Romania, as a member of the EU and NATO, organisations with significant global interests, the importance of the maritime sector is undeniable. Maritime transport has been and will continue to be the “circulatory system” of the world economy and of our country’s economy.
The first duty of any government is to protect our people, our homeland and our democracy. From a maritime perspective, it is about protecting Romania’s ports, shipping lanes and submarine infrastructure to ensure the free movement of goods and the collection of information that supports our national economy. It is about protecting Romania’s waters, which include inland waters, the Territorial Sea (TM) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
A maritime strategy is necessary and will need to be developed at this time of heightened global tension, that of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine, which has demonstrated the essential role of Romania as a member of NATO and the EU in supporting an international order based on rules and principles.
The barbarity and war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine are the kind of acts that were once only in the history books. Romania will develop security and economic partnerships that discourage and annihilate aggression, coercion and oppression. It is becoming increasingly clear that Romania must bring together military security and economic security, while joining global and regional alliances, to deploy the full range of its capabilities, upholding the values that underpin society. This must put Romania into action, to work with international partners and institutions to uphold the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, including freedom of navigation, maintaining international order and building a global network of freedom.
Membership of the European Union and NATO gives us the ability to develop policies and strategies that represent the priorities and values that matter most to Romanians. A National Strategy for Romania’s Maritime Security must be included in this national approach. The strategy must define maritime security and what it means for Romania, recognising the far-reaching effects of sources of insecurity on it. At the same time, it must set out the strategic objectives and commitments that the government will implement in the coming years and establish how the strategy will be implemented, and how its objectives and milestones will be monitored.
The world has changed considerably in recent years, as has Romania’s place in it. Our membership of the European Union and NATO offers a unique opportunity to reconsider many aspects of our domestic and foreign policy, building on existing friendships, but also looking ahead.
We need to exploit all existing opportunities, but also to sense future ones, which we must address pragmatically and in a timely manner. We also need to do more to adapt to major changes in the world around us, including the growing importance of the Black Sea region. Our ability to cooperate more effectively with others, especially like-minded and like-minded partners, will become increasingly important for our country’s prosperity and security in the years ahead.
No nation can develop by being hermetically sealed. Still less can we afford to be overwhelmed by fear or paralysed by the existence of threats. That is why we must adopt a risk-based approach both in our actions and in our philosophy.
Risk management is fundamental to managing the threat while preserving quality of life and living in freedom. Risk management must guide our decision-making as we examine how we can best organise ourselves to prevent, respond to and recover from an attack, direct or indirect. We all live with some risk. That means we tolerate, we admit that something bad can happen. We adjust our lives according to probability and we need to take reasonable precautions.
All the more so, when for the first time the US Administration will have a working strategy with the Allies on the Black Sea region, decided by the US Congress, Romania must act in this direction. It is also an objective of Romania’s strategic partnership with the US, but one that can lead to a change in the types of threats we need to combat.
It is becoming increasingly clear that an integrated assessment of security, defence, development and foreign policy is needed in the future as a document of particular importance to Romania.
Maritime Security Forum