Romania’s Parliament passed the national defence and security strategy for the next 5 years.
On Tuesday, Parliament passed almost unanimously the country’s defence strategy for the 2015-2019 period. The document, proposed by President Klaus Iohannis and supported by all parliamentary groups, aims, among others, to protect the rights and fundamental liberties of all citizens and guarantee their security.
During his presentation of the document in Parliament a day earlier, the President underlined that the new strategy introduces the concept of extended security to cover areas such as the economy, education, healthcare and the environment. The leader of the National Union for the Progress of Romania Gabriel Oprea temporarily acts as prime minister while the Social Democrat Victor Ponta is recovering from knee surgery in Turkey. A retired general, Oprea said the defence strategy should not be turned into a political issue because the security of citizens and the state are fundamental principles. He therefore urged his party colleagues to vote in favour of the document:
Gabriel Oprea: “When we speak about the safety and security of the Romanians and of Romania, we should go beyond group and party interests. At a time like this we should be united in good faith.”
The senior partner in the ruling coalition, the Social Democratic Party has also supported the document, while noting that it must be constantly adjusted to reflect the security situation. Social Democrat MP Ion Mocioalca:
Ion Mocioalca: “The adoption of this document and the establishment of the main lines of action through this document cannot replace the security decisions of the government. The latter is responsible for the allocation of budget funds and the signing of political and technical agreements in the area of defence.”
Romania’s strategic partnership with the United States and the country’s NATO and European Union membership are reaffirmed in the strategy as pillars of Bucharest’s foreign and security policy, something the Liberal opposition fully supports. The co-chairman of the National Liberal Party, Vasile Blaga:
Vasile Blaga: “Romania’s path to the West, alongside our Euro-Atlantic partners, is irreversible. The strategic partnership with the United States must be consolidated, including in the economic and trade area, while Romania’s role within NATO and the European Union must be enhanced and consolidated.”
The Senate speaker and leader of the newly created Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats following the merger of the Liberal Reformist Party and the Conservative Party, Calin Popescu Tariceanu did not attend the vote in Parliament. He said the new defence strategy transfers to the president’s office responsibilities that belong to the government, to benefit president Klaus Iohannis. Political commentators believe, however, that his objections are not of an institutional nature, but are more likely to be motivated by the strained personal relationship between the president and the Senate Speaker.