Minister Teodor Meleşcanu participated on Monday, January 21, 2019, in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. In the meeting chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini there were tackled topical issues on the European agenda, such as the fight against disinformation, EU-League of Arab States (LAS) cooperation and EU-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) relations.
In the meeting, the Romanian minister for foreign affairs presented his counterparts the main topics on which Romania would focus during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, including those in the field of foreign affairs and security policy in which the Presidency acts in support of the high representative of the EU.
The discussions on the topic of disinformation focused on the operational implementation of the external dimension of the EU action plan against disinformation, based on the conclusions of the European Council of December 2018.
The Romanian dignitary reiterated his strong support for the agreement of the concrete actions to operationalise the plan and ensuring an efficient task-sharing among the entities involved, including for the promotion of EU fact-based narratives and policies in the neighbouring countries. He supported the intensification of strategic communication efforts, especially through strengthening the strategic communication teams and rendering the rapid alert mechanisms functional. He also pointed out that NATO partnership on the dimension of strategic communication must be continued and strengthened. Minister Teodor Meleșcanu advocated awareness raising campaigns, for EU citizens, on how select adequate information sources. He also supported the need to alert mass media and public opinion representatives on the negative effects of disinformation, in EU member states and the neighbouring countries.
The Romanian minister for foreign affairs reiterated Romania’s interest in approaching the resilience-hybrid threat-strategic communication triad in an integrated way, while securing the connections across the different areas of the EU Global Strategy. In this context, he mentioned the conference Facing Hybrid Threats through Consolidated Resilience and Enhanced StratCom, organised by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU on February 28 – March 1, 2019, in Bucharest.
In the discussion on EU-League of Arab States (LAS) cooperation, the Romanian minister for foreign affairs expressed his support for the organisation of the EU-LAS Summit, to be held in Egypt on February 24-25, 2019 as well as for the preparatory ministerial meeting from February 4, 2019 from Brussels.
He also reiterated Romania’s availability to continue to act towards strengthening the EU-LAS relations, especially during the Presidency of the Council of the EU, taking into account that our country’s position has constantly been in favour of a political solution to the conflicts in the region and strengthening the efforts to promote peace and security in the region.
Teodor Meleșcanu insisted on the fact that there was a significant potential to develop cooperation among the EU and LAS countries in many fields, a context that requires to maintain a constant and regular dialogue at all levels.
The FAC meeting also occasioned a discussion in preparation of EU-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meeting, held on the same day.
Minister Teodor Meleșcanu expressed strong support for the enhancement of the EU-ASEAN relations in all the fields of common interest and for building a substantive strategic partnership, making a strong tool to address global challenges in an efficient way. He also emphasised that the EU should continue on the way towards participation in the security forums chaired by the ASEAN, which would reflect the extent of European commitment and the EU’s role as a global actor. He supported EU unity in addressing the topic of connectivity in the discussions with ASEAN countries, in accordance with the EU strategy for connectivity between Europe and Asia, with a view to promoting durable and sustainable projects in point of the environment, the economic, social and tax fields.
Discussions in the FAC meeting pointed to the fact that ASEAN was a key stability factor in a complex regional context and emphasised the importance of the organisation for security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
The council adopted conclusions with regard to EU-ASEAN and Nicaragua.