On the first day of the Munich Security Conference, February 15, 2019, Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba spoke in the panel dedicated to the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) “Central European Response to the Global Competition for Power”, organised by the Atlantic Council.
Among the participants in the panel there were Borut Pahor, president of the Republic of Slovenia, Andrej Plenković, prime minister of the Republic of Croatia, Ana Palacio, member in the State Council of the Kingdom of Spain and Frederick Kempe, president of the Atlantic Council. The Romanian official highlighted the role the Initiative can play in strengthening the European Union and the transatlantic partnership, especially in the current context, marked by changes and incertitude. Minister Ciamba emphasised that the 3SI has the potential to facilitate increased cohesion in the EU, by spurring economic development in the region circumscribed to the three seas and the neighbouring countries and, implicitly, better convergence in the EU. Concurrently, 3SI may help the transatlantic relations advance and diversify by encouraging the USA’s economic presence in Europe. The minister highlighted that the particular emphasis that Initiative places on increased interconnectivity in the infrastructure, energy and digital fields as well as on interconnecting the business communities in the region is turning this cooperation format in a highly useful tool to boost long and medium term economic growth.
The Romanian dignitary presented the vision of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council on the European project, which is structured around the idea of cohesion, reflected in connectivity and convergence, with a view to reducing development gaps among member states and regions.
On the margins of the conference, Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba also had a number of bilateral meetings.
The Romanian official discussed with Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group interim president and World Bank chief executive officer. George Ciamba appreciated the support offered by the World Bank through the real convergence programs it delivered in Romania and thanked the resident office in Bucharest for their interest to take part in a number of events to be held during the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. The topics addressed in these events are relevant for both the EU and the world: the digital agenda, connectivity, economic convergence, cooperation for development, strengthening resilience in front of natural disasters, the Western Balkans. George Ciamba took this opportunity to invite once again the World Group interim president to be a guest speaker in the Gender Equality Conference to be held on May 30-31, 2019 in Bucharest, organised under the aegis of the Romanian prime minister, since the international organisation is well known for its actions to advance this topic.
On the second half of the day, the minister delegate for European affairs met European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger. The minister delegate discussed with the European official about the efforts made by the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council to advance the file on the Multiannual Financial Framework, one of the main topics on the General Affairs Council next week’s agenda. At the European Council from December 2018, the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council received the mandate to continue negotiations and develop guidelines for their next stage, with a view to reaching a political agreement on this file in the autumn of 2019.
The minister delegate exchanged views with Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, on topics connected to cybersecurity, the regime of the sanctions and countering disinformation. The Romanian official pointed out that the topic of countering disinformation is one of priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. He also reaffirmed Romania’s commitment towards strengthening the transatlantic relation.
Also on the occasion of the Munich Security Conference, Minister Delegate George Ciamba had a meeting with Jean Asselborn, minister for foreign and European affairs and minister for immigration and asylum of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The two ministers expressed their appreciation for the excellent level of the bilateral relation between their countries.
Later in the day, the Romanian official had a meeting with Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and Time columnist with whom he discussed Romania’s priorities during the Presidency of the EU Council.
The international conference from Munich (Munich Security Conference/MSC 2019) is one of the most prestigious security forums bringing together major leaders and decision-makers in matters of security and defence. With its very first edition in 1963 when it was called “Internationale Wehrkunde Begegnung”, the conference has turned into an important landmark in security debates concerning Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area.