Invited to the show InSecuritate, HE Laurence Auer spoke about the strategic compass of the European Union, but also about the Romanian-French relations, starting from the security and police cooperation to the cultural ones. What does ES Laurence Auer say about Romania’s accession to Schengen?
ES Laurence Auer: “The compass is about the direction we want to go!”
What are the roles and missions of the Member States of the European Union in this context of the strategic compass? Is there room for NATO in the strategic compass? Is it the EU’s strategic compass, an instrument or an idea?
“It is a document that needs to be prepared by the European External Action Service, which needs to be presented to the Member States for debate and, if possible, for approval at the March 2022 European Council,” I would say. It is a document that is very important, because it is the first time we will do a reflection of the whole … the compass is about the direction we want to go, how we want to proceed and especially I think it is about ending once and for all all rumors that the European Union would like to replace NATO or that NATO would be less important than the European Union.
It will be exactly about documents between the strategic compass and a document that will define important issues for Europe, such as cyber security, but also geographical areas, and see that there is complementarity and can even strengthen defense within NATO. It is a document that I have not seen yet, so I cannot talk about it, but I know it will be of great interest to France and Romania. Since the first post-pandemic discussion in the NATO-EU Council of Defense Ministers, the two countries have said how interested they are in thinking about it together. Of course, France will want to put its relationship with the rest of the world there.
We will see that participation, for example, in the operation in Mali, Takuba, MINUSMA, securing conflict areas will be part of the strategic compass. This is not necessarily NATO’s role. NATO is a relationship that is between partners, between allies, as they say, and that provides for mutual defense. While the European Union, in fact, will rather define courses of action with an area of security that is slightly different from a classic area of defense, because in our understanding of the strategic compass we include risks that are risks that we take. -I mentioned, for example, cyber security.
The Franco-Romanian armies, the police, the intelligence services have a solid, very strong relationship. Where can we see the dividends of these relationships? Can I be in the field of diplomacy, politics? Schengen, maybe?
“Yes, I always say, police and security cooperation is the first cooperation between France and Romania from a historical point of view. So, it goes through joint fact-finding missions, it goes through exchanges of information, constantly, including on defense and security issues, it goes through intelligence services, it goes through magistrates. Therefore, this security ensemble is finally one of the pillars of our friendship, of our strategic partnership. We have developed joint actions, we have developed exchanges with liaison officers of the police missions in each of the countries and, indeed, this strengthens the Schengen component.
You know that today Schengen is in a process of reflection for the reconsolidation of the external borders and the question is legitimately raised, as ten years have passed since Romania is technically ready, so that we will make the country enter in Schengen. Therefore, I would say that, as far as the French side is concerned, there is a process of reflection, with a view to simultaneously consolidating Schengen and implementing enlargement. I think it was an important semantic change that was presented by Secretary of State Clément Beaune during his visit to the ministerial level on 14 September, and on this basis we will build the preparation for the Schengen reform, which is not yet on the table.
I remind you that every time we have six months of pandemic talks, we are lagging behind on something else and so it is not that France wants to postpone Schengen during its presidency, but that we need this discussion that was, I think, relatively consensual “, explains ES Laurence Auer.
HE Laurence Auer, on the importance of cultural relations between Romania and France: “I would say that we have a great chance in this country … you see, to be received by a French-speaking journalist so that I can express myself in French”
,, A lot of importance, a lot of resources, a lot of cooperation actions to maintain this extraordinary pool of partnership, mutual admiration, friendship, exchanges, whether we are talking about the world of film … even this year a Romanian presided over the week of criticism at Cannes. It is the only film festival in Cannes that takes place in Bucharest. But we also have a Romanian Goncourt.
At the same time, there is a great closeness in terms of music, which I saw with the appointment of the new artistic director of the Enescu festival, who is a Romanian conductor. So, we have a closeness that every time we have to … as in a couple relationship, it is a love that always needs proof and, every day, a team that is at the embassy, at the French Institute in Romania, working on cooperation. I would say that we have a great chance in this country … you see, to be received by a French-speaking journalist so that I can express myself in French … Thank you very much, thank you Romania, Romanians for loving the French language, French culture and you are always very welcome on this field with me. ”
ES Laurence Auer: “I would like to congratulate you for making a quality show and because, in a world of fake news, it is very important”
,, Yes, I think your InSecurity program is an excellent program, because today there are a lot of questions regarding security, including the security of citizens in an uncertain environment and it seems to me that this formula of yours corresponds well to the new field. of diplomacy. I’m a diplomat and I’ve dealt a lot with defense issues. I believe that the field of security is an extremely important field in our societies today. And finally, I would like to congratulate you for making a quality show and for being something that, in a world of fake news, is very important, so thank you very much “, concludes ES Laurence Auer, French Ambassador in Romania.
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