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A Romanian Outlook on the EU’s Achilles’ Heel

16 June 2020

Radu Albu-Comănescu

Visegrad Insight Fellow

The Black Sea is crucial for EU’s and NATO’s security, yet placed low down on Europe’s agenda. Romania attempted to take the lead in the past and act as a vector for rapprochement – but without EU substantial involvement, the region will turn into Europe’s Achilles’ heel.

So, it is going to be on 24 June. With an Orwellian touch, the Kremlin deletes timelines in order to fit a reshaped narrative. The Victory fête has to shine and be a renewed expression of Russia’s projection of “power”, of “respectability” and capacity to “inspire fear”.

While this policy sets the country’s resources and international reputation on fire for decades, it also comes, needless to say, as a provocation. It coincides with a time when Europe’s political metamorphosis is generated by the impact of international changes (centred on the US-China rivalry) and of a triple catalyst: a nationalist-populist American presidency, a France-induced impetus for EU sovereignty and a change in the German mindset.

Lack of concrete proposals

Josep Borrell

Adding to previous episodes, the defence ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain (a sort of EU-4) jointly signed a letter on 29 May for the attention of their colleagues from the other 23 Member States and of Josep Borrell, EU’s High Representative for FASP. The call was again about the reinforcement of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) of the EU’s security and defence policy.

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Radu Albu-Comănescu

Visegrad Insight Fellow

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Lecturer in European Integration at the “Babeş-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His research focuses on European construction, state-building, international relations and cultural diplomacy.

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