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Thursday 2 December 2010
Senior Course 117 Field Study III. First stop: Bucharest, Romania.
On Monday 29 November, Senior Course 117 began their Regional Approach Field Study. The RAFS is an important educational instrument that allows course members to develop a broader appreciation of the political, economic and security issues as seen from the national perspective of selected regional countries. The Field Study also provides them with direct knowledge of the ways in which these policies contribute to and/or affect Euro–Atlantic security. During the current Field Study, SC117 is scheduled to visit Romania, Armenia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Algeria.
After arriving in the Romanian capital, Bucharest course members enjoyed an exceptional evening during which Lieutenant General Wolf-Dieter LOESER, Commandant of the NATO Defense College (NDC) designated Minister Ioan Mircea PASCU an Honorary Ancien of NDC. Minister PASCU is a well-known and highly respected and distinguished Romanian politician: a former Minister of Defence and currently a Member of the European Parliament. . Minister PASCU’s continuing support of NDC is of great value to the College since he is both a former Faculty Adviser and a former member of the Academic Advisory Board (AAB).
On Tuesday 30 November the course members visited the Romanian National Defence University (NDU) where they were welcomed by the Commandant Lieutenant General Teodor FRUNZETI,and Colonel Nicu BEGANU, the moderator for the visit as well as being a great friend of the College where he served for three years as a Faculty Advisor.
Romania’s Security and Defence Policy was illustrated by four distinguished speakers who gave a clear overview of the issues at hand to the Course Members.
The first lecture, on Romanian Armed Forces Transformation was delivered by Cpt (N) Vicentiu CATANEANU accompanied by Major General Vagil BALACEANU, Chief of J8, who contributed to the Q & A session. Cpt. CATANEANU provided an overview of some historical facts concerning Romania’s journey towards transition and strategic views on Romania’s specific security environment. He highlighted a number of key points and priorities for transforming the Romanian armed forces and concluded his lecture with a few words on lessons learned so far and the strategies for the next 10-15 years.
The theme of the lecture by Mr Julian FOTA, the Presidential Advisor for National Security, was “The Black Sea-A region between regions”. He spoke about the impact of transformation on the former communist societies and the globalization of the region and was keen to underline the importance of a regional approach to “Black Sea politics”.
The next speaker was Mr. Ioan DASCALU, the State Secretary and Head of the Public Order and Safety Department and the Ministry of Administration and Interior. His lecture centered on Romania‘s efforts in countering cross-border crime. He provided overview of Romanian Law Enforcement agencies, assessed the main crime threats in the region, and presented some practical solutions for countering cross-border crime.
The final briefing was delivered by Mr Jnaion HRISTEA, the Head of the Political Prognosis and Planning Directorate, and a former ambassador of Romania to the Ukraine. Mr. HRISTEA focused on foreign policy and provided keen insight into the priorities and factors that influence Romanian foreign policy. He underlined the importance of implementing European Union funds and the value of regional cooperation.
The lectures were followed by Q&A sessions during which the course members showed a great interest in the topics, as demonstrated by the challenging and well thought out questions they put to the lecturers.
Lieutenant General LOESER thanked General FRUNZETI and the Romanian National Defence University for hosting the Senior Course 117.