Black Sea cooperation is extremely important for Romanian economy
"Although Romania is a frontier-country of the EU, I have never thought of this as a limitation, but as an opportunity to build regional bridges toward the countries with which we share a history and common traditions, as well as economic interests." AFP PhotoFirst of all, I believe that the anniversary of two decades of cooperation within the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) should be considered an opportunity to reflect upon our common future. Certainly, the outcomes are important, but the complexity of the challenges still lying ahead also generates uncertainty. However, I do not believe it is time for skepticism; on the contrary, I am convinced it is time for decisiveness and change.
The nature as well as the pace of the changes to come seem to question our traditional way of considering and understanding things from a social, political or economical point of view.
Nowadays, we refer to the United States of Europe as the next important step in the consolidation of the European Union, and not as a utopia to be achieved in the distant future. The fact that the countries from the West Balkans, as well as Turkey, are orienting themselves toward the EU as a common goal to be achieved, strengthens our faith in the fact that we will soon be able to speak about a single Europe, capable of giving our common past its appropriate value, and most of all, capable of shaping the future that lies ahead for all of us.
Moreover, I believe that the development of regional cooperation is extremely important, especially within a space in which we all share our histories. It is my hope that this past will not be an impediment; on the contrary, it will become an opportunity to consider what we share in common and to reflect upon the mistakes of the past that should not be repeated.
At present, we are facing challenges that can no longer be resolved by means of individual actions. Overcoming the economic crisis, identifying suitable formulas for the stimulation of prosperity, the development of infrastructure, the diversification of the energy resources and the constant preoccupation of protecting the environment, all these elements underline for us the necessity to find intelligent solutions for cooperation.
On the other hand, cooperation involves trust and mutual respect, and this can only be achieved through common values. Therefore, I believe that the EU is able to provide us with a common framework, the same that ensured peace and prosperity in western Europe. I am here referring to political values such as democracy, freedom, human rights and the principles of the market economy.
All this does not set up a boundary against our traditions and identities, but the compromise we must attain in order to be able to find the common basis of our regional actions.
Although Romania is a frontier-country of the EU, I have never thought of this as a limitation, but as an opportunity to build regional bridges toward the countries with which we share a history and common traditions, as well as economic interests that are specific to a global and interdependent world. In this regard, Romania is glad to be able to support the aspirations of Turkey with regards to the EU.
Encouraging long-term development
The cooperation among the states of the Black Sea region is of utmost importance to Romania. From a national interest point of view, we envisage the Black Sea region as a space for prosperity and security for all the states in this region, with equal benefits for all states. Up until now, Romania’s diplomatic efforts have promoted several processes that have encouraged long term development of this region, with important outcomes in the consolidation of democracy and cooperation among the Black Sea riparian countries.
I hope we shall find the wisdom to continue the projects we have developed in multiple fields within the region, and that we will also be capable to identify the most suitable solutions for cooperation and development, so that the Black Sea region can become a space for encounter among cultures and aspirations for the common good.
Traian Basescu is the President of Romania.