149867 4/15/2008 9:17 08BUCHAREST290 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 07BUCHAREST143 VZCZCXRO7702 RR RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG DE RUEHBM #0290/01 1060917 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 150917Z APR 08 FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8164 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000290
STATE FOR EUR/NCE A. JENSEN
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, SOCI, SENV, ECIN, RO SUBJECT: ROMANIA PROPOSES POST-CONFLICT TRAINING CENTER, OTHER BLACK SEA PROJECTS
REF: 07 BUCHAREST 0143
1. (SBU) Summary: Political Director Stefan Tinca briefed NATO and EU member state embassies on April 8 on the GOR's renewed proposal for a post-conflict reconstruction training center in Romania. He also discussed Romania's broader strategy for the Black Sea Region following the successful NATO Summit, which emphasized "soft security" projects in support of civil society, the environment, emergency management, migration, and education. The Turkish representative sharply criticized Tinca's proposal to resuscitate the Black Sea Forum in 2009 at the ministerial level. End Summary.
2. (SBU) MFA Director General for Political Affairs Stefan Tinca invited NATO and EU member state embassies on April x to preview plans for a Training Center in Romania dedicated to post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction and as well as "new developments" in Romania's approach to the Black Sea Region. Tinca was joined by MFA Policy Planning Director Olivia Todorean and Harry Bucu, who will be heading up the Training Center project. Bucu pointed out that Romania dropped the "European" part of the title to focus on training for Romanians, although the program would be open to all European and Atlantic partners. (Note: We first reported on this concept as presented by Tinca's predecessor in reftel. End note.) Bucu said that Romania would launch the project on a pilot basis in September, and would seek guidance from those countries that already have experience in this area. When Romania was considering a PRT in Afghanistan, Tinca explained, it soon became clear that the non-military ministries were not prepared for this type of deployment. Bucu said the second stage of the initiative would be to host a Post-Conflict Reconstruction Conference in January 2009; Romania would also be looking for co-organizers from Allied and Partner countries. Bucu said the final stage would be the actual opening of the Training Center. It would not only conduct training, but also raise public awareness of the importance of post-conflict reconstruction operations, research and study. The initiative would also promote more internal coordination and interagency cooperation within the GOR so that the training center would be truly inter-disciplinary. "Romania wants to find its niche in this area," Bucu explained, adding that an inter-agency working group with MFA, MOD and Interior representatives had already been formed. "We need to broaden out to the other ministries," he added. The Center itself would have both a Board of Trustees to oversee the training and study activities, and an independent board of academic advisors to ensure high academic standards and to help build networks with other international training centers.
3. (SBU) On the broader front of Romania's regional Black Sea policy, Tinca highlighted Romania's "soft security" orientation. The GOR's immediate goals included hosting this fall a forum for Black Sea regional civil society groups and facilitating the development of a Black Sea Environmental Partnership Program. Tinca was quick to point out that Romania would play a limited role on the latter initiative, seeking to focus NGO and civil society attention on common environmental concerns in the region, with the hope that donors like the World Bank would step in to provide support. On the civil society component, Tinca stated that one possible program would be for the MFA to work with civil society groups to identify ways to support priorities gleaned from the NATO Summit Declaration. Other possible projects for 2009 or later included the development of an interdisciplinary Masters Degree program for Black Sea universities to focus on renewable energy strategies, and regional fora on migration and civil emergency planning, with an emphasis on critical infrastructure risks.
4. (SBU) Finally, Tinca said that Romania was exploring options for a follow-up to the Summit of the Black Sea Forum for Dialogue and Partnership, including the possibility of holding a "Gymnich-styled" informal ministerial-level meeting that would operate on "well-known principles of variable geometry so as not to duplicate existing institutions, structures, or arrangements." (Note: this part of the presentation clearly irritated the Turkish DCM who labeled the Forum a "waste of time" that failed to meet the standards for "inclusiveness, regional ownership, and transparency." end note.) Tinca underscored that this concept was still in the idea stage, and the briefing itself was part of the consultation process.
5. (SBU) Comment: Romania has gotten the message about focusing its attention more on soft security issues in the
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Black Sea region. Turkey, skeptical as always about Romania's aspirations, cast a shadow over the briefing in vocally challenging Bucharest's advocacy for another senior-level Black Sea Forum. Still there are some opportunities here for the U.S. to assist Romania in keeping on task, including in supporting the post-conflict training center initiative. Finally, the briefing made clear that following a successful NATO summit, Bucharest is ready to take another run at playing an active role in promoting Black Sea regional cooperation. End comment. TAUBMAN