by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the inauguration of the Euro-Atlantic Centre for Resilience (Romania)

  • 31 May. 2021 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Jun. 2021 16:02

(As delivered)

Thank you very much, Minister, your Excellency, President of Romania, Mr Prime Minister. My dear friend, Maroš, for you, especially thank you for coming to Bucharest, coincidentally together for this great moment.

Ministers, ladies and gentlemen.

Resilience is part of the North Atlantic DNA. 72 years ago, the founders of NATO in the Washington Treaty in Article 3, have defined for the first time the concept of resilience. It is part, as an institution and as a concept, of the core of what we represent as a community of values and common interests in Europe, in the transatlantic partnership with our strategic partners from the US and from Canada.

In those moments of the Cold War, resilience had a certain meaning. But NATO, in its DNA, still has a permanent gene that is adaptability and evolution. And here in Bucharest today, due to the exceptional efforts of the Romanian authorities, we are once again in front of a permanent adaptation.

The President probably remembers the Summit in Warsaw in 2016, a sense of foresight, as Mr Šefčovič would say, when the European leaders have decided six years before the pandemic for NATO to be concerned in identifying resilience indicators for a number of topics that are of concern after coming back, rebounding from shocks and to the security of transport, infrastructure, communication, civil-military relations during times of crisis, and NATO has always done a great job in building these resilience indicators.

In two weeks, on 14th of June, the NATO leaders will come back to the topic of resilience, and we hope we will have the consent of our leaders to go with an additional commitment for resilience. Because this pandemic has taught us complex lessons; lessons that this gene of adaptability makes us internalise. This effort is not just an effort of national governments or local governments, the concept has developed. And today, as the President was saying, we are talking about an effort of resilience at the societal level. Which means that the relationship with the private environment, the relationship with the non-governmental environment, with our citizens, is just as important as efficiently governmental or inter-governmental level. This morning with Mr Šefčovič and Minister Aurescu, we have detailed this topic a lot.

Mr President, Mr Prime Ministers, I would like to greet Romania’s decision to establish this centre. It is a useful and necessary decision. I am also very happy that this international centre is not offered exclusively to the relationship with NATO but to the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU.

A few months ago, the Secretary General had a first meeting with the College of the Commissioners at the invitation of the President Ursula von der Leyen. Among the topics we have identified, managing in a specific way the topic of resilience is in the first place. And this is why this centre has the purpose and the utility to provide expertise, to generate ideas, to work with the private and non-governmental sectors, and to be able to create a system where societal resilience is strengthened.

We are also very confident that this topic of resilience and the added value that the centre in Bucharest is giving in the relationship with the NATO and EU countries will be beneficial, as the previous speaker was saying, also to our partners. We can’t be safe and we can’t have stability in the transatlantic world or in Europe or in the US, if our neighbours are fragile. So we encourage, as an additional dimension, to be able to support our partners who need support and who need resilience and need to fight against fragility.

On my behalf and on behalf of the Secretary General of NATO, I want to congratulate the Romanian authorities. This is a great effort and I am convinced that this will contribute to deepening the operationalisation of resilience at the societal level.