Romania proposes the creation of the institution of a Special Representative of the European Union responsible for protracted conflicts in the Black Sea basin. This would deal with conflicts in the eastern region, which includes the Transnistrian conflict. According to the Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association president, Romania's proposal reflects the European community's concerns regarding tensions in eastern Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, which threaten peace and economic stability in the region.
During a public debate, security expert Angela Grămada said that the multitude of conflicts in the Black Sea basin prompts the EU to take a stand and come up with a suitable formula for each individual state.
"What is happening now in Donbass is of the highest degree of severity. It is a conflict that causes many threats which go beyond the military sphere; they reach civil, economic and environmental security; they put into question many social aspects; they undermine all the elements that could generate stability and prosperity in the region. The Russian Federation is talking more and more about the placement of a nuclear potential in Crimea, which the Ukrainian side does not agree with and vehemently opposes", said Angela Grămada.
According to the expert, the protracted tensions between Russia and Ukraine are causing the European community to become more vocal about the conflicts in the Black Sea basin. In this regard, the Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu recently addressed a letter to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, co-signed by his counterparts, the foreign ministers of 10 EU member states, proposing greater EU involvement in resolving protracted or frozen conflicts in its Eastern Neighbourhood.
"Bucharest is trying to move the discussion towards the need for an EU representative responsible for regional conflicts. If we are talking about the Moldova - Ukraine - Georgia trio, Romania is trying to go beyond it and wants to show that there are other regional challenges that need to be taken into account. If a viable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not found, while new escalations in the region are expected, then Georgia will also feel threatened and there is a risk that the area will become unstable because of governmental instability. If Ukraine does not regain control over its eastern borders, then assisting Moldova will be Romania's main priority", said Angela Grămadă.
According to the expert, Romania's proposal is aimed at concrete actions to maintain stability in the region, for which there should be a consensus among Member States.
"The formula put forward by Romania is quite simple, in terms of the steps that should be followed. However, the problem is that internal cohesion within the EU must be achieved. Members must coordinate their actions in terms of Black Sea security. Romania mentioned that there needs to be greater coordination between NATO-OSCE-UN. There is also talk of sanctions. There must be better coordination of sanctions imposed by the EU on states such as the Russian Federation or Belarus", said Angela Grămadă.
The public debate on "Settling territorial conflicts in the Eastern Partnership: In search of a tailor-made EU approach" is organized by the IPN News Agency as part of the project "Developing political culture in public debates" and is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.