January 21, 2014
Sustainable communication, both with the European Union member states and the European institutions, must be a priority of any European capital. Over the last couple of years Romania has made progress in this regard, but still has some steps to go in order to achieve sustainability. What do we need to achieve this? What is the role of national institutions, the European elected representatives, the European and national media? I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.
We firstly need effective individual communication; additionally we need a team to optimise circulation, in order to provide accurate and credible information on European issues. More specifically, each Romanian “EU actor” must streamline their processes and communicate better with actors beyond the inter-institutional or political barriers. In fact, it’s imperative to do this – it serves the national interest.
A special topic is cooperation between national institutions in Brussels, be it a permanent representation or just coming to Brussels as part of a delegation to the European Commission and the European Parliament. In the European Parliament and the European Commission you will find key Romanian MEPs; the Romanian Commissioner; their teams; several hundred Romanians working in the Commission DGs; and dozens within the General Secretariat of the European Parliament and EU Council. Facilitating and improving communication between all these sources of knowledge and influence in European affairs will improve national actions; make them much stronger, because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Also, not to be put on the defensive with dossiers such as Schengen or MCV, it is important to give value to Romanian interaction with EU institutions. We have had successful cases such as those of the Black Sea and the Danube, but it is time for Romania to be continuous and predictable in producing European quality proposals, either alone or in a team. Do not forget Poland, and its partnership with Sweden. In this context, we should not overlook the role of national consolidation and personal friendships: Minister Sikorski develops and submits proposals in a team, just like his counterpart Carl Bildt and others.
Finally, we need to “pinpoint” the period in which we live. Marked by the eurozone crisis, fiscal consolidation, it encourages an inevitable debate about the future of Europe – federal or otherwise. Romanian authorities express their opinion through editorials in the press, addressing the Western European national publics. Their message represents a great influence on the debate we are witnessing: the silent and powerful states do not always help. We are still at the beginning of the European game. It’s good to be ambitious after seven years in the EU, because those demand more from themselves, and others, have a chance to get more. If we maximize our strengths – such as economic growth, and minimize the negative ones we have a chance to succeed. It all depends on us!Dan Luca